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Weekly Release #18: Bears Look to Start Climb

Weekly Release #18: Bears Look to Start Climb


The Hershey Bears ended a nine-game skid last week, but the club still only collected two of a possible six points, and at 18-23-3-4, sits in last place in the Atlantic Division. With 28 games to play, including 17 versus the Atlantic Division, the Bears will have to put together an impressive run to obtain a playoff position. 

Last Friday, Hershey opened its first three in three since December with a 4-1 loss at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Riley Barber opened the scoring for the Bears just 6:22 into the game, but the Penguins scored four unanswered goals, including two markers from defender Andrey Pedan in the win.

Saturday evening saw Hershey snap the long losing streak in a 6-5 shootout win over Charlotte at the Giant Center. The Bears charged out to a 3-0 lead on Nathan Walker, Barber, and Garrett Mitchell goals, but the game would sit tied 4-4 going into the third period. After Aleksi Saarela gave Charlotte the lead, Hershey’s Travis Boyd tied the game on the power play at 16:12 of the third period to end the contest 5-5 through regulation time. After overtime yielded no results, the game progressed to a shootout where Chris Bourque and Boyd scored for the Bears, and netminder Vitek Vanecek stopped four-of-five Charlotte attempts to earn the victory.

The Bears and Checkers rematched on Sunday afternoon and Charlotte got the better of Hershey in a 5-2 win. The Checkers scored five goals in the first period to doom the Chocolate and White. Hershey would get goals from Barber and Tyler Graovac in the loss

-Friday, Feb. 9 at Lehigh Valley, 7:05 p.m 
-Saturday, Feb. 10 vs. Hartford, 7 p.m.
Papa John's Pizza Night (All Fans), Scout Night
-Sunday, Feb. 11 vs. Rochester, 5 p.m.
Chocolate Covered February (All Fans), Hometown Heroes 

Wednesday, Feb. 7:  9:45 AM, Skills Practice, Hersheypark Arena
Thursday, Feb. 8: 10:15 AM, Practice, Klick Lewis Arena
Friday, Feb. 9: 10:00 AM, Morning Skate, Hersheypark Arena
Saturday, Feb. 10: 10:00 AM, Optional AM Skate, Hersheypark Arena
*All dates and times are subject to change. Follow @TheHersheyBears on Twitter for updates.


POWERED UP POWER PLAY: Saturday’s effort on the power play saw Hershey go 3-for-5. It was only the second time this season Hershey scored three power play goals, with the other occurrence coming in a 3-2 win over Providence on Oct. 28. Hershey’s three power play goal effort was the first time in 32 games that Hershey had scored multi-power play goals, a stretch dating back to Nov. 11. Hershey had previously scored two or more power play goals six times in the first 14 games.

SHOOTOUT WINNER: Saturday’s victory was Hershey’s first shootout win on home ice since 2016. The last time the Bears won a shootout at Giant Center was on Apr. 17, 2016 as Hershey topped the rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 2-1, in the regular season finale. The game marked the AHL debut for netminder Vitek Vanecek who had been recalled from South Carolina (ECHL) for the contest. Vanecek stopped both shootout attempts he faced, and Riley Barber scored the shootout winning goal.  

ROCKING RILEY: Forward Riley Barber has goals in three straight games for the Chocolate and White. Barber struck for his first multi-goal game on the season on Saturday, collecting two power play markers. Barber leads Hershey in goals (16), power play tallies (8), and game-winning goals (5). He scored a career-best 26 goals during his rookie campaign in 2015-16. 

SOUTH KOREA BOUND: Forward Chris Bourque has left the Bears to skate for Team USA in the 2018 Winter Olympics. The six-time all-star departs as the AHL’s leading scorer with 45 points (12 goals, 33 assists). He is one of three AHL players to skate for Team USA, which opens play on Feb. 14. 

BEARS BITES: Anthony Peluso played in his 400th professional game last Sunday, fighting Zack Stortini in a marathon scrap that lasted nearly two minutes and 15 seconds…Hershey’s four-game win streak on Super Bowl Sunday was snapped in the 5-2 loss to Charlotte…Forward Jeremy Langlois and Liam O’Brien are hopeful to return to the lineup this weekend after missing time with upper-body injuries…Heading into Friday’s game, the Bears are 0-4-0-0 at the PPL Center this season…Saturday’s opponent, the Hartford Wolf Pack, are on a 6-0-1-0 point streak...Chris Bourque and Travis Boyd’s 20 power play points are tied for third in the American Hockey League. 

Hershey Bears in a victory embrace

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