Bears Dig into Thanksgiving Week Homestand

November 20, 2023 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Hershey Bears News Release

(Hershey, PA) - The first-place Hershey Bears (12-4-0-0) will be at home for the entirety of the week, hosting three games at GIANT Center. Bear Nation will welcome the return of the Canteen Vending Turkey Shoot following Wednesday's game against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins as Hershey celebrates the return of the annual Thanksgiving Eve game. Fans will be treated to a new opponent this weekend, as the Iowa Wild make their first-ever visit to the Sweetest Place on Earth for a pair of games on Saturday and Sunday. Hershey enters the week riding a three-game winning streak.


Goals: Ethen Frank, Mike Vecchione (7)

Assists: Mike Sgarbossa (14)

Points: Mike Sgarbossa (17)

Power-Play Goals: Ethen Frank (4)

Shorthanded Goals: Bogdan Trineyev (1)

Plus/Minus: Alex Limoges (+9)

Wins: Hunter Shepard (6)

GAA: Clay Stevenson (1.75)

SV%: Clay Stevenson (.927)

Only includes qualified players


- Wednesday, Nov. 15 - Hershey 5 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 4 (OT)

- Friday, Nov. 17 - Hershey 5 vs. Bridgeport 4

- Saturday, Nov. 18 - Hershey 4 at Bridgeport 0


Monday, Nov. 20

Practice at 10:30 a.m. at GIANT Center

Tuesday, Nov. 21

Practice at 10:30 a.m. at GIANT Center

Wednesday, Nov. 22

Morning skate at 10:15 a.m. at GIANT Center

Thursday, Nov. 23

Practice at 10:30 a.m. at GIANT Center

Friday, Nov. 24

Morning skate at 10:15 a.m. at GIANT Center

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


Wednesday, Nov. 22 - Hershey vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 7 p.m. - BUY TICKETS

Canteen Vending Turkey Shoot Night - All fans in attendance are welcome onto the ice post-game to take part in the Canteen Vending Turkey Shoot.

Saturday, Nov. 25 - Hershey vs. Iowa Wild, 7 p.m. - BUY TICKETS

College Night - Show your school spirit and enjoy a night off campus! College students can enjoy discounted ticket prices when they purchase through our College Night offers using a valid college email address. VIEW OFFER to learn more and purchase tickets.

Sunday, Nov. 26 - Hershey vs. Iowa Wild, 3 p.m. - BUY TICKETS

David A. Smith Printing Team Photo Night - The first 6,000 fans in attendance will receive a team photo, courtesy of David A. Smith Printing.

Team Autograph Night - Post-game autograph session will take place on the ice for 75 minutes.

Video Coverage: AHLTV; Radio Coverage: Bears Radio Network, Capitals Radio Network; Tickets:

All times Eastern



Goalie Clay Stevenson's 25-save shutout on Saturday at Bridgeport gave him his third clean sheet of the season and has vaulted the rookie netminder into the league lead. Since Oct. 28, when he registered his first shutout versus Lehigh Valley, Stevenson has appeared in five games, going 4-1-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average and a .961 save percentage.


After being held without a point over a five-game stretch from Nov. 1 - Nov. 12, Ethen Frank busted out with a big performance for the Bears last week. The sophomore forward recorded points in each of Hershey's three games (2g, 3a) and generated 11 shots on goal. Frank also netted the eventual game-winner in the 5-4 Bears win at home over the Islanders on Friday night. He is tied with Mike Vecchione for the team goal-scoring lead with seven on the season.


Hershey is off to a 2-2-0-0 start in the regular season series with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton; the Bears picked up their first road win of the series in last Wednesday's 5-4 overtime win over the Penguins. Joe Snively has enjoyed a torrid performance against the Penguins, with six points (4g, 2a) in four games.


The Bears will host a pair of games against the Iowa Wild - affiliate to the NHL's Minnesota Wild - this weekend as part of a four-game season series, marking the first time the Bears and Wild have met, and the first time Hershey has played a Western Conference opponent in the regular season since hosting the Rockford IceHogs on Feb. 23, 2019. The Wild franchise previously existed in the AHL as the Houston Aeros from 2001 before being relocated to Des Moines in 2013, and prior to that from 1994-01 as a member of the now-defunct International Hockey League. Hershey last played a Minnesota affiliate on Jan. 9, 2009, when the Bears hosted Houston in a 5-1 victory at GIANT Center. In that game, current Bears vice president of hockey operations Bryan Helmer assisted on the game-winning goal, a shorthanded tally by Alexandre Giroux midway through the first period. Current Bears assistant coach Patrick Wellar dropped the gloves with Aeros player (now Washington Capitals assistant coach) Mitch Love. Iowa is in its first season under head coach Brett McLean and enters the week with a 6-6-1-1 record for third place in the Central Division.


A handful of Iowa's coaching staff have connections to Bears head coach Todd Nelson: Iowa assistant Ben Simon was previously an assistant coach in Grand Rapids under Nelson and captured the Calder Cup together with the Griffins in 2017, while Wild goalie coach Richard Bachman previously played for Nelson as a goaltender with the Oklahoma City Barons and Edmonton Oilers between 2013-15.


Bear Nation will likely be excited to see Wild forward Kale Kessey this weekend, as the former Bear makes his return to Hershey for the first time since his March 8, 2023 trade to the Colorado Eagles. The 11th-year pro played parts of four seasons for the Chocolate and White, appearing in 121 games and registering 13 points (8g, 5a) and 369 penalty minutes, including 19 fighting majors. In 2019-20, Kessy was selected as the Hershey winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the local community. Kessy signed an AHL contract with the Wild organization this past summer.


Following a four-assist performance last week, Bears forward Mike Sgarbossa (129) has overtaken teammate Aaron Ness (125) as the active leader for career assists for the Chocolate and White. Sgarbossa still has quite a way to go to crack the Top 10 for the franchise - AHL and Bears Hall-of-Famer Keith Aucoin sits in 10th at 255. Nevertheless, Sgarbossa is dishing out assists better than most; he enters the week tied with Abbotsford's Arshdeep Bains atop the AHL with 14 assists on the season. The veteran pivot also matched his career-high on Friday against Bridgeport with three helpers.


Riley Sutter has three points (1g, 2a) in his last two games...Matt Strome has assists in his last two games...Defenseman Aaron Ness is three points away from passing Patrick McNeill (152 points) for eighth all-time in Bears scoring among blueliners...Jimmy Huntington's next point will be the 100th of his professional career...Hunter Shepard won has won two consecutive games...Hershey is averaging 10 penalty minutes per game, the third-fewest in the AHL...The Bears are 8-1-0-0 when scoring first, and 9-1-0-0 when leading after the first period; Hershey's nine wins when leading after two periods is the most of any team in the league...Hershey is 6-for-32 (18.8%) with the man advantage at home.

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