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Eastern Conference Finals Game 3 Preview: Bears at Monsters, 7 p.m.

June 4, 2024

The Hershey Bears take the ice tonight against the Cleveland Monsters for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals as the best-of-seven series shifts to Ohio for at least the next two games. Hershey leads the best-of-seven matchup 2-0 after opening the series with back-to-back wins on home ice.

Hershey Bears (8-1) at Cleveland Monsters (6-3)
June 4, 2024 | 7 p.m. | Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse | Hershey leads series, 2-0
Referees: Beau Halkidis (48), Jordan Samuels-Thomas (42) 
Linespersons: Joseph Mahon (89), Luke Pye (42)

Broadcast Information 
Voice of the Bears, Zack Fisch, former Bears captain Garrett Mitchell, and FOX43 sports director Todd Sadowski on the call
TELEVISION: Antenna TV (WPMT FOX 43.2, Xfinity Ch. 247 and 1178, Verizon FiOS Ch. 463, Blue Ridge Ephrata Ch. 91, and Blue Ridge Newberry/Duncannon Ch. 88); Monumental Sports Network (Washington, D.C. market); NHL Network
RADIO: WFVY-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, SportsRadio 98.9-FM & WOYK 1350-AM (joined in-progress), Capitals Radio 
LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 StreamCaps Radio 24/7 
Radio pre-game coverage starts at 6:30 p.m., Television coverage starts at 7 p.m.

Bear Nation can get together at Arooga's (637 E Main St, Hummelstown, PA 17036) for our Game 3 Watch Party (reservations are preferred)! Seating is available on a first come, first served basis.

Hershey and Cleveland began Game 2 on Saturday night with a scoreless first period, but the offense came alive in the second period as Garrett Roe opened the scoring with a power-play strike at 14:35 of the middle frame. Josh Dunne leveled the score at 1-1 at 18:48 during a scramble in front of the Hershey net after goaltender Hunter Shepard roamed from the net in an attempt to break up a rush from Alex Whelan. Ethen Frank sent the Bears ahead at 11:21 of the third period with his seventh goal of the playoffs, but David Jiricek tied the score with Jet Greaves pulled at 18:27 to force overtime. The Monsters peppered Hershey with six straight shots to open the extra stanza, but Shepard turned them aside, before Hershey finally registered its first shot of the overtime period. Eventually, the Bears clawed back, and Pierrick Dube netted the game-winner at 13:54 to lift Hershey to victory.

So far in the series, the Bears have out-scored Cleveland 8-6 and out-shot the Monsters 65-61. Hershey's power play is operating at a 3-for-12 (25.0%) clip against Cleveland, and the Hershey penalty kill has gone 7-for-9 (77.8%) with the Monsters on the man advantage. Cleveland defender David Jiricek leads the series in scoring with four points (2g, 2a), with both goals serving as the game-tying markers for the Monsters, while Hendrix Lapierre (1g, 2a) and Jimmy Huntington (0g, 3a) are not far behind for Hershey.

The Bears will look to take a 3-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals with another win tonight. In Hershey playoff history, the club has posted a 30-1 series record when beginning a best-of-seven with two consecutive wins, and a 21-1 series record when opening a best-of-seven with three straight victories. The most recent instance was the 2016 Eastern Conference Finals, when the Bears went up three games to none against the Toronto Marlies, ultimately claiming the Richard F. Canning Trophy for the Eastern Conference championship by defeating Toronto four games to one.

The last four consecutive playoff games between the Bears and Monsters have been decided in overtime, dating back to Game 3 of the 2016 Calder Cup Finals. The Monsters took both games in Ohio to close out a four-game sweep of that spring's championship round before Hershey opened the current series with back-to-back overtime wins at home, which marked the first time Hershey had played back-to-back playoff overtime games and emerged victorious in both contests since the Bears defeated the Providence Bruins in Games 2 and 3 of the 2017 Atlantic Division Finals. Including regular season play and excluding games that were decided in the shootout, the Bears have won their last 14 games decided in overtime, dating back to May 11 of last year.

A pair of Bears players are quietly ascending the ranks for the franchise's leaderboard in several statistical categories. Defenseman Aaron Ness' 61 games are tied for ninth in team playoff history with Les Duff, and with his next game played, Ness will move into a tie for eighth with Roger De Jordy. Goaltender Hunter Shepard's eight wins for the current playoff run are tied with Bob Johnson (1974), John Henderson (1969), Ed Chadwick (1963), Bob Perreault (1958 and 1959), and Gordon "Red" Henry (1947) for the ninth-most victories in an individual playoff year; his next win will also give him his 23rd career playoff victory for the Bears to move him into a tie with Perreault for fifth in franchise playoff history.

Ethen Frank and Chase Priskie enter the week riding a pair of individual streaks, as Frank has lit the lamp in each of his last five games (5g), while Priskie is enjoying a six-game point streak (2g, 5a). Hershey is 6-0 in the postseason when Frank finds the net and the club has gone 8-0 in every game in which Priskie records at least a point.

Hendrix Lapierre is second in playoff scoring with 11 points (4g, 7a), and is in a tie with Cleveland's David Jiricek for the league lead in power-play points with five...Ethen Frank is tied for first with four game-winning goals...Garrett Roe's shooting percentage of 44.4% (4-for-9) leads all active playoff skaters... Chase Priskie is tied with Jiricek for the league lead in scoring among defensemen with nine points (2g, 7a) and leads all playoff performers in plus/minus at +8.

June 4, 1997 - The Bears played their first-ever game in the month of June, as Hershey opened the 1997 Calder Cup Finals against the expansion Hamilton Bulldogs with a 4-2 Game 1 victory in front of a crowd of 5,445 at Hersheypark Arena. Christian Matte's goal at 9:51 of the second period ultimately stood up as the game-winner; goaltender J-F Labbe earned the victory despite exiting the game on two separate occasions while receiving treatment for a skate cut to his leg, going 28-for-30, while Marc Denis went 3-for-3 in relief in just under three and a half minutes of playing time.

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