Weekly Release #1: Bears Hit Road After Opening New Season

Weekly Release #1: Bears Hit Road After Opening New Season


The Hershey Bears have a new coaching staff and a crop of fresh faces as they take the ice for the 2018-19 season. Under the direction of head coach Spencer Carbery, the Bears opened the new campaign with a pair of games at home last weekend, dropping two tight affairs, falling 3-2 to Syracuse last Saturday, and suffering a 2-1 setback on Sunday versus Bridgeport. The club will now start a string of seven straight games away from Giant Center, starting with a three-in-three at Grand Rapids, Milwaukee, and Rockford this weekend. 

Hershey’s season got off to a strong start on Saturday as the Bears struck for a pair of goals in the opening frame, but Syracuse used its special teams to earn the 3-2 win. Liam O’Brien scored Hershey’s first goal of the season 3:45 into the game, and Mike Sgarbossa added his first goal as a Bear, but the Crunch broke a 2-2 tie on the power play in the third period on Alex Barre-Boulet’s first professional goal. Hershey fired 32 shots in the loss. 

On Sunday, the Stanley Cup® visited for Washington Capitals Night, but the Bears again came up a goal short. Former Bear Chris Bourque opened the scoring for Bridgeport on the power play in the second period, but Sgarbossa tied the game on a breakaway before the period expired. In the third period, veteran Steve Bernier tallied a power play goal for Bridgeport which proved to be the difference maker in the 2-1 defeat. 

Friday, Oct. 12 at Grand Rapids, 7 p.m. 
Saturday, Oct. 13 at Milwaukee, 7 p.m. ET
Sunday, Oct. 14, at Rockford, 5 p.m. ET

Wednesday, Oct. 10: NO PRACTICE, TRAVEL DAY
Thursday, Oct. 11: 1 p.m. at Van Andel Arena
Friday, Oct 12: 11:15 a.m.  Morning Skate at Van Andel Arena
Saturday, Oct. 13: 11:15 a.m. Morning Skate at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena
*Practice schedule subject to change. Follow @TheHersheyBears on Twitter for updates.

CARBERY ERA STARTS: On Saturday, new head coach Spencer Carbery made his debut behind the bench for the Chocolate and White. Carbery was named Hershey’s 26th head coach in franchise history on Jun. 26 after spending last season with the Providence Bruins as an assistant coach. From 2011-16, he coached Hershey’s ECHL affiliate, the South Carolina Stingrays, to five consecutive playoff berths, and one appearance in the finals. He was the 2014 ECHL Coach of the Year. Carbery is joined by former Bear Patrick Wellar, and former NHL center Mike Eastwood who have joined the staff as assistant coaches. 

DEBUTS GALORE: In Hershey’s opener on Oct. 6, eight different players made their AHL debut with the Bears. Players all debuting were forwards Shane Gersich, Beck Malenstyn, Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, Garrett Pilon, Sergei Shumakov, Maxi Kammerer, and Brian Pinho, along with goaltender Ilya Samsonov. Other players who could make debuts soon include rookie defender Tobias Geisser, and injured forward Juuso Ikonen. 

WEARING THE “A”: Last week, head coach Spencer Carbery announced that forwards Riley Barber and Liam O’Brien as well as defender Aaron Ness would serve as alternate captains for home games this season. Additionally, forward Mike Sgarbossa, and defenders Tyler Lewington and Colby Williams will wear the “A” on their jerseys on the road. 

SGARBOSSA STARTS STRONG: Forward Mike Sgarbossa is off to a quick start. Sgarbossa has scored in each of his first two games with the Chocolate and White. Last season, he finished seventh in team scoring with the Manitoba Moose after tallying 16 goals and 24 assists in 68 games.

BEARS BITES: Hershey defender Aaron Ness enters this weekend’s three-in-three with 497 pro games played between the NHL and AHL…Hershey defender Logan Pyett played in 288 career games with Friday’s opponent, Grand Rapids, from 2008-12…Forward Shane Gersich, a member of Washington’s 2018 Stanley Cup Championship team, earned his first AHL point on Sunday, assisting on Mike Sgarbossa’s second period goal…Hershey will look to improve on special teams after starting the season 0-for-8 on the power play, and just 5-for-9 on the penalty kill…Hershey’s seven games away is the club’s longest road trip of the season…Last Thursday, the Bears signed Steven Whitney to an AHL contract. He is the younger brother of former Bear, Joe Whitney. 

Hershey Bears in a victory embrace

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