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Game Preview: Bears at Phantoms, 7:05 p.m.

February 1, 2023

The Hershey Bears continue the 2022-23 season, presented by Penn State Health, as they head back on the road for the next two games, starting with tonight against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at PPL Center. Hershey enters tonight’s game riding a season-high seven-game road point streak (6-0-1-0).

Hershey Bears (28-9-4-1) at Lehigh Valley Phantoms (20-16-3-2)
February 1, 2023 | 7:05 p.m. | Game 43 | PPL Center
Referees: Peter Schlittenhardt (12), Jeremy Tufts (78)
Linespersons: Jud Ritter (34), Tommy George (61)

Broadcast Information
Voice of the Bears, Zack Fisch on the call
RADIO: WFVY-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, SportsRadio 98.9-FM & WOYK 1350-AM (joined in progress), Capitals Radio Network
LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream, Caps Radio Network
Radio pre-game coverage starts at 6:35 p.m.

The Bears
returned home to host the Bridgeport Islanders on Sunday, but the club failed to score on Jakub Skarek, despite out-shooting the Islanders 39-21. Arnaud Durandeau scored power-play goals at 14:19 of the first period and 3:02 of the second period for the lone goals for Bridgeport. Hunter Shepard took the loss, only his second regulation defeat of the season, going 19-for-21, as the Bears also hosted their GIANT Teddy Bear Toss, which commenced with 5.4 seconds remaining in the game and resulted in the game being called at that time as a new world record 67,309 plush items made their way onto the ice. The Phantoms have been idle since hosting the Bears on Saturday, in which Hershey scored a season-high seven goals in a 7-3 triumph over Lehigh Valley. After the Bears had built a 4-0 lead by the early stages of the second period, the Phantoms would trade back-and-forth goals, with Cal O’Reilly notching a shorthanded tally and picking up an assist on Ronnie Attard’s third-period goal. Pat Nagle took the loss for Lehigh Valley with a 21-for-28 effort in net.

The Bears enter this week exactly halfway through their regular season series with Lehigh Valley. Hershey is a perfect 7-0-0-0 against the Phantoms this season, most recently picking up a 7-3 win at PPL Center last Saturday. Hershey’s seven goals against Lehigh Valley was the most scored against their I-78 rivals since an 8-0 win at Lehigh Valley on March 23, 2016. Mike Sgarbossa leads Hershey in scoring against the Phantoms with 11 points (5g, 6a) in seven head-to-head matches, while Zach Fucale has gone 5-0-0 against Lehigh Valley this season with a 1.80 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage. Hershey’s power play has also gone 9-for-28 (32.1%) against the Philadelphia Flyers affiliate this season.

While Hershey’s season-high eight-game point streak came to an end on Sunday in the home loss to Bridgeport, the Bears still remain one of the AHL’s hottest teams, especially on the road. As Hershey prepares to head out for games at Lehigh Valley and Bridgeport this week, the club’s road point streak remains intact at a season-high seven games (6-0-1-0) dating back to Dec. 17. The last time a Bears team had a road point streak of seven games or greater was in the 2018-19 campaign, when Hershey went 7-0-0-1 over an eight-game stretch from Jan. 12-Feb. 22.

The Washington Capitals announced earlier this morning that forward Aliaksei Protas has been loaned to Hershey; the 22-year-old has put up three assists in five games with Hershey this season…Forward Ethen Frank leads all AHL rookies with 20 goals and is second in the rookie scoring race with 35 points…Forward Beck Malenstyn’s next game will be his 200th AHL/Bears game…Mike Vecchione’s next game will be his 100th with Hershey…Defender Aaron Ness is four points away from his 300th pro point…Garrett Pilon has scored three of Hershey’s last four game-winning goals; he now has a new career-high after previously scoring one game-winner in three of his four prior seasons with the Bears.

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