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Weekly Release #13: New Year Means Fresh Start

Weekly Release #13: New Year Means Fresh Start


As 2018 is upon us, the Hershey Bears hope the New Year brings a fresh start. The club enters January with a 15-16-1-3 record, which puts them in sixth place in the Atlantic Division. The Bears are in a string of 18 straight games (Dec. 27-Feb. 10) versus Atlantic Division opponents, giving them a chance to go on a streak that will see them climb into the playoff picture.

Last week Hershey went 1-1-1-0 in three contests to end 2017. The week opened with a post-Christmas contest at Bridgeport on Wednesday. The Sound Tigers prevailed with a 3-1 victory. Liam O’Brien scored for Hershey 1:38 into the game to make it 1-0 Bears, but Bridgeport goaltender Christopher Gibson held Hershey off the scoreboard for the remainder of the evening with 21 saves.

On Friday, the Bears doubled up the Springfield Thunderbirds, 4-2, at the MassMutual Center. Trailing 2-1 after the first period, the Bears got goals from Wayne Simpson and Mathias Bau to take the lead, and Riley Barber added an insurance marker to seal the win in the third period. Pheonix Copley stopped 26 shots in goal to earn his first win since Dec. 3.

On Saturday, Tyler Graovac had Hershey’s lone goal in a 2-1 overtime loss to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at Giant Center. Vitek Vanecek stopped 36 shots in the loss. Dominik Simon had the game-winning tally at 3:05 of the extra session.
-Saturday, Jan. 6 vs. CHARLOTTE, 7 p.m.
-Sunday, Jan. 7 vs CHARLOTTE, 5 p.m.

STAR WARS Night: Variety of STAR WARS characters available for photo opportunities, Players will be wearing STAR WARS themed jerseys that will be auctioned off post-game to benefit local charities

Friday, Jan. 5, 10:30 a.m., Practice, Giant Center
Saturday, Jan. 6, 10:00 a.m., AM Skate, Giant Center

BOURQUE MAKES TEAM USA: On Monday, USA Hockey announced that forward Chris Bourque was named to the U.S. Men's Olympic Ice Hockey Team for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games. Bourque, 31, is currently the American Hockey League's leading scorer with 39 points (11 goals, 28 assists) in 35 games this season. An alternate captain with Hershey, Bourque leads the club in all offensive categories, and his 28 assists are tied for the most in the AHL. The Boston, Mass. native has previously represented Team USA at the 2005 and 2006 World Junior Championships, and led USA to the 2013 Deutschland Cup title.

WALKER IS BACK: Last Thursday, Nathan Walker returned to the Chocolate and White when he was assigned to the Bears by the Washington Capitals. The fan-favorite in Hershey has skated in 204 career AHL games with the Bears, tallying 80 points (34 goals, 46 assists). Walker struck for 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists) for Hershey in 2016-17 during a season that saw the forward limited to 58 games due to injury. The 5-foot-9, 186-pound forward has also played in 32 Calder Cup Playoff games with the Bears, scoring 11 points (four goals, seven assists).

AARON’S ALRIGHT: After posting 17 points in 51 games last season with Hershey, blue liner Aaron Ness is on pace to blow away his numbers from last season. Since being assigned by Washington in late November, Ness has collected 13 points (two goals, 11 assists) in just 14 games. His point total is just two behind Lucas Johansen for the team lead among defenders. Ness has 180 points (36 goals, 144 assists) in 407 career AHL games.

BAU’S CLUTCH: Last Friday in Springfield, forward Mathias Bau scored his ninth goal of the season in a 4-2 Hershey victory. The goal was Bau’s team-leading fourth game-winning goal of the season, a mark tied for second in the American Hockey League.

BEARS BITES: All 10 of Hershey’s games in January are versus the Atlantic Division, including eight games versus teams above the Bears in the standings. The Bears don’t play a non-Atlantic Division opponent until. Feb. 11 vs. Rochester…In addition to Chris Bourque, former Bears forward Ryan Stoa was also named to the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team.  

Information on this weekend's games, as well as the 2018 Capital BlueCross Outdoor Classic and flex-10 ticket plans for the 2017-2018 season is available now by calling (717) 508-BEAR or by visiting  

Hershey Bears in a victory embrace

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