Bears Weekly: Streaking Bears Make History, Climb in Standings
(Hershey, PA) - The Hershey Bears won three games last week to continue the club's winning ways. The Bears now sit at 29-20-0-3, moving into the upper half of the Atlantic Division standings for the first time this season. The Bears have points in 15 straight games (14-0-0-1) and the club has won nine straight contests. The Chocolate and White are looking to continue their success this weekend as they visit Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, host Rockford, and travel to Bridgeport in the club's first three in three since Jan. 11-13.
Last Wednesday, the Bears opened the week with a 4-3 shootout win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at Giant Center. Hershey battled back from a third period deficit with goals from Tyler Lewington and Jayson Megna. In the shootout, Riley Barber and Nathan Walker scored, and Vitek Vanecek stopped both shots he faced to secure the win for Hershey.
In last Saturday's contest, Hershey claimed another shootout win on home ice, topping Lehigh Valley, 3-2. Hershey led 2-1 late into the game, but Corban Knight tied the contest for the Phantoms with 1:09 to play. In the shootout, Mike Sgarbossa scored the lone goal and Ilya Samsonov went three-for-three as Hershey earned the win.
In Sunday's rematch at the PPL Center, the Bears erupted for a 4-1 lead in the second period and fended off a late Lehigh Valley push to win, 4-3. Beck Malenstyn scored twice, and Mike Sgarbossa and Ryan Sproul added goals.
Ticket information: http://www.hersheybears.com/tickets/single-game.php
-Friday, Feb. 22 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 7:05 p.m.
-Saturday, Feb. 23 vs. Rockford, 7 p.m.
Promotion: Banking/Finance Night
-Sunday, Feb. 24 at Bridgeport, 3 p.m.
The Bears are committed to giving back to the local community. Players visited South Lebanon Elementary and the Ronald McDonald House on Tuesday. Select players will appear at Houlihan's from 5:30-7 p.m. on Thursday. Due to the impending inclement weather, the club's 7th annual Running for Rachel event with Arooga's has been postponed to Wednesday, Mar. 20.
WEEKLY PRACTICE SCHEDULE:
Wednesday, Feb. 20: 10:30 a.m., Hersheypark Arena
Thursday, Feb. 21: 10:30 a.m., Klick Lewis Arena
Friday, Feb. 22: 10 a.m., Morning Skate, Giant Center
Saturday, Feb. 23: 10 a.m., Morning Skate, Giant Center
*Practice schedule subject to change. Follow @TheHersheyBears on Twitter for updates.
76 YEARS IN THE MAKING: The Hershey Bears current point streak of 15 games (14-0-0-1) is tied for the longest streak in the franchise's history. The Bears victory on Sunday at Lehigh Valley tied a 76-year-old mark set by the 1942-43 Bears, who went 11-0-4. In that stretch, Hershey didn't lose from Nov. 11 to Dec. 13, 1942. The longest point streak in AHL history belongs to the Norfolk Admirals, who won 28 straight games in 2012.
NEW YEAR, NEW BEARS: This year has been kind to the Chocolate and White. Since the calendar turned to 2019, the Bears are 15-2-0-1. Goaltender Ilya Samsonov has enjoyed the greatest transformation in the new year. He was 5-10-0 with a 3.88 goals against average and a .863 save percentage in 15 games in 2018. So far in 2019, he is 8-1-0-1 with a 1.49 goals against average, .937 save percentage, and two shutouts in 11 games. Forward Beck Malenstyn also has eight of his 12 points this season in the 2019 portion of the campaign.
ONE-GOAL WONDERS: The Bears have had a knack for winning tight games so far this season. The Chocolate and White have won five straight one-goal contests. Overall, the Bears are 16-3-0-3 in one-goal games, which is good for the third most wins in the AHL.
VETERANS ON A TEAR: Hershey's veteran players continue to lead the way offensively. Both Aaron Ness (seven assists) and Jayson Megna (three goals, two assists) are in the midst of five-game point streaks. Ness ranks fourth in the AHL in assists with 35. Forward Mike Sgarbossa has factored into the scoring in four straight games (two goals, two assists) and has 44 points, tying his career-high. Defender Ryan Sproul posted three points in Sunday's win at Lehigh Valley, notching a trio of points for only the third time in his 305-game AHL career.
TWO-TIME MALENSTYN: Beck Malenstyn scored twice in Sunday's win at Lehigh Valley, giving him both his first professional multi-point and multi-goal game. The rookie forward now has 12 points (six goals, six assists) and 50 penalty minutes in 50 games this season with the Chocolate and White.
BEARS BITES: Goaltender Ilya Samsonov's next game will be his 100th professional appearance (73 KHL, 26 AHL)...Defender Lucas Johansen is three games from 100 in his AHL career...A win versus Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Friday would give the Bears eight victories in the season series vs. the Baby Pens, something they have not done since 2009-10 (10-2-0-0).
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