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 Hershey Bears

Game Preview: Bears vs. Comets, 7 p.m.

March 2, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Hershey Bears News Release


(Hershey, PA) - The Hershey Bears close out their three-game homestand tonight when they host the Utica Comets for the only time in the 2023-24 regular season. Hershey welcomes Utica to town for the first time since Opening Night for the previous season, on Oct. 15, 2022, a 3-1 Bears win. The Chocolate and White enter tonight's game riding a seven-game win streak on home ice.

Hershey Bears (41-9-0-3) vs. Utica Comets (22-22-4-3)

March 2, 2024 | 7 p.m. | Game 54 | GIANT Center

Referees: Phillip Kasko (93), Tanner Doiron (1)

Linespersons: Jud Ritter (34), John Rey (16)

Tonight's Promotions:

Penn State Health Drawstring Bag Night - All fans in attendance will receive a Bears drawstring bag, courtesy of Penn State Health

BUY TICKETS NOW(limited tickets available)

Broadcast Information

Voice of the Bears, Zack Fisch, AHL Hall of Famer Mitch Lamoureux, and in-arena host Jim Jones on the call

RADIO: WFVY-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, SportsRadio 98.9-FM & WOYK 1350-AM, Capitals Radio, In-Arena on 88.9 FM

WATCH LIVE: AHLTV

LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream, Caps Radio 24/7

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

LAST TIME OUT:

The Bears have been idle since last Saturday, when Hershey hosted the Rochester Americans. After Isak Rosen scored at 17:47 of the first period for Rochester, the Bears leveled the score at 2:38 of the second period when Bogdan Trineyev beat Devon Levi for his eighth of the season. The game remained tied through the end of regulation, but Alex Limoges scored the game-winner for Hershey at 1:20 of overtime to give the Bears a 2-1 victory. Hunter Shepard made 24 saves to earn his 21st win of the season. The Comets are coming off a 3-0 home win against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms last night at Adirondack Bank Center. Justin Dowling blasted a shot past Cal Petersen at 7:11 of the first period to make it 1-0, and Utica received insurance goals in the third period from Ryan Schmelzer at 15:27 and an empty-net goal from Chase Stillman at 17:45. Erik Källgren was perfect on the night, making 28 saves for his first shutout as a Comet.

THAT'S THE MAGIC NUMBER:

Hershey enters the weekend with a Magic Number of nine points, representing the number of points needed by the team to clinch a berth in the 2024 Calder Cup Playoffs, which is reduced by earning standings points, or when the team with the highest possible total outside the playoff picture fails to earn points. Despite being prevented from equalizing the franchise mark for fastest 40 wins in last Wednesday's shootout loss at Laval, Hershey's two wins this past weekend have the Bears at 41-9-0-3 (85 points, .802 points percentage) entering the week. That record is one point better than the 2009-10 Bears team, which after 53 games was 41-10-0-2 (84 points, .792 points percentage). With 19 games remaining this season, Hershey needs only four wins to surpass its total from last season, and 11 victories to best the 2022-23 Calgary Wranglers' mark of 51 wins in a 72-game regular season. Hershey needs 26 points out of its remaining 38 available to ensure it finishes with a higher points percentage than the 2009-10 team (.769) for the franchise mark, and 27 points to best the 1992-93 Binghamton Rangers (.775) for the league record.

SUPER SNIVELY:

Joe Snively enters tonight's game riding a seven-game point streak at home, the longest active home point streak in the AHL. The forward has put up nine points (1g, 8a) since Jan. 7 against Lehigh Valley. He has one point (1g, 0a) in four career games against Utica.

ONE-TWO GOALIE PUNCH:

Hershey goaltenders Clay Stevenson (1.89) and Hunter Shepard (2.04) enter the weekend first and second respectively in goals-against average. The duo has an almost even split in terms of workload for the Chocolate and White this season, with Stevenson holding a slight edge of approximately 20 more minutes of game action and one more appearance than Shepard. Shepard, meanwhile, sits tied for third in the AHL in goaltending wins with 21, and is unbeaten in regulation since Dec. 13, going 12-0-2 in that stretch with a 1.53 GAA, a .936 save percentage, and two shutouts.

CLOBBERING THE COMETS:

Hershey heads into tonight's game with a season-high seven-game winning streak on GIANT Center ice, and will look to push that to eight when they host the Utica Comets for the first time in over a year. Last season, the Bears and Comets split the head-to-head series with a 1-1-0-0 record. Hershey has a lifetime 10-3-2-1 record against the Comets, and tonight's matchup features the AHL's active leaders in wins among head coaches, as Utica's Kevin Dineen (sixth all-time, 422) and Hershey's Todd Nelson (eighth all-time, 394) face each other. Bears video coach Adam Purner previously worked in the same role for the Comets during the 2021-22 campaign.

BEARS BITES:

Hershey is tied for the league lead with 33 first goals, and leads all teams with 30 wins when scoring first...Defenseman Chase Priskie is tied for 15th in league scoring among blueliners with 29 points (6g, 23a) in 51 games. Three of his goals have been game-winners, tied for fourth among AHL defensemen...Hershey has the fewest penalty minutes per game (9.64) of any Eastern Conference team...Hunter Shepard's next win will be his 50th career win in the AHL and as a Bear. The goalie is currently tied with Darren Jensen and Don Edwards for 18th on the franchise wins list...Hershey's home penalty kill is ranked first, going 88-for-97 (90.7)...The Bears lead the league in goals against (2.11) and shots against (26.21) per game...Hershey is a league-leading 15-0-0-0 at home when leading after the second period...The Bears are 13-2-0-0 at home in games decided by two or fewer goals.

ON THIS DATE:

March 2, 1958 - Arnie Kullman scored the game-winning goal with 45 seconds left in the 10-minute overtime at Rochester to give Hershey a 3-2 victory over the Americans. Bears netminder Bobby Perreault finished the game with 56 saves on 58 shots, which included seven stops in the overtime frame, to secure the win.


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