Game Preview: Bears Hit I-81 to Battle Penguins
(Hershey, PA)- The Hershey Bears battle the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for the final time this season on the road. Hershey is just 2-7-1-0 vs. their I-81 rivals in 2017-18, and have lost six straight games to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Hershey Bears (29-33-4-5) at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (40-21-6-2)
Tuesday, April 3, 2018, 7:05 p.m.
Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
RADIO: WQIC-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, WOYK-1350 AM
LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream, Caps Radio 24/7
WATCH LIVE: AHLLive.com
LAST TIME OUT: Hershey was in action this past Saturday, snapping a three-game losing streak in a 6-3 win over the Laval Rocket at Giant Center. Mathias Bau scored twice for Hershey, ending a 23-game goalless drought. The Bears also got tallies from Garrett Mitchell in the opening frame, Dustin Gazley and Wayne Simpson in the second period, and Hampus Gustafsson in the third period. Hershey out shot the Rocket 38-23 and went 1-for-2 on the power play. Pheonix Copley earned the win in goal to improve to 15-16-6 on the season. The Penguins were also last in action this past Saturday, falling 3-1 on home ice to Providence. The P-Bruins never relinquished a 2-0 lead, and Jordan Binnington stopped 34 shots to hand the Penguins the defeat.
BOURQUE HITS 600: Chris Bourque's legacy with the Chocolate and White continues to grow. This evening, the future Hall of Famer will play in his 600th game as a member of the Hershey Bears. Bourque's 583 points with Hershey is 5th in franchise history (4th, Gil Gilbert-595). His 193 goals are 8th (7th, Mitch Lamoureux-194), while his 390 assists are 3rd (2nd, Tom Tookey-422) and the 599 games played is 5th (4th, Howie Yanosik-605). The forward leads the Bears with 50 points (14 goals, 26 assists) this season. His helper in last Saturday's win over Laval gave him his fourth straight AHL season with 50-plus points.
SNAPPING THE SKID: Tonight, Hershey looks to end a streak of six straight losses to the Penguins. The Bears have not beat the Penguins since Dec. 3 when the Chocolate and White earned a 4-3 win at Giant Center. Liam O'Brien scored twice in the club's annual Teddy Bear Toss game, and Chris Bourque scored the overtime winner. Since then, Hershey has dropped three games to the Penguins at the Giant Center, and three games at the Mohegan Sun Arena. In those contests, the Bears have been outscored 23-9.
LAST TIME VS. PENGUINS: Hershey's last game with the Penguins was a 6-4 loss at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Mar. 18. Hershey bolted out to a 2-0 lead as Liam O'Brien scored 1:02 into the game, and Joe Whitney struck at 4:57. Despite holding a 3-1 lead after the first period, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton scored twice in the second period to tie the game. In the third period, the Penguins struck for three goals to earn the win, spoiling a two goal night from Hershey's Jonas Siegenthaler. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton outshot Hershey 32-22 in the contest. Thomas DiPauli had two goals for the Penguins.
TERRIFIC TUESDAY: Tonight marks Hershey's first game on a Tuesday since Feb. 23, 2016. That evening the Bears also visited Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, scoring a 4-1 victory. Riley Barber earned first star honors, scoring on a penalty shot in the second period, and assisting on a Travis Boyd marker in the middle stanza. Nathan Walker and Liam O'Brien also scored for the Chocolate and White, and Hershey held Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to 0-for-3 on the power play. Dan Ellis was sharp in goal for Hershey that evening game, stopping 26 shots.
MILESTONE FOR MITCHY: The next game for captain Garrett Mitchell will mark the 400th professional game of his career. All 396 AHL games in Mitchell's career have come with the Chocolate and White, and the Regina native has posted 110 points (53 goals, 57 assists) in his tenure with Hershey. He has also appeared in two ECHL games with South Carolina, and one NHL game with Washington. Mitchell is in his third season as Hershey's captain.
BEARS-PENGUINS FAST FACTS: The Penguins have achieved 40 wins in a row for the 13th consecutive season, which is an AHL record....Daniel Sprong has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in eight games vs. Hershey....Tyler Graovac leads the way for the Bears with six points (three goals, three assists) in six games vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton...Five different Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goaltenders have recorded a win vs. Hershey this season.
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