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Weekly Release #19: Bears Remain One of AHL's Hottest Teams

Weekly Release #19: Bears Remain One of AHL's Hottest Teams

February 12, 2019


The Hershey Bears are turning heads across the American Hockey League. The Bears have posted a 12-game point streak (11-0-0-1) since Jan. 12, and have won six straight games. Hershey is now 26-20-0-3, just two points back of a playoff spot in the Atlantic Division. The Bears will look to climb into the top four in the division with three games versus Keystone State rivals this week.

Hershey opened last week with a 4-2 win at Springfield. The Bears got goals from Riley Barber and Liam O’Brien in the first period, and Steve Whitney and Garrett Pilon struck in the middle frame to give Hershey a commanding 4-0 lead. Ilya Samsonov turned aside 35 shots to earn the win in goal. 

The Bears continued the club’s strong play on home ice on Saturday versus the top team in the AHL, the Charlotte Checkers. Hershey earned a 3-2 shootout victory on Saturday. The Bears rallied from a 2-1 deficit to tie the game on a Riley Barber goal with 1:36 to play. In the shootout, goaltender Vitek Vanecek went 5-for-5, and Nathan Walker gave the Bears the win in the fifth round. 

In the rematch of the two teams on Sunday, Jayson Megna scored, and Riley Barber’s power play goal proved to be the winner in a 2-1 victory for Hershey. 

Ticket information:   
Wednesday, Feb. 13 vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 7 p.m.
Promotion: Capital BlueCross Baseball Cap Night (First 5,000), Dietz & Watson Dollar Dog Night
-Saturday, Feb. 16 vs. Lehigh Valley, 7 p.m.
Promotion: AmeriChoice FCU Cow Bell Night (First 5,000), College Night delivered by Papa John’s
-Sunday, Feb. 17 at Lehigh Valley, 5:05 p.m.  

The Bears are committed to giving back to the local community. Today, select players will assist in celebrity bingo at the Penn State Children’s Hospital. Players will also visit on Feb. 14. Tonight, select players will play games, sign autographs, and meet with fans at Dave & Busters in Camp Hill from 5-7 p.m. (Weather permitting, please visit Bears Social Media for updates) 

Wednesday, Feb. 13: 10 a.m., Morning Skate, Giant Center
Thursday, Feb. 14: 10:30 a.m., Giant Center
Friday, Feb. 15: 10:30 a.m., Giant Center
Saturday, Feb. 16: 10 a.m., Morning Skate, Hersheypark Arena
*Practice schedule subject to change. Follow @TheHersheyBears on Twitter for updates.

WE’RE GOING STREAKING: Hershey’s 12-game point streak is tied for longest active mark in the AHL with Bakersfield, who has won 12 straight games. The longest point streak in the AHL this season was 15 games, posted by San Diego from Dec. 14-Jan. 16. The Bears last had 13-game point streaks in both the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. The longest recorded point streak in the Hershey Bears record book was 15 games (11-0-4), set by the 1942-43 club.  

RELIABLE RILEY: Forward Riley Barber has goals in three straight games and has surpassed 20 goals for the third time in his AHL career. Barber’s 10 power play goals ties his career-high set last season, and he is currently five goals away from tying his personal-best 26 goals posted in 2015-16. His 59 penalty minutes are a career-high, and he leads the team with five game-winning goals. Barber also ranks fourth in the AHL in shots with 156.

GREAT GOALTENDING: Both Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov earned first star honors in Hershey’s home games last weekend. Samsonov has allowed just one goal in four of his past five starts. He made a career-high 35 saves in last Wednesday’s win at Springfield. He is 7-0-1 with a 1.11 goals against average and .954 save percentage since Jan. 12. Vitek Vanecek has not lost since Jan. 11 and turned aside 32 shots in Saturday’s win for his fourth 30+ save effort this season. 

SIGGY THE SNIPER: Defender Jonas Siegenthaler was re-assigned to the Bears on Friday and jumped right into the lineup. Siegenthaler scored his first goal of the season on Saturday, notching his first goal at any level since Apr. 14, 2018. The blue liner appeared in 25 games with the Capitals this season, posting four assists. 

IMPRESSIVE NUMBERS: Hershey is 13-3-0-3 in one goal games this season. The club has also held leads well this season as they are 17-4-0-2 when leading after the first period, and 22-1-0-2 when leading after the second frame. A total of 19 of Hershey’s 26 wins have come versus the Atlantic Division.  

BEARS BITES: Wednesday is set to mark forward Jason Megna’s 400th professional game…Shane Gersich has points in three of his past four games (one goal, two assists)…Hershey goaltenders have held opponents to 1-for-26 in five shootouts at Giant Center this season…The Bears are 6-2-0-1 versus Wednesday’s opponent, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. They haven’t won seven games in the season series vs. the Baby Pens since 2012-13 (7-3-2-0). 

Hershey Bears in a victory embrace

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