12/13 Game Preview: Bruins at Bears, 7 p.m.
Providence Bruins (16-6-2-0) at Hershey Bears (12-12-0-3)
Wednesday, December 13, 2017, 7 p.m
REFEREES: Furman South (44), Brandon Schrader (24)
LINESMEN: Tom DellaFranco (71), Luke Murray (92)
Broadcast Information (Pre-game 6:30 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 Mitch Lamoureux 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
BRUINS AT BEARS: The Hershey Bears host the Providence Bruins this evening for the first of two games this week at the Giant Center. The two teams rematch on Saturday night in Chocolate Town. Hershey has won three of its past four games on home ice, but fell in its last contest at home, dropping a 4-1 decision to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last Sunday. The Bruins are red-hot, having won seven straight games and vaulting to the top of the talented Atlantic Division. Tonight is Hersheypark Pass Night.
LAST TIME OUT: Last Sunday, Hershey saw a three-game winning streak at the Giant Center snapped at the hands of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Hershey fell to its rival, 4-1. The Penguins got goals from former Bear Christian Thomas, Daniel Sprong, and Thomas DiPauli to bolt out to a 3-0 lead in the opening period. Hershey responded with a late first period strike from forward Tyler Graovac in the final minute of the frame, but Wilkes-Barre/Scranton scored a 5-on-3 power play goal in the third period to put the game out of reach. The Bruins are coming off a 4-3 victory in overtime versus Utica last Sunday. Down 3-1 early in the third period, the Bruins rallied to tie the game, getting goals from Josh Hennessy and Rob O’Gara to tie the score. In overtime, Kenny Agostino won the game just 26 seconds into the extra session, striking for his sixth goal of the season. Despite the win, Providence was 0-for-7 on the power play.
LAST TIME VS. BRUINS: Tonight is the first meeting between the two teams since mid-November when the Bears and Bruins split a two-game set at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. After Hershey claimed a 4-1 victory on Nov. 17, the Bruins responded with a 4-1 victory of their own on Nov. 19. Liam O’Brien had the lone goal for the Bears in that contest, but second period goals from Colby Cave and Austin Czarnik helped the Bruins pull away. The contest was an offensive struggle that saw only 38 total shots (20-18 Providence). Jordan Binnington earned the win in goal for Providence with 17 saves.
400 FOR NESS: Tonight marks the 400th American Hockey League game for defender Aaron Ness. After starting the season with the Washington Capitals, Ness has enjoyed a strong return to Hershey, tallying five points (two goals, three assists) in six contests. He scored the game-winning marker for the Bears in Hershey’s 3-0 win over Milwaukee on Dec. 2. The blue liner has posted 172 points (36 goals, 136 assists) in 399 career AHL games with Bridgeport and Hershey. The Roseau, Minnesota native is in his third year with Hershey, and the final year of a two-year, two-way contract with the Washington Capitals.
BOURQUE BEATS BRUINS: Chris Bourque is currently the AHL’s leading scorer with 32 points, and the 31-year-old also leads the way for the Chocolate and White versus Providence. In three games versus the P-Bruins this season, Bourque has tallied five assists, giving him the most points of anyone in the season series. The 2015-16 AHL MVP is a former Providence Bruin, skating with the club during the 2012-13 season, scoring 38 points (10 goals, 28 assists) in 39 regular season games. The Boston native enters tonight’s game with points in four of his past five games.
SCOUTING PROVIDENCE: Providence enters tonight’s game as one of the AHL’s hottest teams. The Bruins have won seven straight games, including claiming three straight extra session victories, with two of the contests being overtime wins. In fact, of Providence’s seven straight wins, five of the contests have been one-goal games. The Bruins are 9-1-0-0 in the past 10 games with the lone setback being an 8-2 loss at Charlotte on Nov. 25. Since then, the Bruins have not lost, and have been led by Austin Czarnik’s nine points (two goals, seven assists) and Jordan Szwarz’s six points (four goals, two assists) in the win streak.
BEARS-BRUINS FAST FACTS: Hershey goaltender Vitek Vanecek has won his past three starts, surrendering a total of just three goals in that span. Vanecek shut out the Bruins in his last regular season start versus the club, stopping 28 shots in a 3-0 win during the season finale on Apr. 15…Hershey forward Travis Boyd is just three assists from 100 in his AHL career while teammate Riley Barber is just four points from 100 in his AHL career…The Bruins are fifth in the AHL in goals allowed, surrendering just 2.46 goals per game…Providence won its 2000th game in franchise history on Sunday, becoming only the seventh team to reach that mark…Providence’s assistant athletic trainer is Dustin Stuck, the son of legendary Hershey head trainer Dan Stuck.
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