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Game Preview: Bears at Wolf Pack, 7 p.m.

March 30, 2024

The Hershey Bears make their final visit of the 2023-24 regular season to the Constitution State, as they get set to take on the Hartford Wolf Pack.

Hershey Bears (46-12-0-5) at Hartford Wolf Pack (30-24-7-2)
March 30, 2024 | 7 p.m. | Game 64 | XL Center
Referees: Jordan Deckard (14), Phillip Kasko (93)
Linespersons: Shawn Oliver (56), Matt Heinen (58)

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
WATCH LIVE: AHLTV
LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream 
Radio pre-game coverage starts at 6:30 p.m.; Television coverage begins at 7 p.m.

LAST TIME OUT:
The Bears hosted Providence on Tuesday, and after falling behind 1-0 in the first period on a Jayson Megna goal, Hershey tied the score with a Logan Day strike at 19:12. Providence blitzed the Bears with three goals on three successive shots in the second period to take a 4-1 lead that the visitors would not relinquish. Clay Stevenson went 16-for-20 in the loss while Brandon Bussi got the victory for Providence with a 26-for-27 effort. Hartford is coming off a 6-2 home loss last night against Springfield that saw the Wolf Pack take an initial 1-0 lead in the first period off a goal from Adam Edstrom, but the Thunderbirds enjoyed a five-goal run by the midway point of the second period to seize a 5-1 lead. Nic Petan got one back for Hartford with a goal in the third period, but Mikhail Abramov restored the four-goal advantage for Springfield late in regulation to close out the scoring. The Thunderbirds went 2-for-5 with the man advantage, while Hartford was only 0-for-3.

ATOP THE ATLANTIC:
The Bears head into tonight's game sporting a 14-point lead on the Providence Bruins for first place in the Atlantic Division, and Hershey's Magic Number to clinch the 2023-24 division title sits at five points. Hershey cold reduce its Magic Number to one point with a win against Hartford and a Providence regulation loss at Syracuse.

SHEPARD'S SURGE:
Since February, Bears goaltender Hunter Shepard has ramped his play up, leading to his takeover atop the league leaderboard for goals-against average on Sunday with a 20-save shutout against Cleveland to bring his goals-against average to 1.89. In his last nine appearances, Shepard has gone 6-1-2 with a 1.09 goals-against average and .953 save percentage, and three shutouts. Shepard enters the week with two straight shutouts and an overall shutout streak of 141:29 dating back to Hershey's 4-3 shootout loss at Utica on March 15.

NELLY NEARS MAJOR MILESTONE:
Todd Nelson's next win behind the bench for Hershey will be his 400th career victory as an American Hockey League head coach. The bench boss for the Bears is in his second season at the helm of the Chocolate and White and has posted a 90-31-14 (.719) record during his tenure, and owns an overall 399-220-77 (.629) record in 696 career games as an AHL head coach for Hershey, Grand Rapids, and Oklahoma City. The Prince Albert, Saskatchewan native's 399 AHL coaching victories rank eighth all-time; he needs nine wins to pass Scott Gordon for sole possession of seventh in league history.

RUNNING WITH THE PACK:
The Bears are 2-1-0-0 in head-to-head play against the Wolf Pack this season. Hershey won its lone previous visit to XL Center earlier this season, a 4-2 victory on Jan. 19. Alex Limoges and Riley Sutter share the scoring lead against Hartford this season with an identical three points (1g, 2a). Hartford is in the midst of a 1-7-1-1 skid and has not won at home since a 7-4 victory against Providence on March 8.

BEARS BITES:
Hershey announced the signing of forward Haakon Hanelt to a professional tryout agreement on Wednesday...Mike Vecchione's next game will be his 400th professional contest...Pierrick Dube's 26 goals and Joe Snively's 38 assists are both tied for sixth in the American Hockey League...Logan Day has three points (1g, 2a) in his last two games. The defender needs two more games to reach 300 pro matches...The Bears boast a league-leading 34 wins when scoring first...Hershey ranks first on the penalty kill (207-for-234, 88.5%).

ON THIS DATE:
March 30, 1958 - Eddie Stankiewicz scored at 19:58 of the third period to break a 6-6 tie and lift the Bears to a 7-6 win over the Providence Reds in Game 3 of the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs at the Rhode Island Auditorium. Hershey took a 3-0 series lead and ultimately prevailed in five games before claiming their second Calder Cup in franchise history with a 4-2 series win over the Springfield Indians in the 1958 Calder Cup Finals.




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