Game Preview: Sound Tigers at Bears, 7 p.m.
Bridgeport Sound Tigers (36-30-5-3) at Hershey Bears (29-36-4-5)
Saturday, April 14, 2018, 7 p.m.
REFEREES: Guillaume Labonte (35), Stephen Thomson (15)
LINESMEN: James Tobias (61), Tom George (61)
Broadcast Information (Pre-game 6:30 p.m.)
RADIO: WQIC-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, WOYK 1350-AM Listen at Giant Center at 88.9 FM, Zack Fisch, the Voice of the Bears, and Freddy Cassivi on the call
LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream, Caps Radio 24/7
WATCH LIVE: AHLLive.com
ATLANTIC DIVISION STANDINGS
SOUND TIGERS AT BEARS: The Hershey Bears return to the Giant Center this evening to open the final weekend of the 2017-18 regular season. Both Hershey, and tonight’s opponent, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, have been eliminated from contention in the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs. The Bears and Sound Tigers are both looking to end three game skids in tonight’s contest. This evening is Fan Appreciation Night, and the Bears will also host a pre-game remembrance for the Humboldt Broncos and those lost in the SJHL team’s tragic bus accident.
#HUMBOLDTSTRONG: Tonight, the Bears will honor and pay tribute to the Humboldt Broncos hockey team. Tonight’s game will feature a special pre-game remembrance, as well as opportunities to raise funds for the 16 lives lost, and the many more impacted, as a result of the junior hockey team's tragic bus accident last Friday. The Broncos are members of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL), and Hershey currently has three players from Saskatchewan on their roster: Garrett Mitchell, Connor Hobbs, and Colby Williams. Hobbs played in the SJHL briefly during the 2014-15 season, and his brother, Declan, is a goaltender for Nipawin, the team Humboldt was traveling to play at the time of the bus crash. All members of the Bears will be wearing helmet stickers that feature the Humboldt Broncos logo for the remainder of the season. Fans are encouraged to stop by Section 125 tonight for a variety of ways to help those in need.
LAST TIME OUT: The Hershey Bears are coming off a pair of losses in Charlotte last weekend. After falling 7-3 last Saturday to the high-flying Checkers, Hershey dropped a 3-1 contest in the rematch on Sunday afternoon. After a scoreless first period, the Checkers scored three times in the middle stanza to put the game out of reach. Brenden Kichton opened the scoring at 2:59 of the period. Despite sensational penalty killing from Hershey, who went 7-for-7 in the game, Charlotte got goals from Janne Kuokkanen and Josiah Didier before the period ended. Chris Bourque scored Hershey’s lone goal 5:20 into the third period in the loss. Pheonix Copley stopped 29 shots for the Bears, who were outshot 32-24. The Sound Tigers played last night in Allentown, falling to the Phantoms, 5-2. Steve Bernier and Casey Bailey scored for Bridgeport, but Danick Martel tallied twice to lead Lehigh Valley to the win.
LAST TIME VS. BRIDGEPORT: In the last meeting between these two teams, Hershey suffered a 6-4 setback at Bridgeport on Mar. 28. The Sound Tigers raced out to a 2-0 lead in the first 4:19 on goals by John Stevens and Ryan Hitchcock. Hershey broke a seven-game scoreless drought on the power play at 15:48 of the first period on Joe Whitney’s 14th goal of the season. Bridgeport took over in the second period, scoring three goals and chasing Hershey netminder Vitek Vanecek from the game. Anthony Peluso scored twice in the third period for Hershey, and Hampus Gustafsson added his second goal of the season, but it was not enough in the end for the Bears, despite outshooting Bridgeport 40-28. Hershey was 1-for-6 on the power play while Bridgeport was 0-for-1.
STREAKING LANGER: While it’s been a tough stretch for the Hershey Bears, forward Jeremy Langlois has quietly put up strong numbers of late. The Tempe, Arizona native has notched assists in four straight games for the Chocolate and White, dating back to Hershey’s last home game on Mar. 31 vs. Laval. Langlois has 18 points (five goals, 13 assists) in just 50 games with Hershey this season after only posting 14 points in 66 contests last year with Rockford. The speedy forward is also a former Bridgeport Sound Tiger, skating in seven games during the 2013-14 campaign with four points (two goals, two assists). Langlois is just four points from 100 in his AHL career.
FINISHING STRONG AT HOME: Hershey has just a 16-13-4-3 (39 points) record at home this season. This is uncharacteristic for the Bears who have won 24 or more home games for four consecutive seasons. With two home games left this weekend, Hershey will look to finish strong in front of the Giant Center faithful. The last time the Bears had a season like this one at the Giant Center was the 2012-13 campaign when the club was just 18-15-3-2 (41 points) on home ice. In the 80 year history of the Chocolate and White, the club’s worst season on home ice was the 1955-56 campaign when they were just 14-15-3 at Hersheypark Arena.
BEARS-SOUND TIGERS FACTS: Hershey will be without defender Tyler Lewington tonight. He was issued a one game suspension for accumulating his 11th fight last Sunday in Charlotte. This is Lewington’s third suspension this year…Bridgeport is 6-for-19 (31.6%) on the power play vs. Hershey this season while the Bears are just 3-for-23 (13%)…Both Chris Bourque and Anthony Peluso are Hershey’s top scorers in the season series vs. Bridgeport, notching four points. Peluso had the game-winning marker the last time Bridgeport was in town on Mar. 16…Bridgeport’s Casey Bailey always plays well vs. Hershey. The Penn State product leads all skaters in the season series with six points (one goal, five assists). Last year as a member of Binghamton, Bailey led the Senators with seven points (five goals, two assists) in six games vs. the Bears…Former Bear Ryan Bourque has 34 points this season, just three off of his career high of 37, set in 2013-14 with Hartford. Meanwhile, his brother Chris has goals in two straight contests for Hershey.
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