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Weekly Release #9: Bears Fly, Hershey Wins Twice

Weekly Release #9: Bears Fly, Hershey Wins Twice


After a tough 7-2 loss at Lehigh Valley last Friday, the Hershey Bears responded with a pair of back-to-back victories at the Giant Center to move above .500 in the Atlantic Division standings. The club enjoyed a winning week, taking four of six points, and setting a new team record with 25,017 stuffed animals collected for charity at last Sunday’s annual WGAL & CommunityAid Teddy Bear Toss. The Bears sit at 11-10-0-3, just three points back of division leading Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Needing a response last Sunday, the Bears blanked the Milwaukee Admirals, 3-0, at the Giant Center. Vitek Vanecek was perfect in goal for the Bears, stopping 21 shots, including a penalty shot from Milwaukee’s Trevor Murphy in the second period. Aaron Ness scored his first goal since returning to Hershey, and Mathias Bau and Jonas Siegenthaler also struck. The game was Milwaukee’s first in Hershey since the 2006 Calder Cup Finals.

On Sunday, Hershey saw the teddy bears fly in a 4-3 overtime win versus the rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Trailing 2-0, Liam O’Brien scored twice to the tie the game, before the contest eventually went to overtime deadlocked at three. Veteran Chris Bourque earned Hershey the win in the extra session with his tenth goal of the season at 1:15. 

-Friday, Dec. 8 at Lehigh Valley, 7:05 p.m.
-Saturday, Dec. 9 vs. Lehigh Valley, 7 p.m.
Penn State Health Ornament Night (First 5,000 fans), Toys for Tots Drive, Healthcare Night
-Sunday, Dec. 10 vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 5 p.m. 
CJ’s Tire & Automotive Ice Scraper Night (First 3,000 fans)

Wednesday, Dec. 6, 10:00 AM, Optional Practice, Giant Center
Thursday, Dec. 7, 10:30 AM, Giant Center
Friday, Dec. 8, 10:00 AM, AM Skate, Giant Center
Saturday, Dec. 9, 10:00 AM, Optional AM Skate, Giant Center

TUNA ATTACK: Hershey forward Liam O’Brien scored twice in Sunday’s 4-3 overtime victory. It was the second two-goal performance of O’Brien’s AHL career, and gave him six goals on the season. The forward set a personal-best last year with 10 goals, 20 assists, and 30 points.  

CZECH IT OUT: Hershey goaltender Vitek Vanecek earned his first shutout of the season on Saturday, stopping 21 shots in a 3-0 whitewashing of Milwaukee. The shutout was the sixth in Vanecek’s 43-game AHL career. It was also the 10th shutout of Vanecek’s professional career, as the Czech netminder recorded four clean sheets with ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays in 2015-16. 

BAU WOW: Forward Mathias Bau scored his seventh goal of the season in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Milwaukee. Bau ranks second on the club in goals, and has the best shooting percentage in the entire American Hockey League at 38.9%, scoring his seven goals on just 18 shots. 

CHRIS CLIMBS:  Another week, another milestone for Chris Bourque. The AHL’s leading scorer had two points, and notched the overtime winner, in the 4-3 victory on Sunday versus the Penguins. His performance pushed him to 563 career points with the Chocolate and White, helping him past Dunc Fisher for sixth all-time in franchise history. 

TEDDY BEAR TOSS RECORD: On Sunday, Hershey hosted the annual WGAL & CommunityAid Teddy Bear Toss. Liam O’Brien’s goal at 13:27 of the second period sent the teddy bears flying, and Hershey collected a team-record 25,017 teddy bears. The stuffed animals will be donated to over 30 charities & military families in the area including Boys & Girls Club, Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation, Bethesda Mission, and more. 

BEARS BULLETS: Hershey’s penalty kill ranks fifth in the AHL (85.6%) and has been perfect for three straight games, and four of the past six contests…Defender Tyler Lewington leads the AHL in penalty minutes with 71 and is tied for second in the AHL with five fights this season…Goaltender Pheonix Copley snapped a four-game skid by stopping 22 shots in Sunday’s victory…Forward Wayne Simpson’s next point will be the 100th of his AHL career…$99 Outdoor Classic Rivalry Packs remain on sale through 12/8. 

Information on this weekend's games, as well as the 2018 Capital BlueCross Outdoor Classic, 22-game and 12-game plans, and flex-10 ticket plans for the 2017-2018 season is available now by calling (717) 508-BEAR or by visiting  Flexible ticket plans start as low as $195 per seat.

Hershey Bears in a victory embrace

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