Game Preview: Bears at Penguins, 5 p.m.
February 24, 2021The Hershey Bears continue the 2020-21 season, presented by Penn State Health, this evening on the road versus the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The puck drops at 5 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
Hershey Bears (3-0-2-0) at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (1-2-1-0)
February 24, 2021 | 5 PM | Game #6 | Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
Referees: Reid Anderson (#49), Dan Kelly (#45)
Linesmen: Tom George (#61), J.P. Waleski (#14)
DOWNLOAD: AHL MEDIA KIT (Rosters, stats, and standings)
Broadcast Information (Radio pre-game 4:30 p.m.)
RADIO: WFVY-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, Caps Radio 24/7
Voice of the Bears, Zack Fisch, on the call
LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream, Caps Radio 24/7
WATCH LIVE: AHLTV
LAST TIME OUT:
This evening the Bears return to the ice to rematch with the Penguins, hoping for the same result from when the two teams met last Saturday. In that game, the Chocolate and White scored a 3-1 win at GIANT Center thanks to a hat trick from rookie forward Connor McMichael. The Bears fell down 1-0 on a Zach Nastasiuk power play goal in the opening minutes of the contest, but McMichael tied the game on the power play for Hershey at 8:39 of the first period. McMichael would add the go-ahead goal at 1:19 of the second period, stealing the puck at his own blue line and racing in on a breakaway, beating Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goaltender Max Lagace over the glove to make it 2-1 Hershey. The rookie would finish off the hat trick in the closing minute of the third period, scoring on the empty net to give the Bears the win. Netminder Zach Fucale earned the win in goal for Hershey, stopping 34 shots, and becoming the first Chocolate and White netminder to win his Hershey debut since Adam Carlson in 2017.
BEAR OF A START:
Hershey has points in every game this season (3-0-2-0), giving the club its first five-game point streak to start a season since 2011-12. That year, with a roster that featured current Hershey assistant coach Patrick Wellar, the Bears started the season 4-0-1-0. The last time the Bears opened the season with points in six or more straight games came during the 2006-07 season. Under the direction of head coach Bruce Boudreau, the defending champion Bears started the season with points in nine straight games (8-0-0-1).
KEEPING THE BIRDS FLIGHTLESS:
The Bears enter tonight's game having won both games in the season series versus their I-81 rivals, including scoring a 3-2 win in the previous meeting at Mohegan Sun Arena on Feb. 11. Dating back to last season, the Chocolate and White have had the Baby Pens number, winning six of the past seven head-to-head matchups. In that span, the Bears have outscored the Penguins by a 23-9 margin. The Bears have gone 17-5-0-2 versus Wilkes-Barre/Scranton since Spencer Carbery took over as head coach in 2018.
POWERFUL POWER PLAY VS. PENGUINS:
Entering tonight's game, Hershey's power play is 3-for-20, sitting at 15%, good for 17th in the AHL. All three of Hershey's power play goals have come versus the Baby Pens so far this season. On Feb. 11, Mike Sgarbossa and Connor McMichael connected for markers on the man-advantage, helping Hershey to a 2-for-7 night with the extra skater. In Saturday's win, McMichael added his team-leading second power play goal in the first period as the Bears went 1-for-4 on the man-advantage that night. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has only surrendered power play goals to the Bears this season, going a perfect 6-for-6 on the penalty kill in games against other opponents.
ODDS AND ENDS:
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has scored a power-play goal in each of its first four games...Defenseman Kevin Czuczman was reassigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton by Pittsburgh on Monday...The Bears signed defender Zach Malatesta to a PTO on Tuesday. He had 11 points in 12 games with South Carolina (ECHL) this season and has played 180 career ECHL games. He will wear #37 with Hershey...Last Saturday's contest versus Wilkes-Barre/Scranton marked the first time the Bears have been out shot in a game this season...Hershey has surrendered the game's first goal two contests in a row, however they have earned wins in each game...Starting tonight, Hershey plays three games in four days. The only other time they do that this season is May 5-8.
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