Game Preview: Penguins at Bears, 5 p.m.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (13-7-1-1) at Hershey Bears (12-11-0-3)
Sunday, December 10, 2017, 5:00 p.m
REFEREES: Reid Anderson (49), Jeremy Tufts (78)
LINESMEN: Colin Gates (3), Bill Lyons (27)
Broadcast Information (Pre-game 4:30 PM)
RADIO: WQIC-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, Listen at the Giant Center via 88.9 FM, Hershey Bears App--Zack Fisch, the Voice of the Bears, and Freddy Cassivi on the call
LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream, Caps Radio 24/7
WATCH LIVE: AHLLive.com
AHL MEDIA KIT FOR TONIGHT'S GAME
PENGUINS AT BEARS: The Hershey Bears look to close out the week with a victory tonight over their I-81 rival the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The Bears have won three of the past four games, and have won three straight games at the Giant Center. Meanwhile, the Penguins are rested after not playing last night, but have dropped six of the past seven games.
LAST TIME OUT: Last night, Hershey doubled up the rival Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 4-2, at Giant Center. Hershey netminder Vitek Vanecek was sensational in goal, stopping 24 shots and winning his third consecutive start. The Bears bolted out to a 2-0 lead through 40 minutes. Lucas Johansen scored his fifth goal of the season midway through the opening period, and Chris Bourque tallied his 11th goal of the season in the second stanza. The two teams traded goals in the third period, but goals from Garrett Mitchell and Tyler Graovac helped Hershey pull away. The Bears were a perfect 5-for-5 on the penalty kill and won their third straight game at Giant Center.
LAST TIME VS PENGUINS: Hershey’s last matchup with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was just one week ago, and the Bears scored a 4-3 comeback victory in overtime on the club’s annual Teddy Bear Toss Night. The Bears trailed 2-0 after the opening period, but Liam O’Brien scored at 8:49 of the second period to send the teddy bears flying, and cut the lead to one. O’Brien, and Jonas Siegenthaler scored in the third period, but Tom Sestito tied the game at three to force overtime. On the power play in overtime, Chris Bourque scored his 10th goal of the season 1:15 into the extra session to give Hershey the win. The Penguins had previously won four straight overtime games versus Hershey, and the victory was the Bears first in the extra session versus the Penguins since Travis Boyd scored in Game 7 of the 2016 Atlantic Division Finals.
FROM DJOOS TO JO JO: Hershey defender Lucas Johansen is off to a strong start in his rookie season in the American Hockey League. The 20-year-old defender tallied the opening goal of last night’s game, giving him goals in two straight games. The 2016 Washington first rounder has tallied 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in 25 games this season. Johansen’s five goals is the most by a Hershey rookie defender since Christian Djoos, now with the Washington Capitals, scored eight goals with the Chocolate and White during the 2015-16 campaign.
PENALTY KILL PERFECTION: Hershey’s penalty kill played a large role in last night’s victory over the Phantoms. The Bears went a perfect 5-for-5 on the penalty kill, and prevented Lehigh Valley from tallying during an early two-man advantage in the opening minutes of the game. Hershey’s penalty kill has been flawless over the past five games, going 11-for-11. Over the past 10 games, Hershey’s penalty kill has gone 29-for-31 (93.5%). The Bears currently rank fourth in the AHL with an 86.4% penalty kill.
TALE OF TWO CITIES: While each team has earned a win at home and on the road this season, the I-81 rivalry has been heavily dominated by the home team. Over the past five years, the Bears are 17-5-4-0 at the Giant Center versus Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Meanwhile, the Bears are just 7-15-4-0 over the past five years in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
BEARS-PENGUINS FAST FACTS: Tonight is Aaron Ness’ 399th career AHL game…Hershey netminder Pheonix Copley is 6-0-0-0 all-time versus Wilkes-Barre/Scranton…Tonight’s game features Hershey’s Mathias Bau (8-for-20, 40%) and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Ryan Haggerty (9-for-25, 36%) who are the top two players in the AHL in shooting percentage…Daniel Sprong’s six power play goals are second in the AHL among rookies…Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is facing a similar situation to what Hershey faced early this season. Both the Penguins top goaltenders Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith are currently recalled to the NHL, and since DeSmith’s recall, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has lost four of five games.
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