Game Preview: Bears vs. Checkers, 7 PM
(Hershey, PA) - Tonight, the Hershey Bears play host to the Charlotte Checkers in a rematch of the 2019 Atlantic Division Finals. It's the fifth of eight meetings in the season series between the Bears and Checkers, with Charlotte winning three of the past four over the Chocolate and White.
Hershey Bears (33-17-3-3) vs. Charlotte Checkers (30-19-4-0)
February 25, 2020 | 7 PM | Game #57 | Giant Center
Referees: Mike Campbell (36), Robert Hennessey (87)
Linesmen: Bob Goodman (90), Michael Magee (41)
ATLANTIC DIVISION STANDINGS
Ticket Information: http://www.hersheybears.com/tickets/single-game.php
Tonight's Promotion: Hersheypark Pass Night (ALL FANS)
Broadcast Information (Radio Pre-game 6:30 p.m.)
TELEVISION: abc27.3, Comcast 245, Verizon 462, Blue Ridge 152, Nittany 227, and Kuhn 69.
RADIO: WQIC-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, Voice of the Bears Zack Fisch and Mitch Lamoureux on the call.
LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream
WATCH LIVE: AHLTV
LAST TIME OUT:
The Bears last contest was on Saturday evening at the Webster Bank Arena, with Hershey skating to a 5-4 shootout win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Bridgeport took a 2-0 lead in the opening stanza, but the Bears scored the next four goals, including three tallies in the second period. The Sound Tigers rallied back with a pair of goals in the third period to tie the game. In the eventual shootout, Christian Djoos scored the winning goal for the Chocolate and White. Hershey was 1-for-4 on the power play in the win, while Bridgeport went 3-for-3. Brian Pinho had a pair of goals for Hershey in the win. Last Saturday, the Charlotte Checkers erased a 3-1 deficit and tallied five unanswered goals to down the Binghamton Devils, 6-3. Steven Lorentz led the way with four points (two goals, two assists) for the Checkers.
SPRONG THE SNIPER:
The Washington Capitals were active at the NHL's Trade Deadline yesterday, acquiring forward Daniel Sprong from the Anaheim Ducks for defender Christian Djoos. Sprong, 22, has been assigned to Hershey and will wear #11. He has appeared in 39 games this season with the AHL's San Diego Gulls, scoring 27 points (11 goals, 16 assists). The winger was drafted by Pittsburgh in the 2nd round in 2015. With Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2017-18, Sprong led the team in goals (32), power play goals (11), assists (33), and points (65). He was named to the AHL All-Star Classic and the AHL All-Rookie Team that season, leading first-year players in goals, and finishing second among rookies in points.
TYLER, THE CREATOR:
Tonight marks the 300th professional game for Hershey defender Tyler Lewington. The defender was selected in the 7th round of the 2013 NHL Draft by Washington, and since then, the Alberta native has appeared in eight NHL games, 277 AHL games, and 14 ECHL games. Lewington's entire AHL career has been played with the Chocolate and White, and in his tenure with the Bears, Lewington has posted 59 points (15 goals, 44 assists) and 566 penalty minutes. The blue liner has 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 37 games with Hershey this season, while also collecting 17 penalty minutes in six games with Washington.
The last 48 hours has seen the Charlotte Checkers roster undergo massive changes. Due to injuries with parent club Carolina, both of Charlotte's netminders Alex Nedeljkovic and Anton Forsberg were recalled to the NHL. Charlotte responded by recalling goaltenders Callum Booth (14 games of AHL experience) and Jeremy Helvig (one game of AHL experience) from the ECHL. Over the course of yesterday's NHL Trade Deadline, Charlotte lost leading scorer Janne Kuokkanen (42 points), center Eetu Luostarinen (25 points), defender Chase Priskie (31 points), as well as veteran defender Fredrik Claesson (19 points) in several trades that bolstered Carolina's roster. Kuokkanen led all scorers in the season series, tallying seven assists in four games versus Hershey.
ELITE PENALTY KILLS:
Tonight's game features two of the top penalty kills in the league. The Bears own the league's second best penalty kill at 86.8%, allowing 27 goals over 204 times shorthanded. Charlotte's penalty kill ranks third in the league at 86.5% with only 29 goals allowed over 219 times shorthanded. No road penalty kill is better than Charlotte's, as the Checkers kill off 87.9% of penalties away from the Bojangles' Coliseum. Both the Bears and Checkers have also scored eight shorthanded goals this season. In the season series, Charlotte has a significant edge, going 12-for-13 on the kill (92.3%), while the Bears are just 9-for-13 (69.2%) on the penalty kill versus their Atlantic Division foes.
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