Game Preview: Phantoms at Bears, 7 p.m.
(Hershey, PA) - The Hershey Bears look to extend the club's winning streak to eight games and point streak to 14 games as they battle the Lehigh Valley Phantoms tonight at Giant Center. This evening's contest marks the 10th of 12 meetings in the season-series against the Phantoms.
Hershey Bears (27-20-0-3) vs Lehigh Valley Phantoms (27-19-3-2)
February 16, 2019 | 7 PM | Game 51 | Giant Center
Referees: Michael Markovic (47), Carter Sandlak (6)
Linesmen: Colin Gates (3), Richard Jondo (55)
AmeriChoice FCU Cow Bell Night (First 5,000)
Ticket Information: http://www.hersheybears.com/tickets/single-game.php
Broadcast Information (Pre-game 6:30 p.m.)
RADIO: WQIC-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, Zack Fisch, the Voice of the Bears, Mitch Lamoureux and Jim Jones on the call.
LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream
WATCH LIVE: AHLTV, Caps Radio 24/7
ATLANTIC DIVISION STANDINGS
LAST TIME OUT:
The Hershey Bears are fresh off a 4-3 shootout win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Wednesday night at Giant Center. The Bears erased two different one-goal deficits in the third period to win their second game of the season when trailing after 40 minutes. Nathan Walker opened the scoring for the Chocolate and White only 3:38 in, but the Pens answered with goals by Kevin Czuczman and Jimmy Hayes. Tyler Lewington evened the score for Hershey at 4:04 of the third period at 2-2, and Jayson Megna tied the game 3-3 at 11:42 on a power play tally. Riley Barber and Walker scored in the first two rounds of the eventual shootout, and Vitek Vanecek stopped both shots he faced to help Hershey to their seventh straight win. The Phantoms claimed a 4-3 overtime win last night versus Bridgeport at the PPL Center. The Phantoms rallied from a 2-0 deficit, got a pair of goals from Greg Carey, and earned the extra point on T.J. Brennan's winning tally at 3:20 of overtime.
BUBBLE TEAMS TAKE BATTLE:
The Bears and Phantoms enter this weekend's back-to-back set of games with potential playoff ramifications. Lehigh Valley currently sits in the fourth and final Atlantic Division playoff spot with 59 points in 51 games played. With one less game played, the Chocolate and White trail the Phantoms by a two points and sit in fifth place in the Atlantic Division. Should both teams pull into a tie in points, the first tiebreaker is regulation and overtime wins (ROW). Lehigh Valley enters tonight with a ROW better than Hershey, 24-22. If both teams are tied in points and ROW, the next tiebreaker considered is points in the head-to-head series. Lehigh Valley holds 10 points in the season-series over Hershey's nine with three games remaining.
LIKE FLYER, LIKE PHANTOM:
The current Lehigh Valley Phantoms roster features two players on current conditioning assignments from their parent club, Philadelphia Flyers. On Tuesday, the Flyers loaned goaltender Brian Elliott to Lehigh Valley for conditioning purposes after last appearing in a NHL game on Nov. 15 against the New Jersey Devils. In 14 games with the Flyers this season, Elliott has posted a 6-7-0 record with a 2.59 goals against average and .911 save percentage. Additionally, the Flyers announced on Thursday Samuel Morin has been loaned from Philadelphia to Lehigh Valley. Morin returned to the lineup last night for the first time since May 9, 2018 after suffering a knee injury. He was selected 11th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft by the Flyers.
NATHAN OPENS THE CURTAIN:
Hershey has scored the first goal in 17 of its last 19 games, and Bears forward Nathan Walker has been a common contributor. Walker's game-opening goal last Wednesday against the Baby Pens marked his seventh first goal of the game. Before the current 2018-19 campaign, Walker had 10 first goals of the game in 242 total games with the Chocolate and White dating back to the 2013-14 season. The seven game's first goals are tied for most in the AHL with San Diego's Corey Tropp. Former Bears have led the league in such category during the 2016-17 season (Paul Carey, 8), 2014-15 (Stanislav Galiev, 10) and 2008-09 (Graham Mink, 10).
NESS REMAINS BEST:
Bears blueliner Aaron Ness is on a three-game assist streak for the third time this season after posting four assists from Feb. 9-13. Ness is currently fourth in AHL assists with 32 and leads the category among all league defenders. Ness is tied for the second-most multi-point games with the Chocolate and White this season (9) with Mike Sgarbossa. In the season-series against Lehigh Valley, Ness has contributed three helpers in the nine previous games.
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