Game Preview: Bears at Devils, 7 p.m.
April 7, 2021The Hershey Bears continue the 2020-21 season, presented by Penn State Health, this evening on the road versus the Binghamton Devils. The puck drops at 7 p.m. at the RWJ Barnabas Health Hockey House.
Hershey Bears (12-5-2-0) at Binghamton Devils (4-8-4-1)
April 7, 2021 | 7 PM | Game #20 | RWJ Barnabas Health Hockey House
Referees: Patrick Hanrahan (#52), Mason Riley (#79)
Linesmen: Patrick Dapuzzo (#57), J.P. Waleski (#14)
DOWNLOAD: AHL MEDIA KIT (Rosters, stats, and standings)
RADIO: WFVY-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, Caps Radio 24/7, SportsRadio 98.9-FM & WOYK 1350-AM
WATCH LIVE: AHLTV
LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream, Caps Radio 24/7
LAST TIME OUT:
The Hershey Bears are set to battle with the Devils for the eighth time this year, and this evening's game is the Bears first since they defeated Binghamton 4-2 last Saturday at GIANT Center. Connor McMichael had a pair of goals for Hershey in the contest, striking just 1:33 into the game, and scoring the winning marker at 16:46 of the third period. Axel Johnsson-Fjallby had three assists for the Bears, and Hershey came away with the win despite being outshot 31-20 on the afternoon. Cameron Schilling and Brian Pinho also scored for the Bears, and Hershey's penalty kill went 5-for-5. The Devils were last in action on Monday on home ice, snapping a five-game skid with a 2-1 shootout win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The win was just Binghamton's fourth victory of the season, and Fabian Zetterlund had the shootout deciding goal on a slapshot from the slot. Goaltender Gilles Senn stopped 26 shots in regulation to earn just his second win of the season.
SEASON SERIES SO FAR:
The Bears have dominated the season series with the Devils, going 6-1-0-0 versus their North Division foes this year. Despite the large advantage for the Bears, four of the seven games have been decided by just a goal, including three of the last four head-to-head meetings. Garrett Pilon, currently on Washington's Taxi Squad, leads all players in the season series with 10 points (4g, 6a), while Jesper Boqvist, currently with New Jersey, has six points (2g, 4a) versus the Bears. Hershey is 2-1-0-0 versus the Devils at the RWJ Barnabas Health Hockey House, but it was the Devils who won the last meeting versus the Bears on home ice, overcoming a 4-1 deficit to beat Hershey 6-5 on Mar. 19.
Rookie forward Connor McMichael once again had the game-winning goal in last Saturday’s contest versus Binghamton, striking in the closing minutes of the game to give Hershey a lead. For McMichael, it was his fourth game-winning tally this season, a mark that is tied for the league lead with Laval's Ryan Poehling. With a pair of goals in Saturday’s game, it was also McMichael’s third multi-goal game this year. He now leads the Chocolate and White with eight goals on the season, and is also tied for first in goals among all AHL rookies with Hartford's Morgan Barron and Manitoba's Jeff Malott. In the season series versus the Devils, McMichael has six points (4g, 2a) in seven games.
Hershey goaltender Pheonix Copley stopped a season-high 29 shots in Saturday’s victory over Binghamton to improve to 5-2-1 on the season. Copley has won three straight appearances, posting a 1.67 goals-against average in that span, while stopping 82-of-87 shots, good for a .943 save percentage. Copley is now five wins from 100 in his AHL career, and his 65 wins with Hershey is tied for 11th all-time in franchise history with Ed Chadwick. Copley's 2.73 goals-against average this season is 13th in the AHL.
Head coach Spencer Carbery’s next win will be the 300th in his professional career. Since his hiring by Hershey in 2018, Carbery has guided the Bears to an impressive 92-48-9-8 record in 157 games behind the bench with the Chocolate and White. Carbery's previous head coaching experience at the professional level was with Hershey's ECHL affiliate, the South Carolina Stingrays. Carbery was the head coach of the Rays from 2011-16, collecting 207 wins in that span, making him the all-time winningest coach in Stingrays history.
ODDS AND ENDS:
The Devils are scoring 2.65 goals per game this season (25th) while the Bears are striking for 3.21 goals per game (12th)...Binghamton's power play on home ice converts at 21.3%, good for 8th in the AHL, but on the road they sit at just 10.7%, the third worst mark in the AHL...Binghamton's Danick Martel ranks 4th in the AHL with 13 minor penalties...Devils forward Fabian Zetterlund is one of just four players in the AHL to score two shootout goals this year...If he plays this evening, tonight would be defender Reece Willcox's 250th AHL game...With Alex Alexeyev's re-assignment to Hershey, defender Andrew Nielsen has switched to #33 while Alexeyev will once again wear #27. Alexeyev will join the Bears after traveling to Hershey and a mandatory quarantine period.
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