Weekly Release #10: Bears Look To Bounce Back

Weekly Release #10: Bears Look To Bounce Back

December 12, 2017


As 2018 approaches, the Hershey Bears are still looking to gain momentum in the competitive Atlantic Division. The Bears currently sit at 12-12-0-3 after dropping two of three games last weekend. In the midst of a divisional heavy month, the Bears will take on the Atlantic Division’s top team, the Providence Bruins, for a pair of games at Giant Center this week. 

Last Friday, Hershey mounted an impressive comeback but fell to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms 5-4 at the PPL Center. The Bears trailed 5-1 just 1:24 into the third period, but the club roared back with three straight goals from Lucas Johansen, Mathias Bau, and Aaron Ness to make it a game.

On Saturday, Hershey responded with a 4-2 win over Lehigh Valley at the Giant Center. Vitek Vanecek stopped 24 shots, and Hershey got goals from Lucas Johansen, Chris Bourque, Garrett Mitchell and Tyler Graovac. The win was Hershey’s third straight on home ice.

The week finished with a 4-1 loss to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Sunday at Giant Center. The Penguins scored three times in the opening period, and Hershey’s lone tally on the evening came from Tyler Graovac. The Penguins scored twice on 5-on-3 power plays, and outshot Hershey 27-19. 


-Wednesday, Dec. 13 vs. Providence
Pass Night

-Saturday, Dec. 16 vs. Providence
Hall of Fame Night

Wednesday, Dec. 13, 10:00 AM, Morning Skate, Giant Center
Thursday, Dec. 14, 11:30 AM, Practice, Giant Center
Friday, Dec. 15, 10:30 AM, AM Skate, Hersheypark Arena
Saturday, Dec. 16, 10:00 AM, Morning Skate, Hersheypark Arena


WELCOME BACK GRAOVAC: On Friday, the Washington Capitals re-assigned forward Tyler Graovac to Hershey. The 6-foot-5 center made a large impact after rejoining the Bears, scoring in back-to-back games for Hershey on Saturday and Sunday. A former 21-goal scorer with the Iowa Wild in 2014-15, Graovac has four points (three goals, one assist) in six games with the Chocolate and White this season. He’s tallied 106 points (52 goals, 54 assists) in 208 career AHL games. 

VICTORIOUS VITEK: Hershey goaltender Vitek Vanecek has played a large role in Hershey’s recent success, and the 21-year-old Czech native has won his last three starts. After taking the loss in relief on Friday at Lehigh Valley, Vanecek bounced back, posting a 24-save gem on Saturday in a 4-2 win over the Phantoms at Giant Center. Vanecek, who was named the game’s number one star Saturday, is 3-2-0 on the season with a 2.00 goals against average.  

MILESTONE MEN: Last Friday, forward Wayne Simpson posted three assists, and his first helper was the 100th point of his AHL career. Several other Bears could hit milestones this week. Aaron Ness’ next game will be his 400th in the AHL, while forward John Albert is two games from 300 in his AHL career. Additionally, forward Travis Boyd is three assists from 100 in his AHL career, while Riley Barber is four points from 100 in his tenure with the Bears.  

HALL OF FAME NIGHT: On Saturday, Hershey will host its Hall of Fame Night. Honored by the Hershey Bears Hockey Club Hall of Fame Committee as the sixth group of enshrines on Saturday will be Dave Fenyves (player), Andre Gill (player), Doug Yingst (builder) and Randy Waybright (general). 

BEARS BITES:  Hershey is just one of two teams in the AHL that has not allowed a shorthanded goal…The Bears allow the fifth least shots per game in the AHL at 27.18…Hershey’s Chris Bourque, who remains the AHL’s leading scorer, is first among Hershey skaters with five points (all assists) in three games versus Providence this season…Hershey is 6-2-0-1 versus Providence in the last five years at the Giant Center in regular season play…Last weekend was the last time Hershey plays a three-in-three until February. Hershey’s next three-in-three is Feb. 2-4, 2018…On Tuesday, Hershey re-assigned forward Hampus Gustafsson to the club’s ECHL affiliate, the South Carolina Stingrays.

Hershey Bears in a victory embrace

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