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Eastern Conference Finals Game 5 Preview: Bears at Monsters, 7 p.m.

June 8, 2024

The Hershey Bears take the ice tonight against the Cleveland Monsters looking to close out the Eastern Conference Finals, as Hershey leads the best-of-seven series three games to one. A win would clinch the Richard F. Canning Trophy for the second time in as many seasons and send the Bears to a league-leading 25th appearance in the Calder Cup Finals, giving Hershey a chance to defend its 2023 championship.

Hershey Bears (9-2) at Cleveland Monsters (7-4)
June 8, 2024 | 7 p.m. | Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse | Hershey leads series, 3-1
Referees: Stephen Hiff (46), Justin Kea (44) 
Linespersons: Mitchell Hunt (62), Ryan Jackson (84)

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) 
RADIO: WFVY-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, SportsRadio 98.9-FM & WOYK 1350-AM (joined in-progress), Capitals Radio 
WATCH LIVE: AHLTV
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.

WATCH PARTY:
Bear Nation can get together at Arooga's (637 E Main St, Hummelstown, PA 17036) for our Game 5 Watch Party (reservations are preferred)! Seating is available on a first come, first served basis.

LAST TIME OUT:
Hershey was denied a chance to sweep the Monsters on Thursday in a 3-2 loss. Cleveland's Josh Dunne opened the scoring 2:10 into the first period, before Ethen Frank tied the game with a power-play goal at 18:07. The Monsters pulled ahead for good at 7:46 of the second period, as Roman Ahcan found the net for Cleveland, and Jake Gaudet tallied the eventual game-winner for the hosts at 5:10 of the third. Garrett Roe scored 45 seconds later to bring Hershey to within a goal, but despite a playoff-high 17 shots on goal in the frame for Hershey, the Bears were unable to close the gap and saw their seven-game win streak snapped.

ANOTHER KICK AT THE CAN:
Following their Game 4 loss to the Monsters, the Bears enter tonight's game with an all-time playoff record of 79-68 when playing a potential series-clinching game. The last time Hershey claimed the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals in five games was in 2016, when the Bears took a 3-0 series lead against the Toronto Marlies before dropping Game 4; Hershey rebounded with a 3-2 victory on the road to close out the series and claim the Richard F. Canning Trophy.

FRANK ON FIRE:
Ethen Frank leads the Bears and is second overall in playoff goals with nine, after finding the net for a power-play strike in the first period on Thursday. The goal extended his goal-scoring streak to seven games, giving Hershey its longest playoff goal streak since Harvie Pocza's franchise record of eight, which took place during 1981 playoffs from April 10-May 2 and saw the 1980 Calder Cup champion pot 10 goals during that stretch.

ROE THE BOAT:
Forward Garrett Roe enters tonight with a seven-game point streak dating back to Game 1 of the Atlantic Division Finals, collecting five goals and four assists over that stretch. The veteran leads Hershey with a 35.7% shooting percentage (5-for-14).

HEAD-TO-HEAD BREAKDOWN: 
So far in the series, the Bears have outscored Cleveland 16-11 and outshot the Monsters 130-121. Hershey's power play is operating at a 7-for-20 (35.0%) clip against Cleveland, and the Hershey penalty kill has gone 12-for-15 (80.0%) with the Monsters on the man advantage. Hershey's Ethen Frank (4g, 1a), Hendrix Lapierre (1g, 4a), and Mike Vecchione (1g, 4a), and Cleveland's Josh Dunne (2g, 3a) lead the series in scoring with five points apiece. In terms of game time in the lead through the series, Hershey has led a cumulative 92:15, while Cleveland has only held the lead for 49:34.

BEARS BITES:
A scoring correction has been issued by the AHL league office for Hershey's first goal in Game 3, which has now been officially credited to Jimmy Huntington, assisted by Chase Priskie and Garrett Roe...Chase Priskie saw his seven-game point streak (2g, 7a) snapped on Thursday. Hershey has posted a 9-0 record in games in which Priskie gets onto the scoresheet and a 0-2 record when he fails to produce a point. The defender's 11 total points lead all blueliners and is tied for fourth overall in playoff scoring...Hunter Shepard's 23 career playoff victories are tied with Bob Perreault for fifth in franchise history, and his next win will move him into a tie for fourth place with Gordon "Red" Henry... Hershey leads the league in goals for per game (3.82) and goals against per game (2.00)...Hendrix Lapierre leads the league with seven power-play points.

ON THIS DATE:
June 8, 2023 - The Bears opened the Calder Cup Finals with Game 1 against the expansion Coachella Valley Firebirds at Acrisure Arena. It was Hershey's league-record 24th appearance in the American Hockey League's championship playoff round and was the first time the Bears had played a game of consequence in the Pacific Time Zone since Feb. 7, 1968, when Hershey visited the San Diego Gulls of the now-defunct Western Hockey League, at a time when the AHL and WHL competed as part of an interlocking schedule.




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