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Weekly Release #14: Division Lead In Sight as Bears Open 2020 Strong

January 7, 2020

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE HERSHEY BEARS WEEKLY RELEASE #14

The Hershey Bears have opened 2020 perfect, extending the club’s win streak to four games, and moving the Bears to 21-10-2-3, just two points back of the division lead. The Bears will have a chance to fight for the top spot in the Atlantic on Wednesday night when they host Hartford at Giant Center at 7 p.m. for Hersheypark Pass Night. The club also visits Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Friday this week, before hosting Cleveland on Saturday night.

Last Friday, Hershey blasted the rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 6-2, on the road. Brian Pinho scored twice for Hershey and also added an assist in the most productive night of his professional career. Vitek Vanecek turned aside 30 shots between the pipes.

In last Saturday’s contest, Hershey topped Bridgeport, 2-1, at Giant Center. Veterans Andrew Ladd and Matt Moulson traded goals in the second period, and the game was a deadlock until the closing minute. Shane Gersich scored with less than 50 seconds to play to give Hershey the win. Pheonix Copley stopped 21 shots to earn the win in goal.

Hershey closed last week with a rematch with the Sound Tigers, and this time the Bears came away with a 4-2 win. Matt Moulson and Philippe Maillet each has three points in the win. 

UPCOMING GAMES: 
Tickets to all home games are on sale now at the Giant Center Box Office, or online via Ticketmaster

-Wednesday, Jan. 8 vs. Hartford, 7 p.m.
Hersheypark Pass Night (All Fans)

-Friday, Jan. 10 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 7:05 p.m.

-Saturday, Jan. 11 vs. Cleveland, 7 p.m.
Pepsi Keychain Night (First 4,000 fans)

WEEKLY PRACTICE SCHEDULE: 
Wednesday, Jan. 8: 10 a.m., Morning Skate, Giant Center
Thursday, Jan. 9: 10:30 a.m., Hersheypark Arena
Friday, Jan. 10: 10:15 a.m., Morning Skate, Hersheypark Arena
Saturday, Jan. 11: 10 a.m., Morning Skate, Hersheypark Arena 
*Practice schedule subject to change. Follow @TheHersheyBears on Twitter for updates.

I DID IT MAILLET: Hershey Bears forward Philippe Maillet notched points in all three of Hershey’s games last weekend, tallying six points (two goals, four assists) in the stretch. He struck for a goal and an assist in Friday’s win at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and also had a three-point game (one goal, two assists) in Sunday’s victory over Bridgeport. For his strong play, he was named Hershey’s PSECU Player of the Week. Maillet now has 112 points (43 goals, 69 assists) in his 175-game AHL career with Ontario and Hershey.

GAME, SET, MATCH: The Bears enjoyed a pair of firsts in the two wins over Bridgeport this weekend. On Saturday, Shane Gersich’s goal with just 49.5 seconds to play proved to be the first game-winning tally in the forward’s pro career. Sunday’s contest was followed up by rookie winger Kody Clark’s first professional goal, as the 2018 2nd round draft selection tallied Hershey’s third goal in a 4-2 win. A total of 13 different players have scored game-winning goals for Hershey this year, with Mike Sgarbossa leading the way with four tallies.

BEHIND THE MASK: Vitek Vanecek ranks 7th in the AHL with a 2.32 goals against average, while Pheonix Copley is 14th, sitting at 2.54. Copley played in his 100th game as a Bear last Saturday, earning his 99th professional victory. He has won four straight starts. Vanecek earned his 3000th career save with Hershey last weekend, winning both of his starts. Vanecek has won eight of his last nine starts, also allowing two or less goals in eight of those contests.

ROAD WARRIORS: The Bears enter this week having won four straight road games, improving the club’s road record to 7-6-1-1. Second-year forwards Brian Pinho and Garrett Pilon each have goals in three straight road games, while Mike Sgarbossa has assists in five straight road games, and Joe Snively has points in six straight games away from home. Hershey’s penalty kill has also been sensational on the road, sitting 2nd in the league at 89.7%.

BEARS BITES: Wednesday’s opponent, the Hartford Wolf Pack, are 15-1-0-2 at home, but just 6-7-2-3 on the road…Mike Sgarbossa has a season-best seven-game point streak, but the forward is day-to-day with an injury. Joe Snivley is also week-to-week with an injury…Forward Kale Kessy ranks 3rd in the AHL with 72 penalty minutes…Hershey played a penalty-free game last Saturday for the first time since Mar. 14, 2014 at Syracuse…Hershey is allowing the 5th least goals per game this season at just 2.55…The Bears are 14-5-0-1 when out shooting its opponents this season. 


Hershey Bears in a victory embrace

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