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Weekly Release #20: Perfect Canada Trip Has Bears Rolling

Weekly Release #20: Perfect Canada Trip Has Bears Rolling


A road trip north of the border to Canada might be just what the Hershey Bears needed. The club swept a three-game road trip in Canada, and moved its win streak to a season-high four games. The Bears sit at 22-25-3-4, and the club moved up a spot in the Atlantic Division. While Hershey still sits 12 points back of a playoff spot, the Bears play two Atlantic Division rivals this week, visiting Hartford Friday, and then Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Sunday. The Bears also return to home ice on Saturday as they host the Rockford IceHogs at Giant Center.
The trip to Canada started with a victory last Friday night in Laval. In the club’s first ever meeting with the Laval Rocket, the Bears came away with a 6-3 victory. Hershey tied a season-high with six tallies, and four goals came from forward Travis Boyd. Liam O’Brien also struck for two shorthanded goals, and Vitek Vanecek made 17 saves to earn the win for the Chocolate and White. The Bears went 1-for-4 on the power play while Laval was 0-for-4.

On Saturday, Hershey blanked the Belleville Senators, 3-0, in the club’s first ever visit to Yardmen Arena. Connor Hobbs, Wayne Simpson, and Tyler Lewington each had goals for the Bears, and netminder Pheonix Copley was sensational in goal, stopping all 28 shots he saw to earn the game’s first star. The win gave Hershey only its second three game winning streak this season.

The week concluded with a Monday afternoon game at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, as the Bears beat the league’s best team, the Toronto Marlies, 5-2. Hershey scored three goals in the second period, Pheonix Copley stopped 27 shots, and Liam O’Brien added a pair of empty net goals in the win.

-Friday, Feb. 23 at Hartford, 7:15 p.m
-Saturday, Feb. 24 vs Rockford, 7 p.m.
Banking/Finance Night, College Night delivered by Papa John’s
-Sunday, Feb. 25 at W-B/Scranton, 3:05 p.m.

*Practice schedule to be determined. Follow @TheHersheyBears on Twitter for updates.


BOW DOWN TO BOYD: After spending a week in the hospital with his daughter, Hayden, Travis Boyd had an emotional return to the ice on Friday in Laval. Boyd had the best night of his AHL career, scoring four goals in the 5-2 win. The hat-trick was the second of Boyd’s AHL career, and his first since Feb. 6, 2016 when he struck three times in Hershey’s 5-1 win over Lehigh Valley. However, his fourth goal put him in rare company. He became the only player in the AHL to score four goals this season in a single game, and he is the first Bear to do it since Paul Carey collected four markers in a win over Hartford on Mar. 18, 2017.

PHEONIX RISES: Goaltender Pheonix Copley’s shutout on Saturday was his first of the season, his fourth as a Bear, and the eighth of his AHL regular season career. For Copley, the strong performance hopes to get him back on track. The 3-0 win was his first victory in 10 appearances, dating back to Jan. 6, and the first time he had allowed less than three goals in a start since Jan. 14. He followed up the performance with a 27-save gem in a 5-2 win over Toronto on Monday.

TUNA’S TIME: Hershey’s Liam O’Brien is now the team leader in shorthanded goals after posting the first two shorthanded tallies of his career in Friday’s win at Laval. For O’Brien, the forward has also passed a personal plateau. O’Brien’s goals Friday were his 10th and 11th of the season, surpassing his career-high of 10 goals accomplished in 30-point campaign in 2016-17. He added two more goals in Monday’s game at Toronto.

HELLO HOBBS: Hershey defender Connor Hobbs scored his second professional goal in Saturday’s win at Belleville. Hobbs scored Hershey’s opening goal in the 3-0 win, meaning that each of his two goals this season have been game-winning markers. The goal was Hobbs’ first since Oct. 28 when he deposited a late go-ahead goal to give the Bears a 3-2 win over Providence at Giant Center. His most recent goal on Saturday ended his 23-game goalless drought. 

BEARS BITES: Forward Chris Bourque had two assists for Team USA in a 2-1 win over Slovakia on Feb. 16 for his first points of the Olympics…Dustin Gazley had a career-best three assists in Monday’s win at Toronto.

Hershey Bears in a victory embrace

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