Bears Weekly #3: Surging Bears to Face Amerks, Comets this Week
(Hershey, PA) - The Hershey Bears earned two victories on a road trip to Canada last week, and now the club looks to continue its winning ways as they are set to face a pair of opponents from the North Division. The Bears, who have already won three contests on the road this season, visit Rochester on Wednesday then return home to face the Utica Comets on Saturday evening. Hershey enters the week with a record of 4-2-1-0, having won four of its past five games.
The Bears started the Canadian road trip in Toronto last Wednesday, falling to the Marlies, 4-3. Hershey got a pair of goals from Axel Jonsson-Fjallby in the loss and netminder Pheonix Copley was strong in relief, stopping 12 of 13 shots.
Hershey responded last Friday in Belleville, besting the Senators, 5-1. The teams traded goals in the opening frame, but the Bears exploded for four tallies in the second period to run away with the game. In the midst of the strong middle stanza was a flurry of three goals in 1:06. Liam O'Brien capitalized on a turnover at 14:43, Beck Malenstyn finished a rush to the net at 15:34, and Steve Whitney tallied his first goal of the season at 15:49. Copley was solid in goal, earning the win with 31 saves.
Hershey finished the week with a 3-2 win at Laval on Saturday. Connor Hobbs, Joe Snively, and Brian Pinho all scored their first goal of the season in the victory, and goalie Vitek Vanecek bounced back with a 23-save effort in the win.
Tickets to all home games are on sale now at the Giant Center Box Office, or online via Ticketmaster.
-Wednesday, Oct. 23 at Rochester, 7:05 p.m.
-Saturday, Oct. 26 vs. Utica, 7 p.m.
Reese's Trick-or-Treat Night (All fans 12 & under)
The Bears are committed to giving back to the local community. On Oct. 30, three Bears players will visit Hershey Elementary School.
PINHO'S POINT STREAK: Hershey forward Brian Pinho enters this week having collected points in four straight contests. The forward has amassed five points (one goal, four assists) in that span, including notching the game-winning goal in Saturday's victory at Laval. He also added an assist in that game, giving him his first AHL multi-point contest. The Massachusetts native already has five points through seven games this season, which is on pace to far surpass the 12 points he collected in 73 games during his rookie campaign in 2018-19.
FLOW ON FIRE: Swedish forward Axel Jonsson-Fjallby enjoyed a breakout week in Canada for the Bears, tallying points in three straight contests, posting his first multi-goal game in the AHL, and earning the honor of being named Hershey's PSECU Player of the Week. The speedy winger scored twice in Hershey's loss at Toronto, posted the opening goal in Belleville for Hershey, and concluded the week by assisting on Brian Pinho's winning goal in Laval. After having three points in 16 contests last year for the Bears, Jonsson-Fjallby already has four points (three goals, one assist) in seven games this season.
CALL THE COPS: Goaltender Pheonix Copley has been one of the AHL's best netminders early in the season, stopping 91-of-96 shots through his first four appearances this season. He's surrendered just one goal against in each of his last three appearances and owns a 1.35 goals against average and a .948 save percentage. His next appearance will be his 150th in the AHL.
HE SHOOTS, HE SCORES: The Bears are averaging an impressive 3.57 goals per game through the first seven contests of the season, good for 8th in the AHL. It's a step in the right direction for the Chocolate and White who finished the 2018-19 season with an average of just 2.78 goals per game, a mark that was 25th in the league.
BEARS BITES: Forward Liam O'Brien has scored a goal in three straight games...Rookie forward Brett Leason earned his first professional point with an assist in Laval...Alex Alexeyev ranks second in the AHL in rookie scoring among defenders with five points...Christian Djoos' seven points are tied for the AHL lead in scoring among defensemen...The Bears have won three of their first four road games for the first time since the 2014-15 season...Each of Hershey's three losses this season have been by a single goal... Saturday's opponent, the Utica Comets, are off to a 5-0-0-0 start to the season and are paced by Reid Boucher who leads the AHL in goals with eight.
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