STAR WARS Night Preview: Checkers at Bears, 5 p.m.
Charlotte Checkers (21-13-0-1) at Hershey Bears (16-16-1-3)
Sunday, January 7, 2018, 5:00 p.m
REFEREES: Evgenii Romasko (39), Cameron Voss (41)
LINESMEN: Tom DellaFranco (71), Tom George (61)
Broadcast Information (Pre-game 4:30 PM)
RADIO: WQIC-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, WOYK 1350-AM, Hershey Bears App, Listen at Giant Center on 88.9 FM--Zack Fisch, the Voice of the Bears, and Mitch Lamoureux on the call
LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream
WATCH LIVE: AHLLive.com
AHL MEDIA KIT FOR TONIGHT'S GAME
CHECKERS AT BEARS: The Hershey Bears rematch the Charlotte Checkers for STAR WARS Night at the Giant Center. It is the fourth of eight matchups on the 2017-18 regular season between the Bears and Checkers, and second of four in Chocolate Town. Charlotte will be seeking retribution after Hershey scored five unanswered goals, cruising to a 5-1 victory. Pheonix Copley earned first star honors in the victory, while five different Bears scored.
STAR WARS NIGHT: Tonight is STAR WARS Night, and the Bears will be wearing special STAR WARS themed jerseys that will be auctioned off after the game. Fan are encouraged to dress up, but please remove any masks upon entering Giant Center and when going up and down venue steps. Security is permitted to ask you to remove your mask at any point during the night. Light sabers or any weapons of any kinds are not permitted in the venue.
LAST NIGHT: Hershey scored a 5-1 victory over the Checkers last night at Giant Center in the Checkers first visit to Hershey since 2014. The Bears struck for five unanswered goals, including three in the third period, en route to the win. Hershey got goals from John Albert, Riley Barber, Colby Williams, Zach Sill, and Wayne Simpson to earn the win. Netminder Pheonix Copley stopped 32 shots between the pipes to tally his second consecutive win between the pipes. The Bears went 1-for-4 on the power play, and held Charlotte scoreless on two power play attempts. Charlotte outshot Hershey 33-23 in the contest. The win was the Bears first over the Checkers at Giant Center since Mar. 25, 2012 when Hershey scored a 3-2 shootout win. Current Bears captain Garrett Mitchell scored the game-winning marker in the fifth round of the shootout to earn Hershey the victory.
DEPTH SCORING: The Bears got goals from five different players last night in the victory over the Checkers. For Hershey, depth scoring will be critical to the team’s success going forward. Forwards John Albert and Zach Sill, as well as defender Colby Williams tallied their third goals of the season last night, while 12 different players scored points. Hershey’s two leading scorers, Chris Bourque and Travis Boyd were both held without points last night in the win. The victory marked just the second time Hershey has won this season when both Bourque and Boyd had been held pointless. Both players were held off the scoresheet on Nov. 25 at Hartford, a 4-1 win for the Chocolate and White.
DYNAMITE DUSTIN: Forward Dustin Gazley notched a pair of assists last night in Hershey’s 5-1 victory. It was the fifth time in Gazley’s career that the forward has tallied two helpers, and the second time this season. Gazley enters tonight’s game with 99 career points as a member of the Chocolate and White, scoring 44 goals and 55 assists. Gazley has 14 points (three goals, 11 assists) in 33 games this season.
COLBY VS. CHECKERS: Defender Colby Williams scored his third goal of the season last night, striking on a rebound in the third period. Williams is just one off of his four goals scored last season in his rookie campaign with the Chocolate and White. Williams enjoys playing Charlotte, as two of his three goals have come versus the Checkers this season. He also tallied a shorthanded goal in the Bears 5-4 victory in Charlotte on Dec. 20. The blue liner has 28 points (seven goals, 21 assists) in 96 career AHL games with the Bears.
STRINGING WINS TOGETHER: After a win last night, the Bears look to keep the momentum rolling tonight and start a win streak. The Bears have not won back-to-back games since Dec. 2-3, when they beat Milwaukee 3-0, and topped Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 4-3 in overtime the next night. The Bears have won two or more games in a row just four times this season, with the club’s longest win streak being three games from Nov. 5-11.
BOURQUE’S BIG WEEK: USA Hockey announced Monday afternoon that Chris Bourque was named to the U.S. Men's Olympic Ice Hockey Team for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games. Bourque, 31, ranks second in the AHL with 39 points (11 goals, 28 assists) in 36 games this season. 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. Bourque’s big week continued on Thursday when he was named to the 2018 AHL All-Star Classic roster for the Atlantic Division. This is the sixth all-star selection for Bourque, a mark which ties an AHL record.
BEARS-CHECKERS FAST FACTS: Hershey forward Travis Boyd enters tonight’s game with 99 career AHL assists…Charlotte forward Valentin Zykov had his eight game point streak snapped last night. He still leads the AHL with 19 goals this season…After allowing three power play goals on Dec. 27 versus Bridgeport, Hershey has been perfect on the penalty kill for three straight games, going 9-for-9…Charlotte’s Warren Foegele is tied for the league lead with four shorthanded goals…On the flip side, Hershey is the only team in the league that has not allowed a shorthanded goal…Hershey assistant coach Ryan Murphy and associate goaltending coach Alex Westlund are both former members of the Checkers during their ECHL days.
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