Weekly Release #11: Bears Look to Unwrap Wins for Holidays
The Hershey Bears have three rivalry games this week ahead of a brief break for the holiday season. The Chocolate and White visit Allentown Wednesday, host Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Friday, and Lehigh Valley Saturday. The Bears are looking to snap a three-game skid that has kept them in last place in the Atlantic Division at 11-15-0-2 through 28 games.
Last week, the Bears played a pair of games away from the Giant Center. The Chocolate and White traveled to Providence for the first time this season last Saturday, dropping a 6-2 decision to the Bruins. After trailing 1-0 through 20 minutes, Hershey took a brief 2-1 lead in the second period thanks to Ryan Sproul’s first goal as a Bear, and a Mike Sgarbossa tally via deflection. However, the Bruins would score the final five goals of the game to earn the victory. Jordan Szwarz tallied twice for Providence, and the Bruins held the Bears to just 21 shots.
In last Sunday’s contest, the Springfield Thunderbirds bested the Bears, 4-1, at the MassMutual Center. The contest marked Hershey’s first regulation loss in Springfield since Mar. 8, 2008, ending a 15-game point streak. Grant Besse had Hershey’s lone goal, but Anthony Greco’s two goals helped Springfield to a second win versus Hershey this season.
Ticket information: http://www.hersheybears.com/tickets/single-game.php
Wednesday, Dec. 19 at Lehigh Valley, 7:05 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 21 vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 7 p.m.
Promotion: Hersheypark Pass Night (All Fans)
Saturday, Dec. 22 vs. Lehigh Valley, 7 p.m.
Promotion: UGI Fleece Blanket Night (First 5,000 fans)
The Bears are committed to giving back to the local community. On Thursday, the Bears mascot, Coco, and select players will be appearing at Houlihan’s in Hershey from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
WEEKLY PRACTICE SCHEDULE:
Wednesday, Dec. 19: 10 a.m., Morning Skate, Giant Center
Thursday, Dec. 20: 10:30 a.m., Giant Center
Friday, Dec. 21: 10 a.m., Morning Skate, Giant Center
Saturday, Dec. 22: 10 a.m., Morning Skate, Giant Center
*Practice schedule subject to change. Follow @TheHersheyBears on Twitter for updates
THE WEEK AHEAD: The Bears open the week on Wednesday looking to snap an eight-game skid in Allentown. Hershey has not won at the PPL Center in the regular season since Apr. 5, 2017. The Bears and Phantoms will also faceoff in Hershey on Saturday night. Hershey won the lone meeting with the Phantoms at Giant Center this season, 3-1, on Oct. 28. The Bears and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton meet on Friday night in Chocolatetown. Jayson Megna (four goals) and Mike Sgarbossa (two goals, two assists) have paced the Bears in the season series.
TOBIAS TAKES ON WJC: On Monday, the Washington Capitals loaned Hershey defender Tobias Geisser to Team Switzerland ahead of the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championships. Geisser, 19, also played in the World Junior Championships last year, skating in five games. The rookie blue liner has one assist in 18 games with Hershey so far this season.
HOW YOU DOIN’?: On Tuesday, the Bears announced that the club signed defender Joey Leach to a professional tryout agreement. The Wadena, Saskatchewan native previously spent parts of two seasons with the Bears from 2015-17, appearing in 24 games, posting six assists, and a +13 rating. Leach, who was playing with Hershey’s ECHL affiliate, the South Carolina Stingrays this season, serves as captain of the team and had 11 points (one goal, 10 assists) in a current five-game point streak.
GOAL GRANTED: After the completion of a scoring change, Hershey forward Grant Besse has been credited with his first goal as a member of the Chocolate and White. The rookie scored in Sunday’s game at Springfield in his fourth game with the club. He led the South Carolina Stingrays with 12 goals at the time of his recall, and posted one goal in 11 games with Cleveland last year.
200 FOR BARBER: Wednesday’s game in Allentown will mark the 200th professional game for Hershey alternate captain Riley Barber. The winger has amassed 139 points (68 goals, 71 assists) in 196 games with Hershey. Barber also skated in three games with the NHL’s Washington Capitals in 2016-17.
BEARS BITES: Former Bear Kerry Huffman has taken over as the acting coach in Lehigh Valley after the promotion of Scott Gordon to interim head coach of Philadelphia…Defender Steve Johnson was signed to a PTO last week and made his AHL debut last Sunday in Springfield…Hershey defender Tyler Lewington earned his first NHL call-up to Washington last Saturday.
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