Bears Weekly #8: Club Looks to Return to Play After Recent Postponements
(Hershey, PA) - The Hershey Bears look to return to game action this week after COVID-19 protocol issues have sidelined the club since Nov. 26. The Chocolate and White have had five games postponed, but the team returned to the ice for practice this week, and the club has a pair of games scheduled for this upcoming weekend.
Standings Position: 4th in Atlantic
Goals: Mike Sgarbossa (8)*
Assists: Joe Snively (10)
Points: Joe Snively (17)
Power Play Goals: Garrett Pilon, Joe Snively (3)
Shorthanded Goals: Kody Clark, Joe Snively (1)
Plus/Minus: Joe Snively (+10)
Wins: Pheonix Copley, Zach Fucale (4)
GAA: Zach Fucale (2.63)
SV%: Zach Fucale (.898)
*Currently with Washington Capitals (NHL)
RECENT RESULTS:The Bears have not played a game since Nov. 26. The club has had five games postponed due to COVID-19 protocol issues.
Wednesday, November 24 : Hershey 4, Providence 3 (OT)
The Chocolate and White earned an overtime victory on Thanksgiving Eve versus Atlantic Division foe Providence at GIANT Center. The Bears trailed 2-0 early in the second period, but Joe Snively tallied shorthanded at 11:19, and Garrett Pilon tied the score on the power play just 29 seconds into the third period. Shane Gersich gave the Bears the lead at 1:22, but Providence scored on their 9th power play chance with just 2:01 remaining to force overtime. In the extra session, Mason Morelli's shot at 2:05 was confirmed to enter the net after video review, giving Hershey its third overtime win this year. It was Hershey's first win on Thanksgiving Eve since 2016.
Friday, November 26: Rochester 7, Hershey 3
Hershey lost on the road for the second straight game by a 7-3 margain, falling this time to Rochester after dropping a contest of the same score at Hartford the previous weekend. The Bears allowed a pair of power play goals from Michael Mersch in the opening frame and fell behind 4-0 before Kody Clark scored late in the second period. Rochester went 4-for-9 on the power play, and the team's combined for 135 penalty minutes, with Hershey posting a season-high 84 minutes in the box.
-Saturday, Dec. 11 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 6:05 p.m.
-Sunday, Dec. 12 vs. Laval, 5 p.m.
Tickets available at HersheyBears.com via Ticketmaster
Video Coverage: AHLTV, Radio Coverage: Bears Radio Network
TEAM NEWS AND NOTES:
CAN'T STOP SNIVELY:
After posting just three assists in his first nine games of the season, forward Joe Snively has been on a tear of late for the Chocolate and White. Over his previous eight games, Snively has tallied 14 points (7g, 7a). He has scored three power play goals and a shorthanded goal in that span, while also tallying the game-winning marker twice. He leads the club with six multi-point performances and enters this week on a three-game point streak (2g, 5a). He has 17 points in 17 games this season, the same point total he had last year in 30 games.
MASON MAKES MARK:
Forward Mason Morelli entered Thanksgiving week with no goals in his first 24 games with the Chocolate and White, but that has changed in a hurry. The hard-working forward scored his first goal as a Bear Nov. 24 versus Providence, tallying the overtime-winning goal for a memorable first strike with the club. He also added an assist that night for his first multi-point performance as a Bear. He followed that performance up with a goal at Rochester on Nov. 26, scoring in back-to-back games for the first time since he scored in three consecutive games as a member of the Stockton Heat in the 2018-19 season. Morelli has posted four points (2g, 2a) and 15 penalty minutes in 11 games this season.
Forward Garrett Pilon enters this week's action with a five-game point streak. He has six points (3g, 3a) in his previous five outings with the Bears, and the verstitle center/winger has tallied a goal in three straight games for the first time in his AHL career. Pilon enters this week just two points from 100 in his AHL career, and the fourth-year Bear is tied for first on the team in power play goals (3) while ranking tied for second in goals overall (7).
The Laval Rocket are scheduled to visit the GIANT Center on Sunday for the first time since Jan. 26, 2019. The Chocolate and White won that previous meeting, 4-2, thanks to three points (1g, 2a) from current Washington Capitals forward Mike Sgarbossa. The Rocket and Bears did play once during the 2019-20 season, with the Chocolate and White claiming a 4-2 win at Place Bell on Oct. 19, 2019. The Rocket currently sit at 5th place in the North Division with a 9-9-2-0 record. Former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguin Jean-Sebastian Dea is among Laval's top marksmen with eight goals.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
With five games postponed, Hershey has announced a flurry of rescheduled contests. The game scheduled for Nov. 28 versus Lehigh Valley will now take place on Jan. 5 at 7 p.m. at GIANT Center. The Dec. 1 game at Lehigh Valley will now occur on Dec. 21 at 7:05 p.m. at the PPL Center. The Dec. 4 game at Lehigh Valley is now scheduled for Feb. 13 at 2:05 p.m. in Allentown. Hershey's game originally scheduled for Dec. 5 versus Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will now take place on Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. at GIANT Center. Lastly, the Dec. 8 game at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has been moved to Dec. 14 at 7:05 p.m. at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
The Bears lead the league in penalty minutes per game, averaging 18.24 minutes per game. Hershey's 105 minor penalties are tied with Milwaukee for most in the league...Defenseman Bobby Nardella is two games away from skating in his 100th professional game...Saturday's contest at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is the first of five meetings with the Penguins this month...Hershey netminder Zach Fucale is a former member of Sunday's foe, the Laval Rocket. Fucale played 18 games for Laval during the 2017-18 season...Between now and Feb. 3, Hershey only plays two games outside the state of Pennsylvania...Former Bears coach Bruce Boudreau was named the head coach of the NHL's Vancouver Canucks earlier this week. Boudreau led the Bears to a Calder Cup title in 2006.
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