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Game Preview: Bears vs. Penguins, 5 p.m.

April 14, 2024

The Hershey Bears look to return to the win column tonight as they host the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for the final time this season. 

Hershey Bears (51-13-0-5) vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (38-22-8-1)
April 14, 2024 | 5 p.m. | Game 70 | GIANT Center
Referees: Alex Lepkowski (74), Jordan Deckard (14)  
Linespersons: Justin Johnson (57), Richard Jondo (55)

Tonight's Promotion:
Belco Kids Goalie Mask Night - The first 1,000 fans 12 and under will receive a goalie mask, courtesy Belco Community Credit Union


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)
RADIO: WFVY-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, SportsRadio 98.9-FM & WOYK 1350-AM, Capitals Radio
LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 StreamCaps Radio 24/7
Radio pre-game coverage starts at 4:30 p.m., TV coverage begins at 5 p.m.

Hershey had its five-game winning streak snapped last night in a 4-1 loss at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Avery Hayes started the scoring for the Penguins at 11:02 of the first period, but Hershey's Hardy Haman Aktell tied the score at 7:05 of the middle frame. Jansen Harkins put the Penguins back on top at 11:37 of the second period, and the Penguins pulled further ahead with goals from Corey Andonovski and Sam Poulin at 4:42 and 17:16 of the third period. The win for the Penguins was the club's seventh straight victory and helped the Baby Pens snap a seven-game losing streak in head-to-head play versus Hershey. 

Entering tonight's game, Hershey goaltender Hunter Shepard leads the AHL in goals-against average (1.78) and save percentage (.928). The 28-year-old netminder has won five straight games, collecting a .39 goals-against average and a .984 save percentage with three shutouts in that span. Shepard has gone 5-1-0 versus the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season, but he hasn't played versus the Penguins since Dec. 27, when he turned aside 20 shots in a 4-1 win at GIANT Center. In his AHL career, Shepard has posted a 11-2-3 record versus Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. 

Hershey defenseman Hardy Haman Aktell scored Hershey's lone goal in last night's loss. It was Haman Aktell's second AHL goal, and his first tally since he struck for Hershey's first goal of the season versus Cleveland on Oct. 15. Haman Aktell enters tonight with points in two straight games, the first point streak of his AHL tenure. In his first season with the Bears, Haman Aktell has collected 11 points (2g, 9a).

Including tonight, the final three games of Hershey's season will be played at GIANT CenterThe Bears are the AHL's best team on home ice, owning a 27-6-0-0 record. The Chocolate and White are undefeated versus Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at GIANT Center this season, going 5-0-0-0 and outscoring the Penguins 17-4. Dating back to last season, the Bears have points in seven straight home games versus the Penguins (6-0-1-0). 

Forward Ryan Hofer has assists in two straight games for Hershey. The Bears are 6-2-0-0 when the rookie records a point...Hershey is 8-2-0-1 in Sunday games this season, including going 7-2-0-0 on home ice...Forward Ethen Frank enters tonight two points from 100 in his professional career...Hershey needs four points out of its remaining six available to best the franchise mark for overall points percentage (.769, 2009-10), and five points out of the remaining six 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...Hershey is 2-1-0-0 in the final game of a three-in-three this season...Wilkes-Barre/Scranton forward Jansen Harkins has scored three of his five goals versus the Bears this season.

April 14, 2001 - The Bears bounced the Kentucky Thoroughblades from the Southern Division Semifinals with a 2-1 victory in Game 3, giving Hershey a sweep of the five-game series. The contest proved to be the final game of the T-Blades' existence, as they moved to Cleveland the following season and became the Cleveland Barons. 

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