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Game Preview: Bears at Islanders, 7 p.m.

November 18, 2023

The Hershey Bears look to sweep a home-and-home set as they hit the road tonight to battle the Bridgeport Islanders at Total Mortgage Arena. Hershey defeated Bridgeport last night at GIANT Center, 5-4. 

Hershey Bears (11-4-0-0) at Bridgeport Islanders (4-8-1-0)
November 18, 2023 | 7 p.m. | Game 16 | Total Mortgage Arena
Referees: Jack Young (24), Liam Maaskant (62)
Linespersons: Dylan Pitera (91), Dylan Lewis (18)

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
LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream
Radio pre-game coverage starts at 6:30 p.m.

The Bears claimed a 5-4 win over the Bridgeport Islanders last night at GIANT Center. Hershey jumped out to a 2-0 lead on first period goals from Mike Vecchione at 17:32 and Ryan Hofer at 19:52. In the second period, Hershey added a pair of goals from Ivan Miroshnichenko and Bogdan Trineyev to open up a 4-1 lead, and Ethen Frank's sixth goal of the season at 1:22 of the third period gave Hershey a sizable 5-1 lead. However, Bridgeport roared back with goals from Jeff Kubiak at 7:37, Dennis Cholowski at 9:09, and Otto Koivula at 12:34 of the final stanza to cut the lead to 5-4. Bridgeport pushed until the final horn, outshooting Hershey 18-3 in the third period and 35-28 in the game, but the Bears held on for the win to move to 3-0-0-0 this season versus the Islanders. 

In last night's victory, several members of the Bears enjoyed firsts. Ryan Hofer's tally with 7.8 seconds left in the initial stanza was his first professional goal. Center Riley Sutter assisted on the goal, scoring his first point of the season. In the second period, Karson Kuhlman scored his first goal of the season for Bridgeport, but the Bears responded as rookie defenseman Nicky Leivermann added an assist on Ivan Miroshnichenko's breakaway goal to record his first professional point. 

The Bears have enjoyed great success in the opening period this season, outscoring opponents 17-8. Hershey scored first in last night's game for the eighth time this season, moving to 7-1-0-0 when they notch the game's icebreaker. Hershey is now 8-1-0-0 when they score a goal in the first period this season, and 6-1-0-0 when they do not allow a goal in the opening stanza. On the other side of the ledger, Bridgeport has been outscored 17-8 in the first period and are 0-6-1-0 when trailing after the opening 20 minutes. 

Last night, the Washington Capitals announced that defenseman Hardy Haman Aktell had been loaned to Hershey. The 24-year-old has played in two goals with Hershey this season, scoring the club's first goal of the year on Oct. 15 versus Cleveland prior to being recalled to Washington. Haman Aktell has skated in six games with the Capitals, making his NHL debut on Oct. 21 at Montreal and earning his first NHL point when he registered an assist on Oct. 29 versus San Jose. The Capitals signed Haman Aktell to a one-year, two-way entry-level contract on Apr. 27. In 2022-23, he recorded 36 points (9g, 27a) in 51 games with the Vaxjo Lakers of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL).

The Bears are averaging 3.2 goals per game this season, but in each of the previous two contests, Hershey has scored five goals. In those two games, Hershey has received goals from nine different players, with Jimmy Huntington being the only player to tally twice...Hershey is 6-1-0-0 in one-goal games this season...Mike Sgarbossa's three assists tied his career-best in helpers, marking the ninth time in his career he's collected a trio of assists in an AHL game...Defenseman Aaron Ness is three points away from passing Patrick McNeill (152 points) for eighth all-time in Bears scoring among blueliners.

Nov. 18, 2016- Forward Chris Bourque and Christian Thomas each notch two goals as Hershey defeats the Springfield Thunderbirds 5-1 at GIANT Center. Future Stanley Cup Champions Christian Djoos and Chandler Stephenson each had three assists for Hershey in the win.

Nov. 18, 1961- AHL and Hershey Hall of Famer Willie Marshall scores a hat trick in a 5-1 victory over the Providence Reds. Marshall would go on to lead Hershey in points during the 1960-61 season with 95 (30g, 65a).


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