Game Preview: Thunderbirds at Bears, 7 p.m.
(Hershey, PA) - The Hershey Bears begin a stretch of four home games in seven days tonight at Giant Center. The Bears will battle the Springfield Thunderbirds, American Hockey League affiliate of the Florida Panthers in the sixth and final meeting between the two clubs this season.
Hershey Bears (33-22-2-4) at Springfield Thunderbirds (26-24-7-5)
March 13, 2019 | 7 PM | Game 62 | Giant Center
Referees: Reid Anderson (49), Peter MacDougall (45)
Linesmen: Colin Gates (3), Tommy George (61)
Hersheypark Pass Night (ALL Fans)
Ticket Information: http://www.hersheybears.com/tickets/single-game.php
Broadcast Information (Pre-game 6:30 p.m.)
RADIO: WQIC-100.1 FM, WOYK 1350-AM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, Voice of the Bears Zack Fisch, Freddy Cassivi and Jim Jones on the call.
LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream, Caps Radio 24/7
WATCH LIVE: AHLTV
ATLANTIC DIVISION STANDINGS
LAST TIME OUT:The Hershey Bears return to the ice this evening after snapping a four-game skid with a 5-3 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack last Sunday at the XL Center. Devante Smith-Pelly scored his first three goals as a Bear, notching his second career AHL hat-trick. Garrett Pilon also struck for Hershey as the Bears improved to 4-0-0-0 versus Hartford this season, and extended the club's point streak to three games. The Thunderbirds are coming off a 3-1 victory last Sunday in Providence. Springfield held Providence to 0-for-4 on the power play and Chris Driedger stopped 25 shots in goal for the Thunderbirds.
SEASON SERIES VS. SPRINGFIELD:
Tonight marks the final meeting between the Bears and Thunderbirds this season. Hershey is 2-3-0-0 versus Springfield, but the Chocolate and White won the last meeting between the two clubs, scoring a 4-2 victory on Feb. 6 at the MassMutual Center. Netminder Ilya Samsonov has recorded both of Hershey's victories versus Springfield. Since the Thunderbirds took over for the Falcons in Springfield, Hershey is 5-2-1-0 versus its Atlantic Division foes at the Giant Center. Both teams have points in three straight games and have won five contests over the past 10 games.
SHOOT YOUR SHOT:
Both Hershey's Riley Barber (two goals, three assists) and Springfield's Anthony Greco (five goals, one assist) are their club's leading scorers in the season series. Barber and Greco are also linked as the AHL's two leaders in shots this season. Greco leads the league with 210 shots, while Barber is second with 204. Greco has collected 22 goals this season, while Barber has tallied a career-best 29, a mark good for second in the AHL.
NATE THE GREAT:
Nathan Walker has enjoyed playing versus Springfield this season, scoring a team-best three goals versus the T-Birds. Walker is coming a career-high three assist game last Sunday at Hartford. The sixth-year Bear ranks fifth on the club with 28 points in 45 games this season, making this his second most productive season as a Bear, only trailing the 2015-16 campaign in which he had 41 points in 73 games.
For the first time in a long time, Springfield will be forced to start a goaltender other than Samuel Montembeault versus Hershey. The 2019 AHL All-Star was recalled to Florida and has appeared in three games with the Panthers, recording two wins. Montembeault had started all five of Springfield's games versus Hershey this year, going 3-2-0 with a 2.44 goals against average and a .909 save percentage. Dating back to last year, Montembeault had started nine straight games versus Hershey. He was 2-2-0, with a 3.18 goals against average, and a .895 save percentage in four games last year versus the Bears. Chris Driedger has taken over as Springfield's top goaltender. He last played against Hershey on Mar. 11, 2017 with the Binghamton Senators. He lasted just one period before getting pulled, stopping eight of 12 shots, as Hershey rolled to a 7-1 win.
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