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Game Preview: Bears at Sound Tigers, 7 p.m.

Game Preview: Bears at Sound Tigers, 7 p.m.

12/26/2017 -

Hershey Bears (14-15-0-3) at Bridgeport Sound Tigers (14-12-2-1)
Wednesday December 27, 2017, 7:00 p.m
Webster Bank Arena

REFEREES: Terry Koharski (10), Geoff Miller (28)
LINESMEN: Kevin Briganti (39), Brent Colby (7)

Broadcast Information (Pre-game 6:30 PM)
RADIO: WQIC-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, WOYK 1350-AM, Hershey Bears App--Zack Fisch, the Voice of the Bears, on the call
LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream


BEARS AT SOUND TIGERS: The Hershey Bears visit the Webster Bank Arena for the first time this season to battle the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The Bears have won two of their past three games, while the Sound Tigers have struggled of late, going 3-5-1-1 over their past 10 games. Hershey went just 1-3-0-0 at the Webster Bank Arena last season.   

LAST TIME OUT: Hershey ended a three-game losing streak on home ice last Saturday, topping the lowly Binghamton Devils 5-2 at Giant Center. Hershey got multi-point games from five different players, including a pair of goals from forward Travis Boyd. The Bears took a 2-0 lead into the third period and scored three goals to seal the victory on home ice. Vitek Vanecek stopped 31 shots to earn his second straight win in goal, and the Bears earned their eighth win on home ice despite being outshot 33-23. Bridgeport is also coming off a convincing win last Saturday as they topped Hartford at the XL Center, 5-1. Penn State product Casey Bailey and Devon Toews each had a goal and an assist and Chris Gibson stopped 22 shots to earn the win in goal. Bridgeport was a perfect 6-for-6 on the penalty kill in the win. 

LAST TIME VS. BRIDGEPORT: Tonight marks the second meeting between the two teams this season. The clubs last met on Nov. 26 when Bridgeport captured a 3-2 victory at the Giant Center in a shootout. The game was a battle of the Bourque brothers. Hershey’s Chris Bourque scored the first two goals of the game, but younger brother and former Bear Ryan Bourque scored twice, including the game-tying goal at 19:25 of the third period to force overtime. In the shootout, Chris Bourque scored again for Hershey, but Casey Bailey scored the deciding shootout goal in the latter half of the third round to earn the Sound Tigers the win. Hershey was 1-for-7 on the power play while Bridgeport was 1-for-5. 

BARBER HITS CENTURY MARK: Last Saturday, Hershey forward Riley Barber joined the century club with a two-point game in Hershey’s 5-2 win over Binghamton. The forward’s third period goal was the 100th point in his AHL career. All of the 23 year-old’s points have come over the past three seasons with the Chocolate and White, as he has notched 47 goals and 53 assists with the Bears. Barber has 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists) this season, and is tied for the team lead with three game-winning goals. He has notched the winning marker in each of Hershey’s last two victories. 

LOCK NESS MONSTER: Since being loaned from the Washington Capitals, defender Aaron Ness has had a monster presence on the blue line for Hershey. After posting just 17 points last year, the native of Roseau, Minnesota has scored at a point per game pace with Hershey registering 11 points (two goals, seven assists) in 11 games. Ness has registered four games this season in which he has tallied two assists, including three multi-assist performances over his last four games. Ness is no stranger to Bridgeport, serving as the captain of the Sound Tigers in 2014-15, and skating in parts of five seasons with Bridgeport from 2010-2015. Ness has posted 178 AHL points (36 goals, 142 assists) in 404 games with Bridgeport and Hershey in his career. 

HERSHEY TIES: Bridgeport head coach Brent Thompson was a former Hershey Bear, spending parts of three seasons with the Chocolate and White (2000-01 to 2002-03). He served as the captain of the club in 2002-03, and skated in 155 total games with Hershey, scoring 44 points (10 goals, 34 assists) and tallying 356 penalty minutes. Additionally, Bridgeport forward John Stevens is the son of former Hershey defender John Stevens. The elder Stevens, now the head coach of the Los Angeles Kings, played for the Bears in 1984-85, and from 1986-1990. The younger Stevens has five points (one goal, four assists) in 21 games this season for the Sound Tigers. 

BEARS-SOUND TIGERS FAST FACTS: Travis Boyd enters tonight’s game just two assists shy of 100 in his AHL career…Vitek Vanecek’s next start will be his 50th in the American Hockey League…Tonight’s game features two of the AHL’s toughest players. Bridgeport’s Ross Johnston leads the AHL with 99 penalty minutes while Tyler Lewington is third with 88 minutes in the sin bin…Tonight ends a streak of Hershey playing six straight games on a Sunday in Bridgeport. The last time Hershey played a non-Sunday contest at the Webster Bank Arena was Nov. 4, 2015, a game in which Paul Carey scored twice to lead Hershey to a 4-2 win. 

Hershey Bears in a victory embrace

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