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Game Preview: Bears vs. Penguins, 5 PM

December 8, 2019 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Hershey Bears News Release

(Hershey, PA) - Tonight, the Hershey Bears conclude their three games in three nights stretch with a 5 p.m. meeting against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. It's the fourth meeting of the season between the Bears and Pens, with two of the previous three head-to-head battles decided by only one-goal.

Hershey Bears (11-9-2-3) vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (13-8-2-1)

December 8, 2019 | 5 PM | Game #26 | Giant Center

Referees: Mitch Dunning (43), Michael Markovic (47)

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

Ticket Information:

Tonight's Promotion: Bear of a Discount Night - 30% OFF Bear of Shake / Dog / Burger

Broadcast Information (Pre-game 4:30 p.m.)

RADIO: WQIC-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, Voice of the Bears Zack Fisch, Mitch Lamoureux and Jim Jones on the call.

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



The Bears topped Lehigh Valley 1-0 last night at the Giant Center. The win was Hershey's third consecutive victory, giving the Bears the club's longest winning streak of the season. In a game that saw each team decimated by injuries, Hershey prevailed thanks to Mike Sgarbossa's second period power play goal at 14:16. Hershey netminder Vitek Vanecek earned his 10th career AHL shutout, stopping all 32 Lehigh Valley shots, including 12 in the third period. Hershey had another perfect night on the penalty kill, going 4-for-4. The Penguins dropped a second game in as many nights to the Texas Stars, falling 5-3, on home ice. Sam Miletic had a goal and an assist in the loss for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.


Hershey's 1-0 victory last night was the third time in the calendar year 2019 that Hershey has won a game by this score. The last time the Chocolate and White accomplished this feat came versus tonight's opponent, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, back on Mar. 19. Hershey's Garrett Pilon scored the overtime winner versus now Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Tristian Jarry to give the Bears the two points. Hershey also won 1-0 in Binghamton on Jan. 16 on a Ryan Sproul overtime goal. The last time Hershey earned a 1-0 victory in regulation came on Oct. 23, 2015 at Utica. Garrett Mitchell scored Hershey's lone goal, and netminder Justin Peters recorded a 19-save shutout. The last time the Bears and Penguins met, the game also ended in a 1-0 score, with the Penguins winning in a shootout on Nov. 13.


Hershey forward Mike Sgarbossa continues to pace the Chocolate and White offensively, leading the team in goals (8), power play goals (4), shootout goals (2), and points (21). He also is tied for the team lead in assists (12) with Christian Djoos. Sgarbossa has points in six of his past seven games, tallying eight points (three goals, five assists) in that stretch. Tonight is Sgarbossa's 99th career game with the Bears. Since joining Hershey last season, Sgarbossa has 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) in 15 games versus the rival Baby Pens.


The Bears have struggled this season on the power play, ranking 30th in the AHL at 9.8%. However, three of the club's nine power play goals have come in the season series versus Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Both of Matt Moulson's power play goals have come versus Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, while current Capitals forward Travis Boyd also had a power play marker versus the Baby Pens. Overall in the three games versus Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season, Hershey is 3-for-12 on the power play, converting at 25%. The Bears went 1-for-4 on the power play last night in the win over Lehigh Valley. In total, seven of Hershey's nine power play goals this season have been scored against the Penguins or Phantoms.


While netminder Vitek Vanecek is coming off a shutout, his counterpart Pheonix Copley has been sensational in two starts this season versus Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Copley earned a shutout in the 1-0 shootout loss on Nov. 16 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and narrowly missed blanking the Penguins in a 5-1 win at Giant Center on Oct. 13. Copley has a 0.48 goals against average and a .982 save percentage in his two contests versus the Penguins this year.

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