Game Preview: Bears at Checkers, 7 PM
January 14, 2020
Winners in five consecutive games away from Giant Center the Hershey Bears put their road winning streak on the line tonight against the Charlotte Checkers. It's Hershey's first visit to Bojangles' Coliseum since the Atlantic Division Finals last May.
Hershey Bears (23-11-2-3) at Charlotte Checkers (20-14-3-0)
January 14, 2020 | 7 PM | Game #40 | Bojangles' Coliseum
Referees: Mathieu Menniti (30), Casey Terreri (75)
Linesmen: Kyle Flemington (55), Kilian McNamara (31)
LAST TIME OUT:
The Bears return to the ice tonight after earning a 4-2 victory over the Cleveland Monsters on Saturday at Giant Center. The Chocolate and White got power play goals from Axel Jonsson-Fjallby and Bobby Nardella, but Cleveland had an answer to each tally, pushing the game to a 2-2 deadlock into the closing minutes of the third period. With just 2:40 play in regulation, Hershey forward Beck Malenstyn scored the deciding goal, deflecting a Brett Leason shot for his 5th goal of the season to make it 3-2. Hershey added an empty netter to seal the win, and Pheonix Copley made 24 saves in net. Charlotte was last in action on Saturday, scoring a 5-2 win at Bridgeport. Max McCormick's hat-trick was the difference for the Checkers in the win.
IN THE QUEEN CITY:
Hershey returns to Charlotte tonight for the first time since the 2019 Atlantic Division Finals. Charlotte earned a pair of wins versus Hershey in Games 1 and 2 of the series, en route to an eventual sweep in four games. Tonight marks Hershey's first regular season game at the Bojangles' Coliseum since Oct. 20, 2018 when the Bears earned a 2-0 victory. That evening, Liam O'Brien and Steve Whitney scored, Vitek Vanecek earned a 25-save shutout, and Hershey's penalty kill went 8-for-8. Tonight is the third meeting overall between the two clubs this season. Charlotte beat Hershey 3-0 on Nov. 15 at Giant Center, but the Bears responded with a 2-1 win over its Atlantic Division rivals the next night.
FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE:
Tonight's game features a battle of the two hottest teams in the Atlantic Division. Both the Bears and Checkers are 8-2-0-0 over their past 10 games. Both clubs only have one loss so far in 2020, with each team falling to division-leading Hartford last week. The Checkers are led by leading scorer Julien Gauthier, who has goals in four straight games, points in nine straight games, and leads the Charlotte club with 25 points (18 goals, seven assists) this season. Hershey has been led by a stingy defense and strong goaltending. Bears netminders have allowed two or less goals in eight straight games, and the Bears now rank 2nd in the league in goals allowed at 2.49 per game.
EDGE OF 17:
Last January, the Bears started an impressive run, going 16-0-0-1 from Jan. 12-Feb. 23. The 17-game point streak established a new franchise record. This season, the Bears nearly replicated that run. From Dec. 1 to present, the Bears have won 15 of 17 games, going 15-2-0-0 in that stretch. Each of Hershey’s two losses have come by slim 2-1 margins. In this current streak, the Bears have outscored its opponents, 52-29.
Forward Axel Jonsson-Fjallby enters tonight's game coming off a strong weekend for Hershey. The forward tallied three goals over the two games last weekend, including striking twice versus Cleveland for the second multi-goal game of his AHL career. The Swede is third on the team in goals with 10, trailing veteran snipers Matt Moulson and Mike Sgarbossa. Jonsson-Fjallby has 15 points in 38 games this season for Hershey.
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