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 Hershey Bears

Atlantic Division Semifinals Game 3 Preview: Bears at Phantoms, 7:05 p.m.

May 8, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Hershey Bears News Release

(Allentown, PA) - The Hershey Bears will look to advance to the next round of the 2024 Calder Cup Playoffs tonight as they face the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in Game 3 of the Atlantic Division Semifinals, leading the best-of-five series two games to none.

Hershey Bears (2-0) at Lehigh Valley Phantoms (2-2)

May 8, 2024 | 7:05 p.m. | PPL Center | Hershey leads series, 2-0

Referees: Riley Brace (49), Jake Kamrass 34)

Linespersons: Ryan Jackson (84), Shawn Oliver (56)

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); Monumental Sports Network (Washington, D.C. market)

RADIO: WFVY-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, SportsRadio 98.9-FM & WOYK 1350-AM (joined in-progress), Capitals Radio


LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream , Caps Radio 24/7

Radio pre-game coverage starts at 6:35 p.m., Television coverage starts at 7 p.m.

Playoff Watch Party - Join us at The Bears Den at Hershey Lodge for our Atlantic Division Semifinals Game 3 Watch Party, presented by Labatt Blue, featuring a $5 Labatt Blue draft special!


Ethen Frank gave the Bears a 2-0 lead before the midway point of the first period in Game 2 last Saturday, and although Hunter McDonald scored at 18:45, Hershey added goals from Henrik Rybinski and a power-play strike from Alex Limoges in the second period, Hunter Shepard stonewalled Bobby Brink on a penalty shot in the third period, and Hendrix Lapierre sealed the game with an empty-netter to give Hershey a 5-1 victory.


With wins in the first two games of the series last week, the Bears have an opportunity to sweep the Atlantic Division Semifinals with a victory tonight. Historically, the Bears own a lifetime 9-1 series record when taking a 2-0 lead in a best-of-five series, but that often has not guaranteed a series sweep, as Hershey is 5-5 in Game 3 under those same conditions. Hershey's two most recent best-of-five series victories came last spring, when the Bears took a 2-0 series lead against the Charlotte Checkers and ultimately won 3-1 in the Atlantic Division Semifinals, then swept the Hartford Wolf Pack 3-0 in the Atlantic Division Finals. The Bears have a lifetime record of 77-66 in series-clinching playoff games.


Tonight's game marks Hershey's first test on the road in the postseason after a stellar regular season in which the Bears established a new franchise record for road points percentage after going 24-7-0-5 (.736) in 36 games. During the 2023 Calder Cup Playoffs, the Bears were also 7-3 away from GIANT Center .


Two of Hershey's forwards are among the leaders in shooting percentage in the Calder Cup Playoffs, as Hendrix Lapierre is second at 66.7% (2-for-3), while Henrik Rybinski is third at 50% (2-for-4). Dating back to last spring's Game 7 of the Calder Cup Finals, Lapierre has goals in three consecutive playoff contests, while Rybinski has found the net in both of his first two career postseason matches.


Goaltender Hunter Shepard has picked up where he left off in the regular season, only allowing one goal in each of his first two playoff games. His 1.00 postseason goals-against average and .968 save percentage are both second to only Ontario's Erik Portillo, who has played two more games owing to Ontario not receiving a first-round bye. Shepard's next appearance will move him into a tie with J.F. Labbé for sixth place in franchise history in postseason games played by a goaltender, with 23. Shepard's 16 career playoff wins for Hershey already ranks sixth in club history. Shepard's penalty shot save on Bobby Brink in the third period of Game 2 makes him one of three goaltenders to face - and stop - multiple playoff penalty shots in his Bears career, after previously stonewalling Carsen Twarynski on June 10, 2023 at Coachella Valley, joining Michal Neuvirth (April 24, 2009 vs. Philadelphia and May 30, 2009 at Manitoba) and Nick Damore (March 24, 1940 at New Haven, March 28, 1940 vs. Pittsburgh, and March 20, 1945 at Indianapolis).


Aaron Ness is Hershey's active leader for career playoff games, with 54; he notably led the entire Calder Cup Playoffs with 12 assists during Hershey's run to the championship round against Cleveland in 2016; his 15 career playoff assists is also the active leader for the Bears and is tied for 11th in franchise history among defensemen with Pascal Trépanier, while his next assist will move him into a four-way tie for eighth with Rich Brennan, Mike Gaul, and Steve Smith... Ethen Frank's three-point outing in Game 2 marked a new postseason career-high for the second-year forward...Alex Limoges' 12 penalty minutes is tied with Logan Day for the team lead; Limoges received all 12 penalty minutes in Game 2, the largest amount of PIMs assessed to the forward in a game in either the regular season or playoffs in his career...The last time the Bears faced the Phantoms in an elimination game occurred at PPL Center on April 30, 2017 in Game 5 of the Atlantic Division Semifinals, a 3-2 win; Hershey has won all three previous playoff games at PPL Center.


May 8, 1974 - In front of 8,703 fans, the biggest playoff crowd in Hersheypark Arena history, the Bears claimed the 1974 Calder Cup in a 4-3 victory over the Providence Reds in Game 5 of the finals. With the score tied 2-2 in the third, Hershey received goals from Terry Ewasiuk and Don Seiling to take the lead, and held off a Providence rally to secure the fifth Calder Cup in franchise history for the Chocolate and White. The Bears celebrated the championship by carrying retiring captain Ralph Keller around the ice on his teammates' shoulders.

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