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Game Preview: Penguins at Bears, 1 p.m.

February 20, 2021

The Hershey Bears continue the 2020-21 season, presented by Penn State Health, this afternoon versus the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The puck drops at 1 p.m. at GIANT Center. 

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (1-1-1-0) at Hershey Bears (2-0-2-0) 
February 20, 2021 | 1 PM | Game #5 | GIANT Center
Referees: Jordan Deckard (#14), Mike Dietrich (#15)
Linesmen: Michael Magee (#41), Bob Goodman (#90)

DOWNLOAD: AHL MEDIA KIT (Rosters, stats, and standings)

Broadcast Information (Radio pre-game 12:30 p.m.)
RADIO: WFVY-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, SportsRadio 98.9-FM & WOYK 1350-AM 
Voice of the Bears, Zack Fisch, and AHL Hall of Famer Mitch Lamoureux on the call

LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream

The Bears have points in their first four games of the season, and the Chocolate and White enter today's game coming off a 2-1 win on the road versus Binghamton on Wednesday evening. Binghamton led the game 1-0 through 20 minutes, but Brett Leason tied the score for Hershey 1:41 into the middle frame. Rookie forward Damien Riat broke the 1-1 tie, giving Hershey the lead in the third period on his first AHL goal. That tally stood up to be the game-winner, giving Hershey its second road win in as many tries on the season. Netminder Ilya Samsonov made 22 saves for Hershey. The Penguins have not played since last Saturday, a game in which they earned their first win of the season with a 5-4 victory over Syracuse. Chase Berger, Kyle Olson, and Will Reilly all had a goal and an assist in the road victory. 

This afternoon's game is the second of 10 meetings between the two bitter rivals. Hershey won the first rendition of the I-81 series, scoring a 3-2 win on Feb. 11 at the Mohegan Sun Arena. Matt Moulson scored for Hershey, and both Mike Sgarbossa and Connor McMichael had power play goals for the Chocolate and White in the winning effort. Pheonix Copley, currently with Washington's Taxi Squad, stopped 20 shots, while Emil Larmi, currently with Pittsburgh's Taxi Squad, took the loss despite 33 saves. Hershey was 2-for-7 on the power play, with those two power play goals standing as the club's lone power play markers scored through four games this season. Over the past five seasons, Hershey is 10-8-4-1 versus the Baby Pens at GIANT Center. 

The Bears have a new face between the pipes with the addition of goaltender Zach Fucale to the roster. Fucale posted a record of 10-8-4 with a 2.36 goals against average and a .928 save percentage in 24 games with the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL in 2019-20. The Laval, Quebec, native won gold with Team Canada at the 2019 Spengler Cup, going 3-0 with a 0.33 goals against average and a .986 save percentage. Fucale posted back-to-back shutouts, including one in the gold medal game, and was named the tournament’s all-star goaltender. In 69 career AHL games with the St. John’s IceCaps, Laval Rocket, Chicago Wolves, and Syracuse Crunch, Fucale has recorded a 28-32-6 record with a 3.09 goals against average, a .900 save percentage, and two shutouts. He has played one game with Hershey's ECHL affiliate, the South Carolina Stingrays, this season, stopping 35 shots in a 5-1 win over Jacksonville on Dec. 19. 

Forward Brett Leason notched his first goal of the season in this past Wednesday's win in Newark, and also recorded a team-best seven shots, the most of any Bear in a single game this season...Forward Blake Pietila is celebrating his 28th birthday today...Hershey defender Macoy Erkamps spent the past two seasons with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and is looking to make his first appearance versus his former team...Defenseman Lucas Johansen leads the team with 14 shots on goal through the first four games of the season, but the defender is seeking his first goal since Apr. 13, 2019...The Bears are averaging 37.50 shots per game, good for 2nd most in the AHL...Hershey has out shot it's opponent in all four games this season. 

On Friday, forwards Frederick Gaudreau and Anthony Angello, as well as goaltender Maxime Lagace, were assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton from Pittsburgh's Taxi Squad. Gaudreau is in his first season with the Penguins organization but is a former 25-goal scorer with Milwaukee and has played 85 NHL games. Angello was Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's scoring leader versus Hershey last year, collecting five points (3g, 2a) in 8 contests versus the Chocolate and White. Lagace went 22-7-3 with a 2.37 goals-against average, a .919 save percentage and five shutouts last year with Providence. His win total, goals-against average, save percentage, and shutout total were all AHL career highs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton did lose forwards Jordy Bellerive and Josh Currie and goaltender Emil Larmi, who were moved up to the Taxi Squad. Currie, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's captain, had a power play goal versus Hershey earlier this season.

Hershey Bears in a victory embrace

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