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Game Preview: Phantoms at Bears, 4 p.m.

May 8, 2021

 The Hershey Bears continue the 2020-21 season, presented by Penn State Health, this afternoon at GIANT Center versus the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at 4 p.m. The game will be televised locally by FOX43. Hershey enters today's game having won seven straight games on home ice. 

Lehigh Valley Phantoms (16-6-3-1) at Hershey Bears (21-7-2-0)
May 8, 2021 | 4 PM | Game #31| GIANT Center
Referees: Jordan Deckard (#14), Brandon Schrader (#46)
Linesmen: Bob Goodman (#90),  Tyler Loftus (#11)

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

Broadcast Information 
Voice of the Bears, Zack Fisch, and FOX43's Todd Sadowski on the call  
TELEVISION: FOX43
RADIO: WFVY-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, SportsRadio 98.9-FM & WOYK 1350-AM
WATCH LIVEFOX 43AHLTV
LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream

LAST TIME OUT:
The Bears are coming off a 2-1 win last night over the Binghamton Devils on the road. Hunter Shepard stopped 31 shots to earn the win between the pipes, and Matt Moulson and Connor McMichael tallied for the Chocolate and White. McMichael notched the game-winning goal, giving him an AHL-best seven winning markers this season. Hershey had a strong night on the penalty kill, going 5-for-5. The Phantoms return to the ice for the first time tonight since beating Hershey 5-3 on Wednesday at the PPL Center. 

THESE GUYS AGAIN?:
The Bears and Phantoms are meeting for the third time over the past week. Last Sunday, Hershey claimed a 2-0 win at GIANT Center over the Phantoms. Netminder Hunter Shepard earned a 28-save shutout in his AHL debut while Brett Leason and Axel Jonsson-Fjallby scored for the Chocolate and White. On Wednesday, the two teams rematched at the PPL Center in Allentown, and it was the Phantoms coming away with the two-goal win, topping the Bears, 5-3. Tyson Foerster had three points (1g, 2a) for the Phantoms, and goaltender Felix Sandstrom stopped 24 shots to earn the win. Hershey got goals from Philippe Maillet, Damien Riat, and Axel Jonsson-Fjallby in the losing effort. Sandstrom has been strong against the Bears over the last week, stopping 70-of-74 shots thrown his way, good for a .946 save percentage. Today is the last scheduled matchup between the two bitter Keystone State rivals. Hershey is 4-4-2-2 versus Lehigh Valley this season. 

HOME ICE IS NICE:
The Bears enter today's game having won seven straight games at GIANT Center. Hershey has not lost on home ice since Mar. 14, and the Bears hold a strong 11-1-2-0 record in Chocolatetown this season. In the 7-0-0-0 stretch at home, the Bears have outscored opponents 23-9, giving up two or fewer goals in six of the seven outings. In the string of home success, Hershey has defeated Binghamton and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton three times, and upended Lehigh Valley once. Injured forward Brian Pinho has scored goals in his previous five home games (all during the streak), striking six times in that time period. 

MILESTONE FOR MOULSON?:
Captain Matt Moulson is just one point shy of 700 in his professional career. The experienced winger has posted 330 points (153g, 177a) in 397 AHL games while adding 369 points (176g, 193a) in 650 NHL games. He had a goal last night in Newark for the 699th point of his pro career, and he's currently tied with Connor McMichael for the team lead in scoring with 21 points (11g, 10a). 

CRUNCHING THE MAGIC NUMBER:
Hershey's magic number to claim the North Division title is five entering today's game. The winner of the North Division will be awarded the F.G. (Teddy) Oke Trophy as division champions. The Oke Trophy is one of the oldest trophies in North American sports, first presented in 1927 to the London Panthers of the Canadian Professional Hockey League, and previously won by the Bears most recently as 2010 when they were crowned East Division Champions. The winner will be decided on points percentage, and coming into tonight's game, Hershey leads the North Division with a .733 points percentage, while Lehigh Valley is behind them at .685.

KEMPNY DEBUTS:
Defenseman Michal Kempny made his AHL debut last night for the Bears in the win versus Binghamton. The 30-year-old joined the Bears from the NHL's Washington Capitals earlier this week on a LTI conditioning loan. Last night's contest was Kempny's first game since an NHL playoff game on Aug. 14, 2020 versus the New York Islanders. The Hodonin, Czech Republic native is working his way back from an injury suffered in the offseason during training. He has played 232 career NHL games with the Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks, registering 61 points (14g, 47a), a +58 rating, and 130 penalty minutes. He was a member of Washington's 2018 Stanley Cup Championship team, playing in 24 postseason contests that year, registering five points (2g, 3a). 

Hershey Bears in a victory embrace

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