Game Preview: Bears vs. Thunderbirds, 7 PM

February 8, 2020

Fresh off a 3-0 victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the Hershey Bears return home to battle the Springfield Thunderbirds at Giant Center. It's the final meeting between the Bears and T-Birds in 2019-20, with the Chocolate and White having won three of the previous five head-to-heads.     
Hershey Bears (29-15-2-3) vs. Springfield Thunderbirds (26-22-2-0) 
February 8, 2020 | 7 PM | Game #50 | Giant Center 
Referees: Beaudry Halkidis (48), Jake Rekucki (84)
Linesmen: Colin Gates (3), Michael Magee (41)
Ticket Information:

Tonight's Promotion: Capital BlueCross Baseball Cap Night (First 5,000 Fans)
Broadcast Information (Pre-game 6:30 p.m.)
RADIO: WQIC-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, WOYK-1350 AM, Voice of the Bears Zack Fisch, Dave Fenyves and Jim Jones on the call.
LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream
The Hershey Bears earned a 3-0 victory at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last night. Phoenix Copley stopped all 31 shots thrown his way to earn the shutout for Hershey at the Mohegan Sun Arena. Matt Moulson opened the scoring on the power play just 2:28 into the game, scoring on the rebound of a Christian Djoos shot. Garrett Pilon doubled Hershey's lead 4:32 into the second period, scoring on a break from the slot for his 13th goal of the season. Liam O'Brien sealed the game with an empty net goal at 18:42 of the third period to give Hershey the win. The Springfield Thunderbirds are coming off a 4-1 loss at Lehigh Valley last night. Springfield went 0-for-6 on the power play in the loss, and the T-Birds lone goal came from Rodrigo Abols. 
Tonight is Hershey's final meeting with the Springfield Thunderbirds. The Bears are 3-2-0-0 versus their Atlantic Division foes this season, with two of the victories coming on home ice. In previous meetings at Giant Center, Hershey upended Springfield 2-1 in overtime on Dec. 21, and 3-2 on Dec. 22. Hershey forwards Matt Moulson (five goals, two assists) and Philippe Maillet (two goals, five assists) each have seven points in the season series. The Thunderbirds are led by Joel Lowry who has seven assists in the five games versus Hershey. The Bears power play is 3-for-11 (27.3%) versus the Thunderbirds this season. 
Forward Matt Moulson scored his 9th power play goal of the season last night, increasing his overall goal total to a team-leading 16 tallies. The goal was Moulson's second game-winning tally of the season, and the marker was also the 299th point in Moulson's American Hockey League career. The veteran forward has appeared in 354 career AHL games with Manchester, Ontario, and Hershey, scoring 136 goals and 163 assists. For Moulson, 65 of his career goals have been power play markers. Moulson is one of just two Bears to have played in all 49 games this season. He owns the AHL's longest active ironman streak, playing in 166 consecutive games. 
Veteran winger Liam O'Brien tallied a goal and an assist last night to up his season point total to 26 (nine goals, 17 assists) through 46 contests. Additionally, his plus/minus of +14 is the best on the club. O'Brien is just four points off his career-best season, which came during 2016-17 when he registered 30 points (10 goals, 20 assists) in 64 games. The forward's goal last night was a shorthanded tally, giving him just his third shorthanded goal in his 357-game AHL career. It was his first tally a man down since he scored two shorthanded goals in Hershey's 6-3 win at Laval on Feb. 16, 2018.
With a 31-save shutout last night, Pheonix Copley recorded his second shutout of the season. In five of Copley's six AHL seasons, he has recorded at least two shutouts, with his career-best being three clean sheets during his rookie campaign with Hershey in 2014-15, and in 2015-16 with Chicago. The North Pole, Alaska native has won 11 of his past 12 starts and now ranks 6th in the AHL with a 2.31 goals against average this season. Overall the Bears have recorded four shutouts this season. This season marks the first time since 2014-15 that the Bears have three different goaltenders (Copley 2, Vitek Vanecek 1, Parker Milner, 1) that have recorded a shutout. That year Philipp Grubauer (6), Copley (3), and Justin Peters (1) set a franchise record with 10 total shutouts in a season. 

Hershey Bears in a victory embrace

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