Game Preview: Bears at Phantoms, 7:05 p.m.
(Hershey, PA) - The Hershey Bears continue the 2020-21 season, presented by Penn State Health, on the road this evening versus the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. at the PPL Center as the top two teams in the North Division square off.
Hershey Bears (15-5-2-0) at Lehigh Valley Phantoms (12-3-2-1)
April 21, 2021 | 7:05 PM | Game #23 | PPL Center
Mike Dietrich (#15), Rob Hennessey (#87)
Linesmen: Jud Ritter (#34), John Rey (#16)
RADIO: WFVY-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, Caps Radio 24/7, SportsRadio 98.9-FM & WOYK 1350-AM
WATCH LIVE: AHLTV
LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream, Caps Radio 24/7
Voice of the Bears, Zack Fisch, on the call
LAST TIME OUT:
The Bears are coming off their fourth straight victory, scoring a 6-3 win over the Binghamton Devils last Saturday afternoon at GIANT Center. Trailing 2-1 in the middle stanza, the Bears got a flurry of goals in the closing minutes of the second period to grab a 4-2 lead. Shane Gersich tied the game at 15:20, Brian Pinho gave the Bears the lead at 18:41, and Martin Fehervary scored the eventual game-winning marker at 19:24. Defender Cameron Schilling and forward Brett Leason also struck for the Bears in the victory. The Phantoms last contest was on Apr. 5, a 2-1 shootout loss at Binghamton. Linus Hogberg's first AHL goal was Lehigh Valley's lone tally in the loss.
Tonight could be milestone evenings for a pair of Bears. Hershey forward Axel Jonsson-Fjallby is set to play his 100th American Hockey League game. He has played parts of three seasons with the Chocolate and White, tallying 35 points (18g, 17a) in 99 games with the Bears. He has four points (3g, 1a) in the season series versus the Phantoms this year. Additionally, Bears defender Rob O'Gara is set to play in his 200th AHL game. O'Gara, who has three points (1g, 2a) versus the Phantoms this year, has tallied 43 points (14g, 29a) in 199 career AHL games with the Bears, San Antonio, Springfield, Hartford, and Providence.
SEASON SERIES SO FAR:
Hershey is 5-1-0-0 versus Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season and 8-1-0-0 versus Binghamton, but the Bears have had a more difficult time with the Phantoms, going just 2-3-2-0 versus Lehigh Valley. Hershey is 1-2-0-0 at the PPL Center this season with their last visit coming on Mar. 31, a 4-1 loss. Tyson Foerster leads the Phantoms with seven points (3g, 4a) in just six games versus Hershey, while defender Derrick Pouliot, recalled to Philadelphia's Taxi Squad on Mar. 8, has three game-winning goals and six points versus the Bears this season. The Phantoms are 7-2-0-1 in their last 10 games, while the Bears are 8-2-0-0. Lehigh Valley holds a strong 6-1-1-0 record on home ice this season, and the club owns the AHL's best penalty kill at 86.7%.
FORMER RAIDERS ARE ROLLING:
Former Western Hockey League linemates Brett Leason and Aliaksei Protas have reconnected with the Bears, and both players enter tonight's game on point streaks. Both Leason and Protas won the 2019 WHL Championship with the Prince Albert Raiders, and then were promptly selected by the Washington Capitals in that year's NHL Draft, with Leason going in the 2nd round and Protas in the 3rd round. Leason has posted points and assists in four straight games (1g, 4a), while Protas has collected points in three straight contests (1g, 3a).
PHANTOMS BACK IN ACTION:
Tonight is Lehigh Valley's first game in 16 days. The team had to postpone four games, including three versus Hershey, due to COVID protocol issues. With the delay, the debut of top prospect Cam York had been halted until this evening. York was a 1st round selection, 14th overall, by the Flyers in 2019 and was just named the Big 10 Defenseman of the Year at the University of Michigan. In the NCAA ranks, York posted four goals and 16 assists for 20 points in 24 games this season. He also served as captain of Team USA at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championships, collecting six points and leading the Americans to a gold medal.
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