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Game Preview: Bears at Phantoms, 7:05 PM

October 12, 2019 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Hershey Bears News Release

(Allentown, PA) - Tonight, the Hershey Bears hit the road for the first time in the 2019-20 regular season with a Saturday night visit against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Last season, the Bears won their 12-game season-series against the Phantoms by posting a 6-4-1-1 record, including a 2-3-0-1 line at the PPL Center. Tonight will mark the 245th all-time regular season meeting between the Bears and Phantoms, dating back to the Philadelphia Phantoms's inaugural season in 1996-97. Hershey's all-time record versus the Phantoms is 116-87-8-19-14 (W-L-T-OTL-SOL), and 26-21-5-8 since the franchise relocated to Lehigh Valley in 2014-15.

Hershey Bears (0-1-1-0) at Lehigh Valley Phantoms (1-1-0-0)

October 12, 2019 | 7:05 PM | Game #3 | PPL Center

Referees: Patrick Hanrahan (52), Alex Ross (7)

Linesmen: Bob Goodman (90), Tyler Loftus (11)


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

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

LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream



The Hershey Bears return to action after dropping a tight, 2-1 overtime decision to the Providence Bruins at Giant Center last Sunday. Mike Sgarbossa scored the only goal for the Chocolate and White at 10:26 of the second period to erase a 1-0 deficit. Pheonix Copley stopped 22 of 24 shots and earned third-star honors in his first AHL start since Apr. 8, 2018. While the Bears were idle last night, Lehigh Valley cruised to their first win of the season, beating the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins by a 4-1 count. Phantoms goals were scored by Kurtis Gabriel, Mikhail Vorobyev, Joel Farabee, and Chris Bigras.


Tonight will mark the 600th professional game for Bears blueliner, Erik Burgdoerfer. The rugged 6-foot-1, 207 pound defenseman returned to Hershey this season after captaining the Belleville Senators in 2018-19, and serving as an alternate captain in 2017-18. The veteran has climbed the ranks by appearing in 272 ECHL games, 319 AHL, and eight NHL appearances entering tonight dating back to 2010. The RPI product helped the Chocolate and White to the 2016 Calder Cup Finals before later making his NHL debut on Dec. 5, 2016 with the Buffalo Sabres against the Washington Capitals.


Hershey forward Travis Boyd is slated to make his season debut tonight for the Chocolate and White. The center, who scored 20 points (five goals, 15 assists) in 53 games with the Washington Capitals last year, returns to Hershey just in time. The native of Hopkins, Minnesota has thrived in his AHL career versus Lehigh Valley. Boyd scored his first AHL points (one goal, one assist) versus Lehigh Valley on Apr. 18, 2015 and hasn't stopped scoring versus the Phantoms since. Boyd, Hershey's Team MVP for both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons, has tallied 40 points (16 goals, 24 assists) in 36 career regular season contests versus Lehigh Valley.


The Bears and Phantoms are set to kick-off another 12-game season-series throughout 2019-20. In 2018-19, Hershey bested Lehigh Valley with a 6-4-1-1 record in 12 meetings, claiming 14 of 24 standings points. Among returning Bears, Connor Hobbs led the team with seven points (two goals, five assists) against the Phantoms. Mike Sgarobssa appeared in all 12 matches and tallied five points (four goals, one assist). Beck Malenstyn's four of his seven professional goals have came at the expense of Lehigh Valley. In net, Vitek Vanecek posted a 3-2-1 record with a 2.82 goals against average and .901 save percentage against the Phantoms last season.


Two players enter this weekend for the Chocolate and White with points in each of the previous two games. Mike Sgarbossa opened the regular season with an assist on Oct. 5 versus Wilkes-Barre/Scranton before scoring the next night against Providence. It's the third straight season Sgarbossa cracked the score sheet in both games during Opening Weekend. Last season, Sgarbossa scored in Hershey's first two games of the season on Oct. 6, 2018 and Oct. 7, 2018 at Giant Center en route to an eventual 30-goal season. In 2017-18, Sgarobssa tallied four points (two goals, two assists) for the Manitoba Moose to kickoff the season on Oct. 6, 2017 and Oct. 7, 2017 against the Grand Rapids Griffins. Additionally, Matt Moulson has a point in each game with the Bears through one weekend, scoring on Oct. 5, and adding an assist on Oct. 6.

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