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Weekly Release: Bears Hit the Road

February 7, 2024

The Hershey Bears (36-8-0-2) come out of the American Hockey League's All-Star break atop the league standings with a 13-point lead for first place. Hershey begins a five-game road trip this weekend that opens with a meeting with second-place Providence on Friday, and plays the following night at Springfield.

TEAM LEADERS:
Goals: Pierrick Dube (24)
Assists: Joe Snively (28)
Points: Joe Snively (37)
Power-Play Goals: Ethen Frank (10)
Shorthanded Goals: Hendrix Lapierre, Henrik Rybinski, Bogdan Trineyev (1)
Plus/Minus: Ivan Miroshnichenko (+16)
Wins: Hunter Shepard (18)
GAA: Clay Stevenson (1.79)
SV%: Clay Stevenson (.935)
Only includes qualified players on active roster

LAST WEEK'S RESULTS:

-        Wednesday, Jan. 31 - Hershey 4 at Lehigh Valley 2
-        Friday, Feb. 2 - Hershey 1 at Lehigh Valley 4
-        Saturday, Feb. 3 - Hershey 4 vs. Bridgeport 0

LOCAL PRACTICE SCHEDULE FOR WEEK OF FEB. 5:

Monday, Feb. 5
NO PRACTICE (All-Star break)

Tuesday, Feb. 6
NO PRACTICE (All-Star break)

Wednesday, Feb. 7
NO PRACTICE (All-Star break)

Thursday, Feb. 8
Practice, 9 a.m. at Hersheypark Arena
Travel to Providence

All practices are open to the public. Practice dates and times are subject to change.

UPCOMING GAME SCHEDULE:

Friday, Feb. 9 - Hershey at Providence Bruins, 7:05 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 10 - Hershey at Springfield Thunderbirds, 7:05 p.m.

TV Coverage: Antenna TV (Saturday only), Video Coverage: AHLTV; Radio Coverage: Bears Radio Network

All times Eastern

TEAM NEWS AND NOTES:

SGARBOSSA UP TO CAPS:
The Washington Capitals announced on Monday the recall of forward Mike Sgarbossa from Hershey. Sgarbossa had been leading Hershey with 43 points (7g, 36a) in 44 contests, and his 36 assists and 21 power-play points still rank first among all AHL skaters. The Bears have posted a 26-2-0-2 record when Sgarbossa records at least a point this season.

ALL-STAR WEEKEND HIGHLIGHTS:
The Bears were well-represented at the 2024 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Tech CU in San Jose, with Ethen Frank, Dylan McIlrath, and Clay Stevenson suiting up for the Atlantic Division. In Sunday's skills competition, McIlrath posted an impressive 100.8 mph slapshot in the CCM Hardest Shot competition that was only bested by Colorado's Riley Tufte by one-tenth of a second. Ethen Frank defended his CCM Fastest Skater record-setting win in 2023 with a first-place finish with a time of 13.023 seconds. Bears head coach Todd Nelson was behind the bench for the Atlantic, helping guide his team to the championship match of the All-Star Challenge, before ultimately falling 3-2 to the Pacific Division. Bears head athletic trainer Shawn Fliszar and assistant equipment manager Dillon Filepas also represented Hershey. Former Bears Dennis Bonvie (2003-05) and Gerry Ehman (1958-59) were also enshrined in the AHL Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2024.

TOP TWO TEAMS CLASH:
Hershey gets set to meet a Providence Bruins team this Friday in a matchup that features the top two teams in the AHL. After a slow start of 6-8-1-2, including back-to-back home losses to Hershey in late October, the Bruins have surged to their present second-place spot in the overall league standings, going 22-5-2-0 in their last 29 games. In that time, the Bears have taken two more wins over Providence for an overall 4-0-0-0 record in the head-to-head series; it is the first time in franchise history that the Bears have opened a season series against the Bruins with four straight victories.

TAKING ON THE T-BIRDS:
The Bears boast a 3-0-0-0 record against the Thunderbirds this season, and have won nine straight contests against Springfield dating back to the 2021-22 season. Hershey has a point streak that extends even further, as it has posted a record of 11-0-2-0 against Springfield dating back to Jan. 24, 2020. Saturday's clash with the Thunderbirds features the marquee matchup of the league's top goal-scorers, as Pierrick Dube and Adam Gaudette are tied in the race for the Willie Marshall Award with 24 goals.

BEARS BITES:
Hunter Shepard is tied for third in the AHL with 18 wins...Hershey is 20-0-0-0 when Pierrick Dube finds the back of the net...Joe Snively is three assists away for 100 career AHL/Bears assists. He has 12 points (1g, 11a) in his last 11 games...The Chocolate and White have gone 12-3-0-1 on the road this season when scoring a goal in the first period...Hershey is 12-1-0-2 this season in games decided by two or fewer goals...The Bears lead the Eastern Conference and are second overall in the fewest penalty minutes per game in the AHL (9.43)...Hershey is 27-1-0-1 when scoring first.




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