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 Hershey Bears

Bears Face Comets, Phantoms

February 27, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Hershey Bears News Release


(Hershey, PA) - The Hershey Bears (41-9-0-3) take the ice this weekend with a pair of games, hosting the Utica Comets on Saturday before visiting Lehigh Valley on Sunday to open a four-game road trip.

TEAM LEADERS:

Goals: Ethen Frank (21)

Assists: Joe Snively (33)

Points: Joe Snively (43)

Power-Play Goals: Ethen Frank (10)

Shorthanded Goals: Bogdan Trineyev (2)

Plus/Minus: Vincent Iorio (+20)

Wins: Hunter Shepard (21)

GAA: Clay Stevenson (1.89)

SV%: Clay Stevenson (.930)

Only includes qualified players on active roster

RECENT RESULTS:

- Monday, Feb. 19 - Hershey 4 at Belleville 2

- Wednesday, Feb. 21 - Hershey 2 at Laval 3 (SO)

- Friday, Feb. 23 - Hershey 4 vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 1

- Saturday, Feb. 24 - Hershey 2 vs. Rochester 1 (OT)

LOCAL PRACTICE SCHEDULE FOR WEEK OF FEB. 26:

Monday, Feb. 26

Day off

Tuesday, Feb. 27

Practice, 10:30 a.m. at Hersheypark Arena

Wednesday, Feb. 28

Skating practice, 10 a.m. at Hersheypark Arena (select players)

Thursday, Feb. 29

Practice, 10:30 a.m. at Hersheypark Arena

Friday, March 1

Practice, 10:30 a.m. at Hersheypark Arena

Saturday, March 2

Morning skate, 10:15 a.m. at Hersheypark Arena

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

UPCOMING GAME SCHEDULE:

Saturday, March 2 - Hershey vs. Utica Comets, 7 p.m. - BUY TICKETS (limited seating)

Penn State Health Drawstring Bag Night - All fans in attendance will receive a Bears drawstring bag, courtesy of Penn State Health.

Sunday, March 3 - Hershey at Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 3:05 p.m.

Video Coverage: AHLTV; Radio Coverage: Bears Radio Network

All times Eastern

TEAM NEWS AND NOTES:

BACK ON TRACK:

Despite being prevented from equalizing the franchise mark for fastest 40 wins in last Wednesday's shootout loss at Laval, Hershey's two wins this past weekend have the Bears at 41-9-0-3 (85 points, .802 points percentage) entering the week. That record is one point better than the 2009-10 Bears team, which after 53 games was 41-10-0-2 (84 points, .792 points percentage). With 19 games remaining this season, Hershey needs only four wins to surpass its total from last season, and 11 victories to best the 2022-23 Calgary Wranglers mark of 51 wins in a 72-game regular season.

ONE-TWO GOALIE PUNCH:

Hershey goaltenders Clay Stevenson (1.89) and Hunter Shepard (2.04) enter the week first and second respectively in goals-against average. The duo have an almost even split in terms of workload for the Chocolate and White this season, with Stevenson having a slight edge of approximately 20 more minutes of game action and one more appearance than Shepard. Shepard, meanwhile, sits tied for third in the AHL in goaltending wins with 21, and is unbeaten in regulation since Dec. 13, going 12-0-2 in that stretch with a 1.53 GAA, a .936 save percentage, and two shutouts.

RECAPPING FEBRUARY:

Hershey completed its February schedule with a record of 6-2-0-1 in nine games, including a perfect 3-0-0-0 record at home. Alex Limoges and Joe Snively shared the team scoring lead with nine points apiece; Limoges led Hershey with five goals, while Snively paced the Bears with eight assists.

WORKIN' OVERTIME:

Hershey improved to 8-0 in overtime this season with its 2-1 victory over Rochester in extra time on Saturday, thanks to Alex Limoges' third OT-winner this season. Hershey's record for most overtime wins in a season was 10, set during the 2021-22 season, when the Scott Allen-led squad went 10-6 in games decided in sudden-death. The league record for most overtime wins is 14, set by the Oklahoma City Barons in 2014-15, which earned six of those overtime victories while coached by current Bears bench boss Todd Nelson before his promotion to the Edmonton Oilers.

CLOBBERING THE COMETS:

Hershey heads into Saturday's game with a season-high seven-game winning streak on GIANT Center ice, and will look to push that to eight when they host the Utica Comets for the first time in over a year. Last season, the Bears and Comets split the head-to-head series with a 1-1-0-0 record, with Hershey hosting Utica on Opening Night on Oct. 15, 2022, a 3-1 win. Hershey has a lifetime 10-3-2-1 record against the Comets, and Saturday's matchup features the AHL's active leaders in wins among head coaches, as Utica's Kevin Dineen (sixth all-time, 421) and Hershey's Todd Nelson (eighth all-time, 394) face each other. Bears video coach Adam Purner previously worked in the same role for the Comets during the 2021-22 campaign.

FREAKING THE PHANTOMS:

Hershey faces Lehigh Valley for the first time in over a month on Sunday afternoon when the Bears travel to PPL Center. Hershey has gone 3-1-0-1 at Lehigh Valley this season, most recently suffering a 4-1 loss on Feb. 2. Bogdan Trineyev (2g, 3a) and Joe Snively (0g, 5a) are tied for the active team lead in scoring against the Phantoms with five points each. Cooper Marody has six points (2g, 4a) to lead Lehigh Valley against Hershey. The Phantoms are one of only two teams this season to have beaten Hershey twice in regulation.

BEARS BITES:

Defenseman Chase Priskie is 15th in league scoring among blueliners with 29 points (6g, 23a) in 51 games. Three of his goals have been game-winners, tied for fourth among AHL defensemen...Forward Mike Vecchione had Hershey's first penalty shot of the season last Wednesday at Laval, but did not score. The Bears have not successfully converted on their last five regular-season penalty shots, with Riley Barber owning the last Bears penalty shot goal on Oct. 28, 2018 vs. Lehigh Valley...Hershey has the fewest penalty minutes per game (9.64) of any Eastern Conference team...Hunter Shepard's next win will be his 50th career win in the AHL and as a Bear. The goalie is currently tied with Darren Jensen and Don Edwards for 18th on the franchise wins list.


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