Bears Weekly: Vanecek Shines, Bears Complete Perfect Week
(Hershey, PA) - The Hershey Bears have won four straight contests, and the club swept a series of three games in three nights last weekend. The Bears now sit at 12-9-2-3, moving up to 4th place in the Atlantic Division. Each of Hershey's victories in the winning streak have been by just one goal, and the club is now 7-4-2-3 in one-goal games this season. The Chocolate and White skate in two more Atlantic Division contests this week, hosting Bridgeport at the Giant Center on Saturday and welcoming Lehigh Valley on Sunday.
Hershey opened last week with a 2-1 win at Lehigh Valley. The victory snapped Hershey's seven-game road losing streak. Matt Moulson and Joe Snively had the goals for Hershey in the victory at the PPL Center.
The Bears once again topped the Phantoms Saturday night at Giant Center, earning a 1-0 victory. Vitek Vanecek stopped all 32 shots he faced, and Mike Sgarbossa's second period power play goal was the game-winner.
Hershey finished the week with a 3-2 overtime victory over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Sunday. Trailing 2-0 on home ice through 40 minutes, Matt Moulson and Christian Djoos scored in the third period to tie the game, and Joe Snively added the winning goal in overtime to complete the comeback.
Tickets to all home games are on sale now at the Giant Center Box Office, or online via Ticketmaster.
-Saturday, Dec. 14 vs. Bridgeport, 7 p.m.
Pennsylvania Lottery Night (First 4,000 fans, 18 and older)
-Sunday, Dec. 15 vs. Lehigh Valley , 5 p.m.
Hall of Fame Night, Throwback Jersey Auction following game
WEEKLY PRACTICE SCHEDULE:
Wednesday, Dec. 11: 10:30 a.m., Hersheypark Arena
Thursday, Dec. 12: 10:30 a.m., Hersheypark Arena
Friday, Dec. 13:
10:30 a.m., Hersheypark Arena
Saturday, Dec. 14: 10 a.m., Morning Skate, Giant Center
*Practice schedule subject to change. Follow @TheHersheyBears on Twitter for updates.
The Bears are committed to giving back to the local community. Select players will visit Northwest Elementary on Thursday and Cocoa Packs on Friday.
VICTORIOUS VITEK: Goaltender Vitek Vanecek starred between the pipes this past weekend, earning a pair of wins versus Lehigh Valley, including a 32-save shutout in the 1-0 victory on Saturday. The clean sheet was his first of the season, and the 10th in his AHL career with the Bears. He also turned aside 25 shots in the 2-1 win Friday, and has allowed two or less goals in five of his past six starts. Vanecek is 6-4-1-1 this season, sporting a 2.43 goals against average and a .904 save percentage. For his strong play this past week, he was named Hershey's PSECU Player of the Week.
JOLTIN' JOE: After having just two points through his first 16 games of the season, Hershey forward Joe Snively has eight points (six goals, two assists) over the past nine games. He now sits tied for second on the team with seven goals. He tallied the game-winning goal in both Friday's win at Lehigh Valley, and in Sunday's overtime win versus the Baby Penguins.
KILLER PK: The Bears enter this week having killed 20 straight penalties. After surrendering two power play goals versus Harford on Dec. 1, Hershey finished that game killing seven straight penalties. They have been perfect since, going 5-for-5 last Friday, and 4-for-4 both on Saturday and Sunday. The club's penalty kill ranks 6th in the league at 85.9%.
GRAB THE BROOMS: The Bears earned the club's first perfect sweep of a three in three since the final weekend of the 2018-19 campaign. Then, the Bears won at Hartford on Apr. 12, beat Utica on Apr. 13, and closed the season with a win over Hartford at Giant Center on Apr. 14. This past weekend also marked Hershey's first sweep of a home-and-home with Lehigh Valley since Feb. 16 and Feb. 17 of last season. Those wins were part of Hershey's team-record 17-game point streak.
BEARS BITES: Both Mike Sgarbossa and Brian Pinho both enter the week with 99 career games played with Hershey. Sgarbossa is also currently on a four-game point streak (one goal, four assists)...Netminder Pheonix Copley is two appearances from 100 with Hershey, and his next win will be his 50th with the Bears...Christian Djoos is four points from 100 with Hershey...Defender Eddie Wittchow appeared in his 100th game last Friday at Lehigh Valley...Blue liner Bobby Nardella returned to Hershey's lineup last weekend after missing 12 games with an upper-body injury. He had an assist in Sunday's win.
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