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Bears Ink Defenders O'Gara and Willcox to Professional Tryouts

January 20, 2021 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Hershey Bears News Release

(Hershey, PA) - The Hershey Bears announced today the club has signed defenders Rob O'Gara and Reece Willcox to professional tryout agreements.

O'Gara, 27, split last season with the American Hockey League's San Antonio Rampage and Springfield Thunderbirds, appearing in 25 games and scoring six points (3g, 3a). Over five AHL seasons, O'Gara has appeared in 179 games with Providence, Hartford, San Antonio and Springfield, tallying 39 points (13g, 26a) while posting 124 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of 21.

The 6'4", 214-pound defender played under the direction of Hershey head coach Spencer Carbery when Carbery served as an assistant coach with Providence in 2017-18. The following season, O'Gara was an alternate captain with Hartford, registering 11 points in 47 games for the Wolf Pack. O'Gara has also appeared in 33 NHL games with Boston and the New York Rangers, collecting 3 assists.

The Massapequa, New York native enjoyed a distinguished career at Yale University before turning pro. He helped the Bulldogs to a NCAA National Championship in 2013 and was named to the NCAA First All-American Team in 2015. He was the ECAC's Best Defensive Defenseman in his junior and senior seasons.

Willcox, 26, has spent his entire AHL career with Hershey's divisional rival, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. He notched 13 points (2g, 11a) in 56 games with the Phantoms last season after collecting a career-best 20 points in 65 contests the year prior. Over parts of five seasons with Lehigh Valley, Willcox appeared in 232 games, scoring 58 points (12g, 46a).

The native of Surrey, British Columbia played in five games with the ECHL's Florida Everblades this season. Prior to turning pro, he played four seasons at Cornell University, serving as team captain and being named All-Ivy League First Team his senior season in 2015-16. The 6'4", 205-pound defender was a 5th round selection of the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2012 NHL Draft.

Both defenders will join Hershey for the team's 2021 Training Camp presented by Planet Fitness, which is expected to open this weekend. A complete Training Camp roster is expected to be released Friday.

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