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Game Preview: Bears vs. Americans, 7 p.m.

February 24, 2024

The Hershey Bears continue a three-game homestand tonight as they host the Rochester Americans in a battle of the American Hockey League's two oldest franchises. 

Hershey Bears (40-9-0-3) vs. Rochester Americans (24-18-5-2)
February 24, 2024 | 7 p.m. | Game 53 | GIANT Center
Referees: Patrick Hanrahan (52), Mason Riley (79)
Linespersons: Bob Goodman (90), Jud Ritter (34)

Tonight's Promotions:

FeBREWary Jersey Auction - Players will be wearing FeBREWary themed jerseys that will be auctioned off post-game.

BUY TICKETS NOW (limited tickets available)

Broadcast Information 
Voice of the Bears, Zack Fisch, AHL Hall of Famer Mitch Lamoureux, and In-arena host Jim Jones on the call 
RADIO: WFVY-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, SportsRadio 98.9-FM & WOYK 1350-AM, In-Arena on 88.9 FM
LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream 
Radio pre-game coverage starts at 6:30 p.m.

The Bears returned to home ice last night after a five-game road trip, and the Chocolate and White upended the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 4-1. Johnathan Gruden scored first at 5:49, striking shorthanded for the visitors. Ryan Hofer tied the game for Hershey at 13:57 of the first period, and there was no further scoring until late in regulation time. Hershey's Chase Priskie tallied on the power play at 16:22 of the third period, and Matt Strome and Bogdan Trineyev added shorthanded empty-net goals at 18:05 and 19:30 to seal the win for Hershey. The victory was Hershey's 40th of the season, making the Bears the first team in the AHL this season to achieve that milestone. The Amerks were in action last night on home ice, falling 2-1 to Belleville in a shootout. Mason Jobst scored in the second period for the Ameks and veteran goalie Dustin Tokarski stopped 32 shots in the losing effort. 

As the AHL's oldest teams battle, this evening's game marks a rematch of the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals. Hershey dispatched Rochester in six games en route to the club's 12th Calder Cup title, however Rochester owned a 2-1 record at GIANT Center in the series, including a Game 5 victory on May 31 in the last meeting in Chocolatetown. The two teams already met once this season as Hershey secured a 4-2 victory at Blue Cross Arena on Dec. 29. Mike Vecchione scored the winning goal in the third period and also added an assist for Hershey. The Amerks are 4-3-2-1 over the past 10 games while Hershey is 7-2-0-1 and are currently in the midst of a four-game point streak (3-0-0-1). 

Hershey's Chase Priskie scored his sixth goal of the season last night, and he leads all Hershey defenders in scoring with 27 points (6g, 21a) in 50 games. Priskie's goal last night was his third game-winning marker, and third power-play goal of the season. Both marks are personal-bests for the former Quinnipiac standout. Priskie has three points (2g, 1a) in his last three games, and the defender spent part of last season with Rochester, logging nine points (4g, 5a) in 42 games before being traded and finishing the season with the San Diego Gulls. 

Tonight marks the final game in the career of longtime AHL linesman Bob Goodman. Following this evening's game, the highly-regarded official will retire. Goodman has officiated in the AHL since 1992, working the 2011 AHL All-Star Game in Hershey, and the 2008 and 2010 Calder Cup Finals. He was the winner of the 2012-13 Michael Condon Memorial Award, given to an AHL on-ice official for his outstanding service to the league. Goodman has been a staple at Hersheypark Arena and GIANT Center over the years, and he's written a book about the Bears titled Forged on Ice, and he produced the documentary, B'ars to Bears. Additionally, he previously served on the Hershey Bears Hockey Club Hall of Fame committee. Goodman will be recongized by Hershey and the AHL prior to tonight's game.

The Bears enter tonight's game having won six straight contests on home ice. Only Milwaukee (10 games) has a longer active home win streak...The Amerks have points in four consecutive road games (3-0-1-0)...Hershey's Bogdan Trineyev has goals in two straight games after being held pointless in the 12 games prior...Hershey alternate captain Mike Vecchione had an assist last night for the 250th point of his AHL career...Hershey goaltender Hunter Shepard is 11-0-2 in his last 13 games with a 1.57 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage...The Capitals recalled Hendrix Lapierre from Hershey yesterday, joining fellow Bears forwards Pierrick Dube and Mike Sgarbossa who have been summoned to Washington...Tonight's game is expected to be sold-out, marking Hershey's seventh sellout of the season.

Feb. 24, 1961 - The Bears doubled up the Springfield Indians 6-3 at the Eastern States Coliseum in a notable victory. Springfield had been dominant up to that point on home ice that season, losing only three times prior at home - one of those defeats also came at the hands of the Bears. John McKenzie scored a hat trick for Hershey in the win; McKenzie would go on to win the Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins in 1970 and 1972, and was one of a handful of NHLers to make the jump to the upstart World Hockey Association, where he finished the final seven seasons of his pro hockey career.

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