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Game Preview: Bears at Bruins, 7:05 p.m.

March 8, 2019 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Hershey Bears News Release

(Providence, RI) - Tonight, the Hershey Bears battle the Providence Bruins, American Hockey League affiliate of the Boston Bruins in the first of back-to-back meetings on consecutive nights. Both teams will rematch tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. at the Dunkin Donuts Center, before wrapping up the six game season-series on Mar. 30 at Giant Center. The Bears sit one point ahead of Providence for third in the Atlantic Division.

Hershey Bears (32-22-1-3) at Providence Bruins (29-21-7-2)

March 8, 2019 | 7:05 PM | Game 59 | Dunkin Donuts Center

Referees: Ryan Jenken (24), Mike Sheehan (74)

Linesmen: Kenneth Gates (91), Todd Whittemore (70)

Broadcast Information (Pre-game 6:35 p.m.)

RADIO: WQIC-100.1 FM, WOYK 1350-AM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, Voice of the Bears Zack Fisch on the call.

LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream




Despite out shooting the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 38-18, the Hershey Bears fell by a 4-1 count on Saturday, Mar. 2 in front of 9,584 fans at Giant Center. Trailing 2-0 into the second period, Garrett Pilon brought the Chocolate and White within one at 1:50 of the second period. On a wrist shot from the slot, Pilon went bar-down on Tigers goaltender Christopher Gibson for his sixth goal of the season. Travis St. Denis restored Bridgeport's two-goal advantage later in the period at 13:17 on an unassisted power play goal. Tanner Fritz added the empty net goal at 19:11 of the third period to ice the final. The loss snapped Hershey's nine-game home ice winning streak. The Providence Bruins return to action after winning 5-2 over the Springfield Thunderbirds on Mar. 3. Both Paul Carey and Urho Vaakanainen tallied twice for the P-Bruins.


Tonight will mark the first of three games between Hershey and Providence in March, and final three meetings in the season-series. The Bears and Bruins have met three times this season, with all three of those games coming in December. Providence grabbed the first two games on Dec. 15 and Dec. 29 before the Bears answered with a win on Dec. 30. In the season-series, Mike Sgarbossa, Ryan Sproul, Jayson Megna and Aaron Ness all contributed two points. Mark McNeill leads Providence skaters with one goal and three assists in three games. Both teams enter tonight jockeying for a playoff spot, with the Bears entering tonight third in the Atlantic Division, and the Bruins in fourth place.


Goaltender Vitek Vanecek is slated to appear in his 100th career AHL game tonight. The 23-year-old netminder is 46-32-12 in his 99 games with Hershey, registering a 2.75 goals against average, a .901 save percentage, and eight shutouts. Vanecek, Hershey's lone representative in the 2019 AHL All-Star Classic, has gone 17-for-20 in the shootout this season, securing three of Hershey's league-best seven shootout wins.


Providence's roster features former Bears forward Paul Carey after being acquired by the Boston Bruins from the Ottawa Senators earlier this season. Carey spent two seasons with Hershey from 2015-17 and appeared in 99 regular season games, scoring 37 goals and 49 assists for 86 points. The Boston, Massachusetts native has been a strong offensive weapon since joining the P-Bruins, posting 11 goals and five assists in 18 games.


Bears forward Riley Barber is fresh off a single game career-high, nine shots on goal in Saturday's 4-1 loss to Bridgeport. Barber is now third in the AHL in shots on goal with 196 and averages 3.8 shots in each of his 52 games this season. In 225 career games with the Chocolate and White, Barber averages 2.84 shots a game with a grand total of 639. His current 196 shots this season is already a new season-high, exceeding his previous mark of 178 shots in 60 games played last season.

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