Game Preview: Bears at Bruins, 3:05 PM

March 8, 2020

The Hershey Bears conclude their 2019-20 season series this afternoon against the Providence Bruins. Both the Bears and Bruins enter the final leg of three games in three days, with both respective clubs winning on Friday and Saturday night. This afternoon's game is a critical contest, as the Bears enter the game just two points ahead of the Bruins for the top spot in the Atlantic Division.

Hershey Bears (37-18-3-3) at Providence Bruins (36-18-3-3)
March 8, 2020 | 3:05 PM | Game #62 | Dunkin' Donuts Center  
Referees: Troy Paterson (29), Brandon Schrader (46)
Linesmen: Chris Millea (33), Jack Millea (23)


Broadcast Information (Radio Pre-game 2:35 p.m.)
RADIO: WQIC-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, WOYK-1350 AM, Voice of the Bears Zack Fisch and Matt Trust
LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream,  Caps Radio 24/7 

The Hershey Bears took the ice last night at the XL Center in Hartford, scoring a win over the rival Wolf Pack for the second time in as many evenings. Hershey rolled to a 4-1 victory thanks to a three-goal outburst in the second period. After a 0-0 draw through 20 minutes, Matt Moulson scored the icebreaker, tapping a rebound past Hartford goaltender J.F. Berube just 52 seconds into the period. At 3:48, Hershey struck on the power play. Playing in his 200th AHL game, Philippe Maillet deflected a shot past Berube for his 16th goal of the season. Hershey's Brian Pinho chased Berbue from the game, scoring on a wrist shot at 9:05 to make it 3-0. Nick Jones scored Hartford's lone goal at 12:03 of the third period, but Tyler Lewington sealed the win for Hershey with an empty net goal with one second to spare. Providence was in action last night, claiming a 4-2 win at Springfield. Zach Senyshyn had the winning goal for the P-Bruins.

Hershey forward Brian Pinho notched his 20th goal of the season last night, joining Matt Moulson (21) as the club's only other 20-goal scorer. Pinho, who scored just four times in 73 games in his rookie season last year, has scored three times shorthanded this season and is also tied for the team lead with four game-winning markers this season. For Pinho, this marks the first time he has scored 20 or more goals since his days of junior hockey. In his lone season with the USHL's Indiana Ice in 2013-14, Pinho struck 28 times. His biggest goal that year was his single tally in the playoffs, which was the game-winning goal to help the Ice secure the Clark Cup.

Defender Bobby Nardella had the most productive game of his professional career last night for Hershey. The Illinois native had assists on Hershey's first three goals, giving him his first professional three-point and three-assist game. He now has tallied 27 assists on the season, which ties him for the team lead with Philippe Maillet, and the now departed Christian Djoos. His 27 helpers rank third among rookie defenders in the AHL this season. Additionally, his 27 assists are the most from a Hershey rookie since Travis Boyd (32) and Riley Barber (29) in 2015-16, and the most by a Hershey rookie defenseman since John Carlson tallied 35 helpers in 48 games in 2009-10. Nardella has also scored four times this season, giving him 31 points in just 40 games.

The Providence Bruins enter this afternoon's game as the hottest team in the AHL. The Bruins have won 10 straight games, outscoring opponents 37-17. They have collected points in 11 straight games, posting an impressive 10-0-1-0 record in that span. Forward Brendan Gaunce has collected points in all 11 games, scoring seven goals and seven assists in that span. Goaltender Dan Vladar has posted a 1.64 goals against average over that span, while fellow netminder Max Lagace is just behind him at 1.81 in the stretch. Providence has also been dominant on home ice of late, collecting points in 10 straight home games with an 8-0-1-1 record. The Bruins leading scorer this season is forward Jack Studnicka with 48 points (23 goals, 25 assists).

Heading into the final matchup between these two teams this season, Hershey holds a 2-1-1-1 record versus Providence this year. Hershey won the last meeting between the two clubs, scoring a 3-2 shootout win at the Dunkin' Donuts Center on Jan. 25. Mike Sgarbossa leads Hershey in scoring in the season series with six points (two goals, four assists) in four games, while former Bear Paul Carey leads the Bruins with six points (three goals, three assists) in six games versus Hershey.

Hershey Bears in a victory embrace

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