Game Preview: Bears at Wolf Pack, 7:15 p.m.
Hershey Bears (22-25-3-4) at Hartford Wolf Pack (25-23-4-3)
Friday, February 23, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
REFEREE: Chris Waterstadt (88)
LINESMEN: Glen Cooke (6), Kyle Richetelle (47)
Broadcast Information (Pre-game 6:45 p.m.)
RADIO: WQIC-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, WOYK 1350-AM (joined in progress), Zack Fisch, the Voice of the Bears, on the call
LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream, Caps Radio 24/7
WATCH LIVE: AHLLive.com
BEARS AT WOLF PACK: The Hershey Bears go for a fifth straight win tonight as they visit the Hartford Wolf Pack at XL Center. After winning all three games north of the border, Hershey has pushed its win streak to a season-high four games, and the club has moved out of last place in the Atlantic Division. The Wolf Pack are the next team Hershey is hoping to chase down, as Hartford currently sits six points ahead of the Bears in the Atlantic Division. The Wolf Pack are 6-3-0-1 over the past 10 games.
LAST TIME OUT: Hershey’s last game was a 5-2 victory over the AHL’s best team, the Toronto Marlies, at the Air Canada Centre on Monday. Despite falling down 1-0 after the first period courtesy of a Miro Aaltonen goal, Hershey fired back with three goals in the second period to take a lead they would never relinquish. Tyler Graovac, Jeremy Langlois, and Nathan Walker scored in a span of just over six minutes to put the Chocolate and White in front 3-1. After Toronto made it 3-2 only 1:52 into the third period, netminer Pheonix Copley stood tall, and Liam O’Brien posted a pair of empty net goals. Copley finished the night with 27 saves. The Wolf Pack are coming off a 4-0 loss on Sunday in Bridgeport. Travis St. Denis scored a pair of goals for the Sound Tigers, and Chris Gibson stopped all 22 shots thrown his way as the Wolf Pack were outshot 41-22.
LAST TIME VS. HARTFORD: Hershey’s last game vs. Hartford came on Feb. 10 at the Giant Center. The Wolf Pack scored on four consecutive shots in the first period, and chased Pheonix Copley from the game after three tallies on five shots in a 5-2 Hartford win. Dustin Gazley and Liam O’Brien scored for the Chocolate and White to cut the deficit to three, but 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
FAMILIAR FACES IN NEW PLACES: It’s been two weeks since the Wolf Pack and Bears, as well as their NHL parent clubs, pulled off a trade that saw two players from each club switch sides. The biggest name in the trade was Hartford’s captain, Joe Whitney, a three-time AHL All-Star, who joined Hershey. Whitney has fit right in with the Bears, scoring six points (one goal, five assists) in five games with the Chocolate and White. His one goal was the overtime winning marker on Feb. 11 versus Rochester. The Bears also got forward Adam Chapie in the deal, and he has skated in two games with Hershey and has yet to record a point. The Wolf Pack obtained forward John Albert, who has no points in five games with Hartford, as well as defender Hubert Labrie who has no points, seven penalty minutes, and a -5 rating in five games with Hartford.
PHEONIX RISES: Hershey netminder Pheonix Copley has won his past two starts, posting a pair of sensational performances during Hershey’s road trip to Canada. Copley had been pulled in two of his previous three starts heading into last Saturday’s game at Belleville, but the North Pole, Alaska native has solidified his game. Copley stopped all 28 shots he faced versus the Senators last weekend to earn his first shutout of the season, and the eighth whitewash of his AHL career. He was named the game’s number one star. He followed up that performance on Monday by beating the top team in the league, Toronto, in a 5-2 victory. Copley made 27 saves and was the second star of the game. Copley’s goals against average has dropped from well above three to 2.98, and he has improved his record to 10-12-5 on the season.
JEREMY’S BACK Monday’s game was a big one for Hershey forward Jeremy Langlois. His second period goal was his first since returning from injury on Feb. 10, and his first goal since Nov. 15 versus Syracuse. The forward has eight points (three goals, five assists) in 32 games this season.
BEARS-WOLF PACK FAST FACTS: Hershey will be without Chris Bourque again this weekend. The forward is expected to fly back Monday after Team USA was eliminated from medal contention in South Korea….Former Hershey defender Joey Leach is a member of Harford. The big defender was signed to a PTO earlier this week. He appeared in 24 games with Hershey from 2015-2017…Forward Liam O’Brien has four goals in the last three games, with three of the tallies being empty net goals…Steven Fogarty, who was born in Chambersburg, Penn., has five points (three goals, two assists) vs. Hershey so far this season…Dustin Gazley (one goal, two assists) leads the Bears with three points this season versus Hartford…Hershey’s Mathias Bau did not make the trip with a lower-body injury. He is listed as day-to-day….Hershey’s Tommy Hughes spent the past four seasons with Hartford.
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