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Opening Night Preview: Crunch at Bears, 7 p.m.

Opening Night Preview: Crunch at Bears, 7 p.m.

10/06/2018 -
Hershey Bears (0-0-0-0) vs. Syracuse Crunch (0-0-0-0)
October 6, 2018 | 7:00 PM | Game 1 | Giant Center

Referees: Mike Dietrich (15), Mackenzie Nichol (68)
Linesmen: Tommy George (61),  Scott Pomento (25)

Tonight's Promotions: Red Carpet Arrival starting at 3 p.m. outside Giant Center, Hersheypark Pass Night (all fans), PNC Bank Magnet Schedule Night (first 8,000 fans)

Broadcast Information (Pre-game 6:30 p.m.)
RADIO: WQIC-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, WOYK-1350 AM, Zack Fisch, the Voice of the Bears, and AHL Hall of Famer Freddy Cassivi on the call
LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 StreamCaps Radio 24/7
WATCH LIVE: AHL TV (Free Preview Weekend) 

ATLANTIC DIVISION STANDINGS

TONIGHT COUNTS:
The Hershey Bears open the 2018-19 regular season schedule tonight against the Syracuse Crunch. Last season, the Bears won both their meetings against the Crunch by scores of 4-2 and 2-1. Both teams are slated for only one other meeting this season on Nov. 11 in Syracuse. 

OPENING NIGHT HISTORY:
Tonight is the first time the Chocolate and White will open their season at home since Oct. 5, 2013 in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Adirondack Phantoms. The Bears last battled Syracuse to open the season on Oct. 13, 2012 in Syracuse. Hershey has not won on Opening Night since Oct. 10, 2015 in a 5-1 win at Springfield. Furthermore, the Bears are 4-4-1-1 the last 10 years on Opening Night, and have opened at home to start the season only twice in the last 10 years, including Oct. 3, 2009 in a 3-1 win over the Norfolk Admirals. In a banner raising evening for a 10th Calder Cup, Andrew Gordon scored a hat-trick and Braden Holtby earned his first professional win. 

OUT WITH 80, IN WITH 81:
The Bears will look to move forward and turn the page from an 80th anniversary season that saw a last place finish for the first time in over three decades. Last season, the Bears finished 30-37-4-5 and at the bottom of the eight team Atlantic Division and 12th in the Eastern Conference. A bright spot returning to the Bears from last season is Riley Barber, who led the club in goals (20), power play goals (10) and tied for the most game-winning goals (5). Also returning, Liam O’Brien is fresh off a career-season after tallying 17 goals in 69 games. 

NEW SHERIFFS IN CHOCOLATE TOWN:
The 2018-19 Hershey Bears will debut the 26th head coach in franchise history and two new assistant coaches. Spencer Carbery was named the new Bears head coach on Jun. 26, 2018. Carbery is a former assistant coach for the Providence Bruins and former head coach with the South Carolina Stingrays. In five seasons leading the Stingrays bench, Carbery never missed the playoffs. Carbery is joined by assistant coaches Patrick Wellar and Mike Eastwood. Wellar is a veteran of nearly 750 professional games and was part of Hershey’s 2010 run to the Calder Cup as a defenseman. Eastwood joins the Bears organization after playing 13 NHL seasons from 1991-2004. He served as an assistant coach with the Ottawa 67’s in the Ontario Hockey League for three seasons. 

WELCOME BACK TO THE “A”:
Jeremy Morin has cracked the Bears Opening Night lineup and will play in his first American Hockey League game since Apr. 15, 2017 with the Tuscon Roadrunners. Morin was acquired by the Roadrunners from the Syracuse Crunch on Feb. 25, 2017 after appearing in 43 games with the Crunch and tallying 21 points (nine goals, 12 assists). Morin will skate against his former team tonight in his 331st career AHL game. He enters with 82 games of NHL experience with the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets. 

STANLEY CUP EXPERIENCE IN THE LINEUP:
Shane Gersich opens his first full pro season in the AHL with the Bears after joining the Washington Capitals last spring. After signing out of college following his junior season at University of North Dakota, Gersich joined the Capitals and appeared in three regular season games, as well as two playoff games in their run to a Stanley Cup. Gersich joining the Bears marks the first time a Stanley Cup Champion will represent the Chocolate and White since Scott Gomez signed a PTO with Hershey in the 2015-16 season. 

AHL DEBUTS:
Hershey’s Opening Night roster features 10 players who could make their AHL debut tonight including eight forwards, one defenseman and one goaltender. 

Hershey Bears in a victory embrace

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