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Game Preview: Amerks at Bears, 5 p.m.

Game Preview: Amerks at Bears, 5 p.m.

02/11/2018 -

Rochester Americans (25-13-6-5) at Hershey Bears (18-25-3-4)
Sunday, February 11, 2018, 5 p.m. 
Giant Center

REFEREES: Ryan Murphy (5), Evgenii Romasko (39)
LINESMEN: Colin Gates (3), Bill Lyons (27)

Broadcast Information (Pre-game 4:30 PM)
RADIO: WQIC-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, WOYK 1350-AM, 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


AMERICANS AT BEARS:  The Hershey Bears conclude a three in three stretch against the second oldest AHL franchise, the Rochester Americans. The Americans are the top minor league affiliate for the Buffalo Sabres. Tonight is the only meeting between the two clubs at Giant Center this season, and the final meeting in the season series. Both teams are struggling entering tonight’s game, as Hershey is 1-8-0-1 over the past 10 games, while the Amerks are 2-4-2-2.

LAST TIME OUT: The Bears were downed last night by the Hartford Wolf Pack, 5-2, extending Hartford’s point streak to 10 games. Hartford scored on four consecutive shots in the first period, and chased Pheonix Copley from the game after three tallies on five shots. Dustin Gazley and Liam O’Brien scored for the Chocolate and White to cut the deficit to three. The defeat marked the third consecutive game Hershey fell into a 5-0 hole, dating back to February 4th versus the Charlotte Checkers. Hershey finished the night 0-for-5 on the power play and only 2-for-5 on the penalty kill. The Amerks were also in action last night, falling 5-3 at Lehigh Valley. Rochester dug themselves into a 3-0 hole before Matt Tennyson scored. Sahir Gill and Zach Redmond also tallied for Rochester. The Americans went 1-for-4 on the power play and surrendered two power play goals. 

LAST TIME VS. ROCHESTER: Tonight is the second meeting between the two teams this year, with the first matchup being one of the wildest games of the season. The Americans outlasted the Bears with a 7-6 shootout win on Nov. 3 at the Blue Cross Arena. Hershey took a 3-0 lead in the first 6:56 on goals from Travis Boyd, Chris Bourque, and Anthony Peluso. However Rochester turned the table, scoring six goals in the second period to take a 6-4 lead after 40 minutes. Hershey tied the game with two goals in the third period as Lucas Johansen and Hubert Labrie struck. In the shootout, Eric Cornel tallied the winning goal, beating Pheonix Copley in the bottom of the third round to give the Amerks the victory. Both teams had big nights on the power play as Hershey was 2-for-6 and Rochester was 3-for-7.  

SUCCESS VS AMERKS: Hershey has won four straight home games versus the Americans. The Bears last loss to Rochester on home ice came in the club’s home opener on Oct. 20, 2012. Despite three power play goals from the Bears, Hershey fell 8-7. Jeff Taffe had a goal and three assists while Garrett Stafford had four assists for the Chocolate and White. Ryan Stoa also struck for a pair of goals. Dany Sabourin took the loss in goal for Hershey, stopping 22 shots, while future Bear David Leggio stopped 32 shots for the Amerks. 

STRONGER STARTS: The Bears have fallen down 5-0 in three straight games, and the club has been outscored 10-0 in the opening period in the current three-game losing streak. The Bears have now allowed the game’s first goal 30 times this season, posting a 7-21-2-0 record when they fall behind to start the contest. Hershey is also just 3-18-1-0 when trailing after the first period of play this season. Hershey is 11-0-1-2 when leading through 20 minutes of action. The Bears have been outscored 54-42 in the first period this season. 

AARON’S ALRIGHT: Hershey defender Aaron Ness tallied an assist last night in the 5-2 loss to Hartford. For Ness, the defender now has 17 points (two goals, 15 assists) on the season. This point total comes in just 29 games, and matches his output of 17 points last season in 51 total contests with the Chocolate and White. Ness’ assist last night was his first helper in five games. The blue liner had scored 184 career points (36 goals, 148 assists) in 422 AHL games with Bridgeport and Hershey. 

GAZLEY GETS GOING: Hershey forward Dustin Gazley scored the Bears first goal of the game yesterday, marking the second straight contest Gazley has not only scored, but also notched the Chocolate and White’s first goal of the game. Gazley has scored goals in two straight for the first time since he struck on Jan. 17, 2016 versus Springfield and Jan. 29, 2016 at Syracuse. Gazley has scored 112 points (52 goals, 60 assists) in 254 career AHL games with Binghamton and Hershey. 

PENALTY KILL PROBLEMS: A bright spot for the majority of the first-half season, Hershey’s penalty kill has hit a snag recently. The club has surrendered a power play goal against in seven straight games, dating back to Jan. 26 versus Providence. In the seven games, Hershey is just 19-for-30 on the penalty kill, a mark of 63.3%. The Bears penalty kill has fallen to 16th in the AHL in the recent skid. However, the addition of Jeremy Langlois who returned from injury yesterday will help Hershey get on the right track. He is considered one of the club’s best penalty killers. 

BEARS-AMERICANS FAST FACTS: The Bears are 4-5-1-2 overall on Sunday’s this season, including 3-3-1-2 on home ice…Liam O’Brien scored his ninth goal of the season last night. It was his first goal since Dec. 27. O’Brien is just one goal from tying his career best of 10 goals, set last season…Rochester’s roster features five players who skated last season with the rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. These players followed new Buffalo general manager Jason Botterill who was previously with the Penguins organization...Ten players on Rochester’s current roster have seen time in the NHL with their affiliate, the Buffalo Sabres this season…Rochester’s Barry Goers hails from Ivyland, Pennsylvania…Rochester goaltender Adam Wilcox was collegiate teammates with Hershey’s Travis Boyd at the University of Minnesota for three seasons.

Hershey Bears in a victory embrace

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