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Game Preview: Bears at Penguins, 6:05 p.m.

April 13, 2024

The Hershey Bears hit the road for the final time this season as they face the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins this evening at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Hershey Bears (51-12-0-5) at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (37-22-8-1)
April 13, 2024 | 6:05 p.m. | Game 69 | Mohegan Sun Arena
Referees: Jordan Watt (83), Taylor Burzminski (13)  
Linespersons: Bill Lyons (27), Jud Ritter (34)

Broadcast Information 
Voice of the Bears, Zack Fisch, and Bears media specialist Jesse Liebman 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)
RADIO: WFVY-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, SportsRadio 98.9-FM & WOYK 1350-AM
WATCH LIVE: AHLTV
LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream 
Radio pre-game coverage starts at 5:35 p.m., TV coverage begins at 6 p.m.

LAST TIME OUT:
The Bears moved the club's winning streak to five games with a 4-1 decision versus Lehigh Valley last night at GIANT Center. Hershey's victory helped the Bears finish the season series at 8-2-0-2 versus the Phantoms. Matthew Phillips opened the scoring at 14:48 of the first period for the Bears, and Ethen Frank added his 29th goal of the season on the power play at 6:38 of the middle frame to give Hershey a 2-0 lead. Garrett Wilson cut the Hershey lead in half with a goal at 10:40 of the second period, but goals from Logan Day and Joe Snively helped Hershey pull away in the third period. Hunter Shepard stopped 24 shots to earn the win in goal for Hershey. The Penguins are also coming off a victory, earning a 5-2 win over Bridgeport on home ice last night. Avery Hayes had two goals for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Joel Blomqvist stopped 35 shots in net.

REGULAR-SEASON CHAMPS:
With last night's results, the Hershey Bears have earned the American Hockey League's Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as the league's regular-season champions for the 2023-24 campaign. This marks the first time the Bears have won the Kilpatrick Trophy since the abbreviated 2020-21 season, the fourth overall instance the club has won the trophy since it was instituted by the AHL Board of Governors in 1997, and the ninth overall regular-season championship won by Hershey. Hershey had initially reduced its Magic Number for securing the Kilpatrick Trophy to one point following its 4-1 win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Friday night. Coachella Valley's 3-2 overtime loss to the Bakersfield Condors ensures the Bears will finish the regular season in first place and guarantees home ice advantage for Hershey through the entirety of the 2024 Calder Cup Playoffs. Four of Hershey's previous eight regular-season titles were followed up with a Calder Cup championship (1946-47, 1957-58, 1987-88, 2009-10).

APPROACHING RECORD NUMBERS:
With four total games remaining in the 2023-24 regular season, the Bears are still in position to challenge a handful of noteworthy franchise and league records. Hershey needs four points out of its remaining eight available to best the franchise mark for overall points percentage (.769, 2009-10), and five points out of the remaining eight to best the 1992-93 Binghamton Rangers' league record for points percentage (.775). A win tonight would give Hershey sole possession of the AHL record for the most wins in a 72-game season.

BABY PENS BATTLE:
Tonight marks Hershey's final visit to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season. The Bears have gone 8-2-0-0 against the Penguins this season, winning their last seven consecutive outings. Hershey's power play has been very opportunistic, going 8-for-37 (21.6%), while also going 30-for-37 (81.1%) on the penalty kill. Joe Snively has been especially effective in competition against the Penguins, leading Hershey with 14 points (7g, 7a) and joins Mike Vecchione as the only skater to have appeared in all 10 games against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season. Tonight's game at Mohegan Sun Arena will represent the 275th regular-season meeting between Hershey and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, with Hershey owning an all-time record of 142-95-5-23-9. The Bears can match the second-highest single-season win total against the Penguins with a victory tonight, and a weekend sweep will ensure this season's team matches the franchise record for the most earned in a season against the Penguins (10, 2009-10).

ROAD WARRIORS:
While the Bears have already guaranteed that they will finish this season with the best road points percentage in franchise history, Hershey can put an exclamation point on its achievements away from home in the regular season with an additional win tonight - a victory against the Penguins would break the previous club mark for overall road points earned in a season (54, 2006-07) by a point. Any win (or shootout loss) would ensure the club bests its all-time record for fewest road losses (L+OTL) in a single season of eight (1942-43, 28 games, 17-8-3) and also match the AHL record for fewest road losses (L+OTL), currently held by the 2017-18 Toronto Marlies (38 games, 30-5-1-2).

BEARS BITES:
Hershey forward Henrik Rybinski is slated to play in his 100th career AHL game this evening...With a goal last night, Hershey defenseman Logan Day has points in three straight (2g, 2a) and seven points (3g, 4a) over his past seven games...Forward Joe Snively also enters tonight with a three-game point streak (1g, 5a)...Goaltender Hunter Shepard has won his past five starts, owning a .39 goals-against average, a .984 save percentage, with three shutouts in that span... Ethen Frank is two points away from 100 professional points, all with Hershey...Hershey has won its last five road games and has a seven-game road point streak (6-0-0-1), one game off the season-high mark of eight (Dec. 17 at Springfield - Jan. 31 at Lehigh Valley, 6-0-0-2).

ON THIS DATE:
April 12, 2007 - Hershey earned a 6-1 win at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to claim the club's first East Division title since the 1993-94 season. Kyle Wilson scored twice for Hershey, Dave Steckel and Scott Barney collected a goal and an assist, and goaltender Frederic Cassivi turned aside 34 shots in the victory. 




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