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Game Preview: Bears vs. Phantoms, 5 p.m.

March 26, 2023

The Hershey Bears continue the 2022-23 season, presented by Penn State Health, as they return home to GIANT Center for an Atlantic Division clash with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The Bears enter this afternoon’s game riding a five-game point streak (4-0-1-0), and are completing their final game of a three-in-three weekend.

Hershey Bears (38-16-5-3) vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms (32-25-3-3)
March 26, 2023 | 5 p.m. | Game 63 | GIANT Center
Referees: Morgan MacPhee (#40), Rob Hennessey (#87)
Linespersons: J.P. Waleski (#14), John Rey (#16)


Tonight’s Promotions:
  • Dreamer’s Hollow Children’s Night, presented by Members 1st Federal Credit Union – A variety of costumed characters from Dreamer’s Hollow will be on-site for photo opportunities, interaction with fans, and participation in game-day activities.
  • Children's Designed Hershey Bears Cares Jersey Auction – The Bears will take the ice against the Phantoms wearing jerseys designed by Milton Hershey School students with a theme of inclusivity in the sport of hockey. The jerseys will be auctioned off following the conclusion of the game, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting several local charities.
BUY TICKETS NOW (limited single seats and standing room only available)

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, SportsRadio 98.9-FM & WOYK 1350-AM, In-arena on 88.9 FM, Capitals Radio Network
LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream, Caps Radio
Radio pre-game coverage starts at 4:30 p.m.

The Bears
finished their swing through upstate New York with a 4-1 win on Saturday at Syracuse. Shane Gersich opened the scoring with his sixth of the season at 10:16 of the first period. Mike Sgarbossa scored on an unassisted breakaway for his 20th of the season at 5:17 of the second to make it 2-0. Daniel Walcott then scored at 19:04 to get Syracuse on the board. Julian Napravnik scored his fourth of the season at 8:09 of the third and Mike Vecchione collected his 22nd of the season with an empty-net goal at 17:56 to provide the insurance for Hershey and the win. Hunter Shepard matched his season-high of 33 saves to get his 16th victory. The Phantoms battled back from a 2-1 deficit last night against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to pick up a 3-2 overtime win. Artem Anisimov tied the game at 2:52 of the third period with a power-play goal, then assisted on Adam Brooks’ goal 37 seconds into the overtime frame.

With a win last night at Syracuse and a Hartford loss against Springfield, Hershey’s Magic Number was reduced to zero, clinching the 70th berth in franchise history in the Calder Cup Playoffs. The Bears can now set their sights on earning the highest-possible seeding in the Atlantic Division; the top two teams will qualify for a first-round bye. Hershey remains two points back of Providence for first place in the Atlantic, but currently holds an eight-point lead on third-place Charlotte for second place.

With an assist on Julian Napravnik’s goal in the third period last night, Connor McMichael managed to extend his point streak to a season-high seven games (3g, 4a). McMichael began his streak on March 11 at Providence, and currently is tied with Joe Snively for the team lead in scoring for March with nine points (3g, 6a). The Bears are 20-5-0-2 this season when McMichael gets on the scoresheet.

After fighting for a regular spot in the lineup for much of his first full season, Bears rookie Julian Napravnik has come alive over the last two weeks. The forward dressed for the Chocolate and White on March 15 at Lehigh Valley, and enjoyed his first career two-goal game in a 6-3 triumph over the Phantoms. Two nights later, he picked up an assist in a 2-1 win. After sitting out the next two games against Rochester, the Bad Nauheim, Germany native returned to the lineup on Saturday and provided a much-needed insurance goal for the Bears. Napravnik thus enters today’s game with a three-game point streak (3g, 1a); his four points is second on the Bears over the last two weeks. Hershey is 8-3-2-1 with Napravnik in the lineup.

Mike Vecchione is two goals away from 100 pro goals…Gabriel Carlsson is tied for sixth in the AHL in plus/minus at +23…Zach Fucale leads Hershey in goal with a 7-1-0 record against the Phantoms this season…Hershey is 10-2-0-0 against its I-78 rivals; its 10 wins against the Phantoms franchise is the most by the team since the 2006-07 campaign, when the club was based out of Philadelphia and Hershey went 10-2-0-0 in a 12-game series; Hershey plays Lehigh Valley one final time after today, on April 15 to conclude the season.

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