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 Hershey Bears

Game Preview: Bears at Islanders, 7 p.m.

December 9, 2022 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Hershey Bears News Release

(Hershey, PA) - The Hershey Bears continue the 2022-23 season, presented by Penn State Health, as they open a three-in-three weekend with their first road game against the Bridgeport Islanders this season. The Bears hosted the Islanders in mid-November, winning a pair of back-to-back overtime games. Following tonight's game, Hershey returns home to GIANT Center ice to host the Cleveland Monsters for the first time this season.

Hershey Bears (15-5-2-0) at Bridgeport Islanders (13-4-4-0)

December 9, 2022 | 7 p.m. | Game 23 | Total Mortgage Arena

Referees: Jeremy Tufts (78), Alex Normandin (65)

Linespersons: Kevin Briganti (39), Nick Briganti (58)

Broadcast Information

Voice of the Bears, Zack Fisch on the call

RADIO: WFVY-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, SportsRadio 98.9-FM & WOYK 1350-AM


LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream

Radio pre-game coverage starts at 6:30 p.m.


The Bears began their game schedule for the week with a home match against the Charlotte Checkers on Tuesday. Hendrix Lapierre opened the scoring at 5:32 of the second period, then Sam Anas banked the puck in off a Charlotte defender at 11:39 to make it 2-0. Bobby Nardella's shot from the left point 18 seconds later extended the lead to 3-0 at 11:57. Connor Bunnaman scored a shorthanded goal 18 seconds into the third and Riley Nash scored at 7:00 to trim the score to 3-2, before Mike Vecchione sealed the game with an empty-net goal for Hershey at 19:30. Zach Fucale made a personal season-high 34 saves for Hershey in the win. The Islanders fell 3-1 on Sunday at home to Springfield, with Samuel Bolduc scoring the lone goal for Bridgeport with 50 seconds remaining in regulation and with Jakub Skarek pulled, but the Thunderbirds netted an eventual empty-netter in the final second to squash any chance of an Islanders comeback.


Tonight's game sees the Bears in position to gain some separation in the standings from Bridgeport, which sits only two points back of Hershey and with a game in hand. A victory for the Chocolate and White would also vault the Bears ahead of the league-leading Providence Bruins, who sit atop the table with 33 points in 22 games. Coincidentally, the Islanders will complete the weekend with a home-and-home series against the Bruins.


Hershey has enjoyed much of its success this season thanks to strong starts in the first period. The Bears are tied for the Eastern Conference lead with eight wins, and an overall 8-3-0-0 when leading after the first period. Hershey's eight victories when leading after the first period are tied with Toronto for first in the Eastern Conference (and second overall in the AHL behind Calgary's 12 victories). However, the Chocolate and White have also achieved wins by holding their opponents to the same score through the first 40 minutes of action - Hershey is a league-leading 7-0-2-0 when tied after two periods.


The Bears enter Friday's game riding a 13-game point streak against Bridgeport, dating back to the team's days as the Sound Tigers. Hershey won six consecutive meetings with Bridgeport starting Dec. 14, 2019, followed by a 4-3 shootout loss on Jan. 12 last season, after which Hershey proceeded to win its next six games, for an overall 12-0-0-1 stretch.


Hershey is 7-5-0-0 at Total Mortgage Arena over the previous five seasons...The Bears are 7-0-0-0 when Mike Vecchione scores a goal...Mason Morelli leads the Bears with four multi-point games this season...Hendrix Lapierre has an active point streak of four games (3g, 1a)...Bobby Nardella is one point away from 100 in his pro career...Sam Anas is six assists and four points away from his 200th career helper and 300th career point, respectively. The forward has scored in each of his last two games...Shane Gersich is one point away from his 100th pro point, and two points away from reaching his 100th with the Bears...Bridgeport is coached by former Bears captain Brent Thompson, while Bears defender Aaron Ness previously captained the Islanders during their days as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

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