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Game Preview: Bears vs. Penguins, 3 p.m.

December 4, 2022

The Hershey Bears continue the 2022-23 season, presented by Penn State Health, as they return home to face the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for the second time this week after picking up a 4-3 shootout victory at GIANT Center against their I-81 rivals on Tuesday. Following a 4-2 win at Lehigh Valley on Wednesday, the Bears are riding a five-game win streak and are just one point behind AHL-leading Providence.

Hershey Bears (14-4-2-0) vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (10-6-1-2)
December 4, 2022 | 3 p.m. | Game 21 | GIANT Center
Referees: Stephen Hiff (56), Carter Sandlak (47)
Linespersons: Joseph Mahon (91), Kirsten Welsh (10)

Tonight’s Promotions:
David A. Smith Printing Team Photo Night – The first 6,000 fans in attendance will receive a copy of the 2022-23 Hershey Bears team photo
Team Autograph Night – All fans in attendance are invited onto the ice following the game to get autographs and photographs with the Bears players and coaching staff

Broadcast Information 
Voice of the Bears, Zack Fisch, and FOX43’s Todd Sadowski on the call
TELEVISION: Antenna TV – WPMT 43.2, Comcast 247, Verizon Fios 463, Blue Ridge Ephrata 91, Blue Ridge Newberry/Duncannon 88
RADIO: WFVY-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, Capitals Radio Network
LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream, Caps Radio
Radio pre-game coverage starts at 2:30 p.m., TV coverage at 3 p.m.

Mike Sgarbossa led the way for the Bears with a three-point (1g, 2a) effort as the Bears visited the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Wednesday, earning a 4-2 win. The Bears took a 1-0 lead at 16:57 of the first period when Hendrix Lapierre tapped in a back-door feed from Henrik Rybinski for his fifth of the season. Olle Lycksell tied the score for the Phantoms midway through the second period, but Connor McMichael netted a power-play goal at 12:43 to put Hershey ahead 2-1 with his second goal of the season. Garrett Wilson equalized for the Phantoms at 18:45, but in the third period Sgarbossa netted the eventual game-winner when Dylan McIlrath’s shot struck the crossbar and then the forward before entering the net at 3:28 for Sgarbossa’s fourth of the season, and Ethen Frank added an empty-netter with one minute remaining for his sixth of the season. The Penguins were in action last night, falling 5-1 to Bridgeport on home ice. Nathan Legare had the lone goal for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the loss.

Today’s game will mark the sixth of 12 total contests this season between the Bears and Penguins. Hershey leads the regular season series with seven points on the strength of three wins and an overtime point. Ethen Frank (2g, 1a), Vincent Iorio (0g, 3a) and Hendrix Lapierre (0g, 3a) lead the Bears in scoring against the Penguins, while Filip Hallander (4g, 1a) and Valtteri Puustinen (1g, 4a) lead Wilkes-Barre/Scranton against the Chocolate and White.

History was made last month, as the Bears went an astounding 11-2-0-0 in November, establishing a new franchise mark for the most wins in the month of November. Hershey’s previous record for most wins in November was nine, which had most recently occurred in the 2007-08 season (9-4-0-0). Hendrix Lapierre led the way for the Bears in November with 10 points (4g, 6a) in 13 games, while his four goals tied Ethen Frank and Mason Morelli for the team goal-scoring lead. Bobby Nardella and Vincent Iorio tied for the defensive scoring lead with six points apiece, each with a goal and five assists, while Iorio and Gabriel Carlsson led the team in plus-minus at +8. And of course, the goaltending duo of Zach Fucale and Hunter Shepard was tremendous, with Shepard garnering AHL Goaltender of the Month honors with a 6-0-0 record along with a 1.63 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage.

It is anticipated that the Bears could see the possible return to the lineup of a handful of players who have missed recent game action. Defenseman Gabriel Carlsson has missed the last three games, while defender Lucas Johansen has been out of the last seven contests. Additionally, forward Shane Gersich has missed the previous five matches; prior to sustaining an upper body injury on Nov. 20 vs. Hartford, Gersich had enjoyed a stretch of seven points (2g, 5a) over seven games.

Hunter Shepard has won his last six straight starts and is unbeaten in regulation at 6-0-2…Bobby Nardella is two points away from 100 in his pro career…Sam Anas is six assists and six points away from his 200th career helper and 300th career point, respectively. The forward netted the shootout-winning goal on Tuesday against the Penguins, but has gone six games without collecting a point…Mike Vecchione is one assist away from his 100th career assist, and has three goals in his last six games…Shane Gersich is two points away from his 100th pro point, and three points away from reaching his 100th with the Bears.

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