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Weekly Release #16: Bears Look Ahead after Outdoor Classic

Weekly Release #16: Bears Look Ahead after Outdoor Classic

01/23/2018 - CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE HERSHEY BEARS WEEKLY RELEASE #16

As the end of January approaches, the Hershey Bears have returned indoors after hosting the 2018 Capital BlueCross Outdoor Classic last weekend. The Bears sit eight points out of a playoff spot entering play this week at 17-18-3-4. The Bears are winless in five straight games, although they have collected points in three of the five losses.

Hershey is coming off a jam-packed weekend in which they welcomed a crowd of 13,091 to Hersheypark Stadium on Saturday, but the Lehigh Valley Phantoms spoiled the party, winning the 2018 Capital BlueCross Outdoor Classic, 5-2. Lehigh Valley goaltender Alex Lyon stole the show, stopping 41 Hershey shots.

Lehigh Valley was off and running with two early goals within the game's first 8:28. Colin McDonald open the scoring for the Phantoms at 2:59, and then a shot by Alex Krushelnyski popped into the air behind Hershey goaltender Pheonix Copley and across the goal line to make it 2-0.

Hershey finally broke through at 16:54 of the second period. Nathan Walker scored after firing in a rebound following a Travis Boyd shot from the left wing boards. However, with just 6.4 seconds left in the second period, Lehigh Valley’s Chris Conner scored the eventual game-winning goal to make it 3-1 Phantoms.

The Bears came close to tying the score after Travis Boyd tallied to make it 3-2 in the closing minutes, but the Phantoms hit two empty nets to seal the win. T.J. Brennan struck at 18:21, and Conner tallied his second goal at 19:22. Hershey fired a season-high 43 shots, while Lehigh Valley posted 31 shots on net. Both teams went 0-for-2 on the power play. Hershey fell to 0-1-2-0 all-time in outdoor games. 

UPCOMING GAMES/PROMOTIONS: 
-Wednesday, Jan. 24 vs. W-B/Scranton, 7 p.m.
UGI Garrett Mitchell Bobblehead (First 5,000)
 Dietz and Watson Dollar Dog Night, Mascot Mania
-Friday, Jan. 26 at Providence, 7:05 p.m.
-Saturday, Jan. 27 at Bridgeport, 7 p.m.


WEEKLY PRACTICE SCHEDULE: 
Wednesday, Jan. 24: 10:30 AM, Morning Skate, Giant Center
Thursday, Jan. 25: NO PRACTICE, TRAVEL DAY
Friday, Jan. 26: 11:30 AM, Morning Skate, Dunkin’ Donuts Center
Saturday, Jan. 27: 11:30 AM, Optional AM Skate, Webster Bank Arena

BEARS WIN ALUMNI GAME: In a battle of some of the greatest players in AHL and NHL history, the Bears came out victorious, defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 9-5 in the 2018 Capital BlueCross Outdoor Classic Alumni Game last Friday. Standouts in the Alumni Game included Hershey's Graham Mink and Mike McHugh who each had two goals and an assist. Hershey got goals from Boyd Kane, Nick Kypreos, Rob Shearer, Mink (2), McHugh (2), Vinny Prospal, and Dennis Bonvie. The game featured Hockey Hall of Fame Ray Bourque as an honorary player for the Bears, and the ‘Legion of Doom’ line playing for the Flyers. 

700 FOR BOURQUE: Saturday’s Outdoor Classic was a milestone night for Hershey’s Chris Bourque. The forward skated in his 700th AHL game, posting an assist on Travis Boyd’s third period goal. In his AHL career, Bourque has tallied 681 points (231 goals, 450 assists) with Portland, Providence, Hartford, and Hershey. He is tied for the AHL lead with 42 points this season. 

WALK THIS WAY: Forward Nathan Walker scored his first goal of the 2017-18 season in the Outdoor Classic on Saturday. The forward’s second period marker was his first goal since Oct. 6 when he struck in his NHL debut with the Washington Capitals in a 6-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Since being reassigned to Hershey by Washington in late December, Walker has five points (one goal, four assists) in nine games.  

SHOTS, SHOTS, SHOTS: Hershey’s lack of scoring in the five-game winless streak isn’t from a lack of chances. In four of the five games, Hershey has outshot their opponent while firing 30 or more shots. The Bears have posted 36, 30, 29, 37, and a season-high 43 shots in the past five games. Hershey’s season average shots per game is 26.64, a mark which is 29th in the AHL. 

BEARS BITES: The Bears send condolences to the family of former Hershey forward Andrew Carroll who died at the age of 32. Carroll spent two seasons with Hershey (2010-12), playing in 93 regular season games, scoring nine points (two goals, seven assists) and posting 184 penalty minutes…The AHL’s All-Star Classic starts this weekend in Utica. The Skills Competition is Sunday, while the All-Star Challenge is Monday. Hershey’s Chris Bourque will represent the Atlantic Division in Utica as he makes his sixth All-Star Classic appearance.

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