GAME DAY: Sound Tigers at Bears – 11/14


Turning the page on a book is a fairly easy task.  For the Hershey Bears, their 2015-16 season book has just begun to be written – and thus, turning the page on what happened last night at Mohegan Sun Arena should be easy.

For one thing, the Bears were the better team, five-on-five – especially in the second and early third periods.  Discipline was a big issue, as it often is against your arch-rivals, and that really hurt – to the tune of three power play goals against, and three of the six power plays awarded cut short by retaliation penalties.

The 7-0 setback was the largest since an 8-1 loss on December 26, 2005 – also at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

And now, it’s history.

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers, led by former Bears defenseman Brent Thompson, are in the house for the second meeting out of six in the season series.  Hershey went up to Webster Bank Arena just 10 days ago and was the enemy in the Sound Tigers’ annual students’ day matinee.  Behind two Paul Carey tallies and 39 saves from Justin Peters, the Bears took a 4-2 win from Bridgeport – just the second home loss out of 10 for the opponent.

In fact, that was Bridgeport’s last loss.  The Sound Tigers won five of their last six, and two of their last three were by shutout.  Star forward Ryan Strome is down from the New York Islanders, and is absolutely deadly with speed and vision.  With defenseman Adam Pelech on recall to the big club, there would be one change for Thompson to make on defense from what we saw last Wednesday.  But other than that, that should be it.  Joe Whitney is leading the league in scoring with 18 points (5 goals, 13 assists), while veteran Bracken Kearns and forward Alan Quine are tied for third in overall league scoring.

This will be another big test for the Bears, but I can tell you this – they are ready.  Tonight is the first of five straight on home ice.  And hopefully, this one will end in a regulation win (four of the Bears’ five home games have gone past 60 minutes).  I honestly heard applause after the team’s morning meeting today.  That should tell you that the boys are ready to go.

Expect Riley Barber back in at forward too.  With Chris Brown here on a conditioning loan, there is an abundance of capable right wingers.  Dustin Gazley will sit this one out, his first scratch of the season – and again, I emphasize, NOT because of poor play.  It’s just bodies – an abundance thereof.

Chris Bourque will move to left wing tonight too.  For only the second time this season, the three-time champion was held off of the score sheet in back-to-back games.  He is at his best in keeping that string from reaching three.

Finally, Justin Peters is your starter – and is unbeaten in regulation in his last five starts (3-0-2).

Expected lineup:



You can get the game notes here.  Radio pre-game gets underway at 6:20.  Frank will have Madison Bowey for a live interview during warmups at ice level, and I’ll have coach Thompson along with Bears head coach Troy Mann and Chandler Stephenson as my pre-recorded conversations.

Welcome to the Den!  GO BEARS!!!


GAME DAY: Bears at Penguins – 11/13

Matchups-2015-16-HER-at-WBSPlayers often say that it is really easy to get up for certain games for two big reasons:  1) when it’s an arch-rival, and 2) when it’s your former team that you’re facing.

That will be the case tonight for two players in particular, when the Hershey Bears face off against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at 7:05 tonight.

Bears centerman Zach Sill will head to the visiting locker room at Mohegan Sun Arena for the first time ever.  In a recent interview with PennLive’s Dave Sottile, Sill said, “It’s never happened to me before, playing a former team.  It should be a fun night.”

Prior to coming to Hershey, Sill played in all 277 of his AHL games with the Bears’ bitter rivals.  He came to Chocolatetown with the buildup of being a strong center with good skill on faceoffs, excellent on penalty kills and willing to scrum it up if need be.  He was always that type of player, but now – with increased minutes and a leadership role, serving as alternate captain on the road – Sill will be concentrating solely on the first two characteristics while simply doing his best to help his team win.

A player who says that they would be sorry if a win happened against their former team would be lying.  Nobody is more up for this game than Sill.  Except – maybe, just maybe – Penguins defenseman Steve Oleksy.

The former Bears fan favorite, who earned every players’ dream of playing in the NHL while a member of the Washington Capitals organization, is now in the rival uniform wearing number 28.  Of course every die-hard Hershey fan will be rooting against him now, but nobody can hate on this guy.  One of the most kindhearted and thoughtful human beings out there just plays his game and does what he can to help his team to victory.  We saw Oleksy as an opponent once before and we will see him again tonight in the same fashion.  I just can’t shake off one of the greatest moments at the GC from last December, when Oleksy drilled home a pass from Tim Kennedy inside the first 40 seconds of the game against Penguins netminder Jeff Zatkoff, thus unleashing the rain of stuffed toys onto the ice in the Teddy Bear Toss.  Remember this?

So, yes – tonight is one for these two players, but it is one for every hockey fan.  Forget NBC’s Rivalry Night (explain how Pittsburgh and Montreal are true rivals to me, somebody).  Tonight is the AHL’s Rivalry Night.  It’s the first of 12 matchups between the teams, and it’s a big one.  The Penguins’ franchise record for consecutive wins is nine games (which happened twice during the 2007-08 season).  Wilkes-Barre/Scranton enters tonight having won eight in a row.  It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the Bears need to win to stop the Penguins’ run in its tracks.  To do that, however, is no small task.  The Bears haven’t won at Mohegan Sun Arena since December 6, a tight 2-1 decision.  The Bears were seemingly well on their way to an emphatic season series win last year, but the Penguins rattled off a strong finish of their own to also snag six wins in 12 tries.  A Hershey win tonight will also make it three in a row away from home for the good guys – and will set up a nice return home tomorrow for the start of a welcome five-in-a-row at the Den.

The Bears’ roster got another injection of talent this morning as well.  Forward Chandler Stephenson is back, fresh off of his first nine games in the NHL.  Stephenson earned the chance, having improved his game very nicely since heading into the 2015 Calder Cup playoffs.  The center of last spring’s gritty trio of Liam O’Brien – Chandler Stephenson – Garrett Mitchell, he is back and getting rest as I write this.

Also joining the crew for the jaunt north on I-81, for the first game of a conditioning loan, is winger Chris Brown.  “Texas” is going to play tonight for the first time since the Capitals and Montreal Canadiens met in pre-season.  Brown has conditioned nicely, his injured hand is healed (as I saw from some shots he was taking this morning), and he is ready to jump into the lineup.  I had a great chat with him after his practice today, and I’ll air that in the broadcast tonight.  He smiled when I asked him about jumping into the first game of a rivalry like this.  But these are Brown’s kind of games, and this particular game could be just the re-start he needs.  When Brown joined the Bears last season after Washington reassigned him, he promptly scored two goals against the Manchester Monarchs – in their building – last October.

I’m looking forward to this one, most especially to see my wonderful Mom and Dad, who – at age 82 each – are still able to come see their youngest son (the “caboose”, as they have long since called me), even though it might not be as easy for them to use the steps.  I miss them very much and I’m so thankful that they will be there, rooting on the team that their son works for – not the team that is 6 miles from their home.

Pre-game is at 6:25 PM, and you can find all the notes right here.




In-Game Update: IceCaps 4 at Bears 3 FINAL/SO

The Hershey Bears closed out their weekend on Saturday night with a battle against the St. John’s IceCaps. These two teams met a week ago, and it ended with the Chocolate and White walking away with a 4-2 win.

In that game, however, Stan Galiev was not a member of the Bears. In the opening period, his presence was felt to an outstanding extent. 2:05 in, Galiev opened Hershey’s scoring, as he did last night in Lehigh Valley.

It was again a 5-on-5 goal, and again from the high-slot. He scored on an offensive rush where he came in as a trailer. His tally was after receiving a crisp drop pass from Carter Camper.

Fast forward to the 11:57 mark of the stanza, Galiev scored on a breakaway to make it 2-0. Last season, Stan scored 25 goals throughout the campaign. On the flip side, 19 of his goals were on the man-advantage. In four periods with Hershey this season, Galiev has now tallied three 5-on-5 goals. That has to make the parent club in Washington grin.

Sean Collins capped a dominant opening period for Hershey with a beautiful tip in with 5:07 to play. Probably the best period of hockey we have seen at GIANT Center all season.

The tide turned in the second period, where St. John’s began chipping away at their deficit with a couple successful bombs from the point. First it was Brett Lernout at the 7:54 mark to make it 3-1. That was followed up by a Morgan Ellis blast with 6:22 to play.

But unfortunately the IceCaps found the equalizer with 2:56 left in regulation. Daniel Carr received credit for the goal as the puck just trickled over the goal line past Justin Peters.

The home crowd saw their team participate in their third shootout of the early season, and the result was no different from the previous two. In the fourth round, Gabriel Dumont ended it for the IceCaps.

Overall, it’s a 5-out-of-6 point week for the Chocolate and White with two wins on the road. Chalk that up as winning the weekend.

See you next week!

Submitted by intern Matt Trust

GAME DAY: IceCaps at Bears – 11/7


Sean Collins and Carter Camper battle at the crease of Jason LaBarbera in Friday night’s win at Lehigh Valley. Photo courtesy JustSports Photography.


Greetings from the GC!

Well, the Hershey Bears are winners of two straight on the road and have produced points in four consecutive games (3-0-0-1) thanks to a big 4-2 win at PPL center last night.

This team is getting contributions from throughout the lineup, and is coming together at a really nice time.  The defensemen are playing more physical and are shooting the puck more, finding lanes to get those shots through; the third and fourth lines are seeing their ice time increase as they are deployed after a goal for; goaltending is no issue; puck support has come a long way; players are responding when challenged by the coaches; and team defense is becoming more and more evident throughout games rather than in spurts.

Take last night for example.  Dan Ellis, although seeing only 22 shots (team defense – check) was stellar.  His best save came on a breakaway that was barely a shorthanded chance as Hershey saw a power play expiring, but is glove came out and robbed Kevin Goumas’ opportunity (goaltending – check).

Nathan Walker has goals in back-to-back games and is feeling his confidence soar after every shift.  He scored the go-ahead goal and immediately took the ensuing center-ice faceoff (third & fourth lines shifts increasing – check).

Ryan Stanton is making plays in all ends of the ice.  He placed a big hit (defensemen playing more physically – check) on forward Aaron Palushaj – who scored the game’s opening goal – and forced the puck to Connor Carrick, who in turn sprung Walker for that goal.  He later stopped a rim-around clearing bid by the Phantoms and in a second swift motion fired a shot toward the net (defensemen shooting more – check) that Carter Camper tipped home for the eventual game-winner.

The Gazley-Walker-Barber and O’Brien-Sill-Mitchell lines were really good last night at cycling the puck offensively, but also protected the puck well in defensive zone coverage.  One of these forwards was always there to help out their defense when Lehigh Valley ramped up their forecheck (puck support – check) and the players also made that first pass with a good decision.

Camper and Sean Collins were two forwards that Troy Mann challenged to produce.  You don’t need to vocalize that much at all with these two players.  Camper was money last night, getting to the slot area as well as using his vision to create scoring chances.  Collins, as good as he is along the boards, was even better in the same areas that Camper was going to.  His stick work was perfect, forcing a turnover right in front of the Phantoms’ net that Camper grabbed and fed to Stan Galiev for that classic blast of a slapper (players responding – check).

All in all, as I said earlier, that was a total team effort victory.  Here are the goal calls from the radio broadcast:

Tonight, the Bears are back home to reacquaint themselves with the St. John’s IceCaps.  Last Saturday, the visitors were leading the North Division and played an opening half that mirrored last season’s Calder Cup champion Manchester Monarchs.  There was not much room on the ice at all; the IceCaps came at the Bears and dictated the pace; and they deflated the bench demeanor, much to the dislike of coach Mann, when they grabbed 1-0 and 2-0 leads.  The response that the Bears brought, however, was nothing short of incredible – and it might explain where the IceCaps are right now as this rematch looms at 7:00 PM.

At the time of this writing, St. John’s is still in Wilkes-Barre Township.  The team had their skate at 11:15 AM at Mohegan Sun Arena and will bus here for a 4:45 PM arrival, rather than traveling to Hershey after last night’s game up I-81.  It was not a good stay in northeastern PA for the IceCaps as the club lost games of 5-2 on Wednesday and 4-1 last night.

When the IceCaps arrive, they will be here to finish up 11 days away from Newfoundland and Labrador.  (The San Antonio Rampage, who vacate the AT&T Center mid-season for much longer periods of time due to their annual “Rodeo Road Trip”, probably scoff at 11 days.)  But that’s a long time to be on the road.  Think of packing a bag for that long.  By the way, the IceCaps haven’t left Pennsylvania.  The trip began one week ago Wednesday, a game in which the team lost 5-1 at Lehigh Valley.  They responded with a 3-2 win last Friday at PPL Center and came to GIANT Center with all the momentum.

Fast forward to last Saturday’s second period.

The Bears scored four unanswered goals to win 4-2.  Then the IceCaps allowed nine more over their last two games, and helped the Penguins to wins number seven and eight in a row.

And now they are here.  Is this one of those proverbial “trap games”, in which the winning team might feel too good about itself?  Probably not.  But it is one that Mann says will allow the Bears to come out firing this time and catch the IceCaps down from these last two contests.

A former Capitals/Bears signing is back with St. John’s as well.  Goaltender Eddie Pasquale has recovered from multiple surgeries that kept him out of action all last season, and was summoned from the ECHL’s Brampton Beast this week.  The “original IceCap” has appeared in the last two games, but started and lost last night’s 4-1 decision.  Zach Fucale, the talented rookie who looked good last Saturday, was chased on Wednesday.  Dustin Tokarski was recalled by Montreal to make room for Pasquale.  Head coach Sylvain Lefebvre has some decision to make in choosing his netminder carefully – one that will face a Hershey squad that has scored four goals in each of its last four games, and one that has struck for nine third-period goals in those four games.

Justin Peters will start for the Bears, that’s for certain, continuing the goaltender rotation for another week.  The only downfall to that, for me, is that neither Peters nor Ellis could run away with the team (or eventual league) lead in wins.  (I just love to get our players nominated for league honors, and that one statistically will be really tough if this continues.)  Both have three entering tonight and have done a tremendous job in backstopping the Bears over the last several games.

Click here for tonight’s game notes.

Connor Carrick will be Frank’s on-ice interview guest during pre-game warmups.  You can catch the broadcast beginning at 6:20 on WQIC-FM 100.1, WTKT-AM 1460, WOYK-AM 1350, via iHeartRadio (Fox Sports 1460), online at or AHL Live.  If you are at the game, listen live on your radio at 88.9 FM.

Face-off is at 7:00.  Here’s hoping for a big finish to a great week so far.





In-Game Update: Bears 4 at Phantoms 2 FINAL

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms and the Hershey Bears each grabbed a goal in the opening frame, and carried a 1-1 lock into first intermission. Lehigh Valley tallied first 7:58 in, after a great offensive push on their first penalty kill led to a Chris Bourque tripping minor.

Bourque’s minor penalty led to 4-on-4 open ice, where Shayne Gostisbehere sent a puck into traffic. It set up a nice deflection by Aaron Palushaj, up and over Dan Ellis for the goal. But just 3:19 later, Stan Galiev punctuated his return with a 5-on-5 goal on a snap shot past Jason LaBarbera. Hershey leads in shots 12-8 after 20 minutes.

Both teams traded scoring chances in the middle period including a 5-on-3 power play each, but it was a Hershey’s favorite Aussie capitalizing with 1:19 to play. On the transition, Connor Carrick sent a stretch pass towards an all alone Nathan Walker. Walker buried his second of the season to put the Chocolate and White up 2-1 at second intermission.

The stretch pass came shortly after Aaron Palushaj was leveled and shaken up near the benches. Slow to get off the ice combined with the long change led to Walker’s daylight.

“Defending the Den” is what the Bears will be doing tomorrow, but tonight it’s about defending a third period lead. And that they did with goals by Carter Camper and Chris Bourque en route to a 4-2 road win.

Only 63 seconds into the third period, Ryan Stanton threw a puck near the net from the boards that was tipped in front by Camper. Lehigh would cut the deficit back to one 3:25 later with a strike by Tyrell Goulbourne.

But the Bears showed no panic in the later stages, and Chris Bourque sealed it with an empty net goal at the 19:08 mark.

Hershey jumps to 6-3-0-2 on the year, and will head home to battle St. John’s tomorrow at GIANT Center.

A win tomorrow would cap a perfect six point week, so let’s pack GIANT Center and “Defend the Den”!


Submitted by intern Matt Trust 

PRE-GAME: Bears at Phantoms

Hello, Bears Nation! Intern Matt Trust with you here, high above rink side at the PPL Center, home of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The Hershey Bears are slated for a 7:05 puck drop against the Phantoms, as they look for revenge after a 5-4 shootout defeat at the hands of Lehigh Valley last Sunday.

The big story out of Hershey this morning is the return of Stanislav Glaiev, who is in the lineup tonight. This will be Galiev’s start to a two week conditioning stint from Washington in the Chocolate and White.

Thrilled to have Galiev back with the club, even if it’s for a short period of time. I’m intrigued to see how he meshes with one of the youngest Bears teams we have seen in years. I’ll be watching to see of Troy Mann even throws him on the power play unit. Galiev with Chris Bourque on the ice could produce a lot of smiles tonight if you’re on Hershey’s side.

The goaltending rotation continues into tonight, and it will be Dan Ellis looking for his third win of the season in his sixth game.

Be sure to catch the period recaps throughout the night right here on the blog, and tune into the Hershey Bears Radio Network. Scott Stuccio has the call!




Submitted by intern Matt Trust

A Tribute to Bob Arehart – 11/6

“Gooood morning there, Stucc!”

“You do a great job, boy, I’ll tell you!”

“Hey, Stucc, you know, I don’t know how you say all those players as fast as you do!”

Bob Arehart with the 1997 Calder Cup champions.

Bob Arehart would belt out one of these three lines every time I saw him… loudly, clearly, and proudly…usually in “his” room (a storage/snack/cubby hole), on the bench, or in the hall on his way to said room.

I just found out today that the Hershey Bears have lost this great, great friend on Tuesday of this week.  I have no idea how the news didn’t reach my ears until today – I certainly would have said something on the air during Wednesday’s broadcast – but now I wanted to write just a little something to honor a truly wonderful human being who I only knew for close to five of the 20 that he spent with the team he loved.

Whether it was handing out a piece of gum from the bench… or putting out a fresh water bottle… or even hanging a sign to remind players to autograph something for charity, Bob was there with a smile.  When season ticket holders came to watch a morning practice, he would even hand a practice puck out once in a while to one of the youngsters that might be there.

I gave Bob a shout-out last Friday night when we were in Syracuse.  Bob’s long-time friend Rick Nowlen – who is a good friend of mine as well and who also helps out down in the locker room – had asked me to say something for Bob.  I love sending out well-wishes on the air.  I just never know when the right time might be, or if that person is actually there listening.  I did it early in the second period, and I can only assume that Bob heard it and smiled.OfficeTrio

Never wanting anything for the work that he did – which was voluntary – Bob occupied this one chair in that room across from Troy Mann’s office.  He would sit and read the newspaper there.  He also loved reading the game notes for that particular day, so I would always make an extra packet for him.  I always joked with him, saying “so you’re the one who reads what I write!”.  One day, he laughed and offered me a pack of string cheese.  One of my favorite snacks was also one of his.  He always had that bag up in the cabinet.  That chair of his sits next to the cart that holds the bucket of pucks, cones, Gatorade bottles and towels.  Behind the chair, Bob would X-out each day on the calendar and always would let me know that he would be listening when we hit the road.

Jokingly, this room is also called “Olie’s Office”.  Capitals development coach Olie Kolzig sets up shop here whenever he comes to town.

I have a feeling that the guys will leave that space there, always reserved for Bob Arehart.

God bless, Bob.  Thank you so much for all of your kind words.  Rest in peace.

Bob's room at Giant Center.

Bob’s room at Giant Center.


Game (Galiev) Day: Bears at Phantoms – 11/6

Austin Fyten chats with former teammate Derek Mathers during warmups on Sunday at GIANT Center. Photo Courtesy JustSports Photography.

Austin Fyten chats with former teammate Derek Mathers during warmups on Sunday at GIANT Center. Photo Courtesy JustSports Photography.

One of the best things about the trip to Allentown is that it is the shortest we have all season.

One particular thing about this trip?  The Bears have already played six road games.  After tonight, there are just seven more left in the calendar year – and only two of them are “overnighters” (December 4 at Hartford and December 13 at Bridgeport).

The Bears evened their road record at 3-3-0-0 with a big 4-2 win over the Sound Tigers on Wednesday morning in Bridgeport.  Chris Bourque set up both of Paul Carey’s goals in the contest, and both players (Bourque 1-4-5, Carey 3-1-4) extended their point streaks to three games.  They have been impressive to watch together, that’s for sure.  And let’s not downplay what rookie Travis Boyd has done while centering these wingers.  Troy Mann has called Boyd “the de facto first-line center”, and thus has been dropped into big faceoff situations – obviously at even strength, but also as the center on the second power play unit.  He got an assist on Carey’s first goal, and although not striking at the same pace as his linemates, has done an outstanding job in the role he has been given.  He has an assist in back-to-back games, and tonight, returns to the place “where it all began” as I talked to him about this morning.  Allentown’s PPL Center was the site of Boyd’s first game in the AHL last April 14.  Although he didn’t get on the scoresheet (he was centering the fourth line in a 4-1 loss), what most impressed me was his play without the puck.  He played a very solid two-way game and if/when he lost possession, he would battle and battle to get it back.  Boyd would face Lehigh Valley the very next night and score a power-play goal and an assist.

Fast forward to this November 6.  Boyd is about to face the Phantoms for the fourth time, meaning 1/3 of his young career has been played against the in-state rivals.  In talking with him this morning, he is very excited to play tonight in a bigger role than he had last time.  He loves the atmosphere, said that the ice was good, and that the Phantoms present a big challenge.

Paul Carey chats with Jonesy after being named first star on October 31 vs. St. John’s. Photo courtesy JustSports Photography.

Carey, however, has been playing like a man possessed.  He has really come through and we saw that with the two different ways he scored on Wednesday (taking a puck right to the net first, and later firing a dart from the center point through a screen).  I’m really looking forward to watching this trio rack up points in the coming weeks.

No one can argue, however, that the spotlight will be shining on someone else for this contest.  This morning, we got this news:


Stan Galiev in a game during March, 2015. Photo courtesy JustSports Photography.

And sure enough by the time I re-tweeted this, Galiev was already on the ice before most of his teammates, taking some loops around the ice and firing pucks with ease into the top corners from 100 feet away.

Galiev’s conditioning loan puts him in Hershey for a maximum of two weeks or six games, whichever came first.  Two weeks on the Bears’ upcoming schedule is five games, so that would mean he could play tonight, tomorrow (vs. STJ) and the three-in-three next weekend.

He is definitely in the lineup tonight.  According to this morning’s rushes, he would pair with Carter Camper and Sean Collins, occupying the spot last held by rookie Riley Barber.  But inserting Galiev and moving a few other forwards around is not a bad thing for coach Mann.  There would be two forwards and a defenseman to scratch (not including the injured Jakub Vrana).  Dustin Gazley and Nathan Walker have hit a stride in recent games.  Liam O’Brien, Zach Sill and Garrett Mitchell?  Well, as Sill told me this morning in an interview that I’ll have in the second intermission tonight:

“I wouldn’t want to play us.”

Expect both teams to be up and ready for this one tonight.  Lehigh Valley has been idle since coughing up a 4-1 lead but winning in a 10-round shootout at GIANT Center on Sunday, and the Bears came off of Wednesday morning’s win unscathed and chomping at the bit to get to their next contest.

You can hear it tonight on Caps Radio 24/7 , on our local radio partners WQIC-FM 100.1 and WTKT-AM 1460, via the iHeartRadio app (Fox Sports 1460), and for a small fee you can watch via AHL Live.

Talk to you soon Bears Nation.




Mann on Vrana: Bears Lose a “Game-Changer” – 11/5

Jakub Vrana works against the Hartford Wolf Pack on opening night at GIANT Center. Photo Courtesy JustSports Photography.

Jakub Vrana works against the Hartford Wolf Pack on opening night at GIANT Center. Photo Courtesy JustSports Photography.

Good morning from the Den!

As the Bears get set to return to practice today (a shorter one, having played yesterday morning at Bridgeport and having two games on the horizon), head coach Troy Mann sat down for a bit this morning to talk about the injured Jakub Vrana.

Yesterday, the Washington Capitals announced that Vrana underwent successful surgery on his wrist in the morning.  Per the club, he is expected to return to full workouts in about three weeks, but his return to a game would be approximately 3-4 months away.

Mann said that Vrana was aspiring to be a “game-changer” – comparing him to the Bears’ leading scorer and three-time Calder Cup champion Chris Bourque.  He also said that the team needs to find a way to pick up slack, and since Vrana’s injury, the Bears are 2-1-0-1.  The club has also buried four goals in three straight games – a very good accomplishment.

Here is a bit of Troy’s conversation from this morning on Vrana:


The Bears will hit the road tomorrow for the first game this season in Allentown, a 7:05 PM matchup with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.  Former Bears winger Chris Conner has been reassigned by Philadelphia, and the Bears should see him play.

The St. John’s IceCaps then finish off the Bears’ week of games on Saturday here at GIANT Center.  Face-off is at 7PM and great seats are still available.  St. John’s also finishes 11 days on the road with this one… and they will be hungry to avenge last Saturday’s 4-2 loss.

More to come.



FINAL: Bears 4 at Sound Tigers 2 – 11/4

Photo courtesy Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Photo courtesy Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

The third-period strength of this team is really starting to shine… but, it really wasn’t needed as much in this game.  Connor Carrick scored early in the second period – one in which the Bears completely turned the game around with their forecheck and puck possession game – and despite a barrage of shots getting to Justin Peters, the team put forth a solid effort in winning 4-2 over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in the Bears’ first morning matinee game in over five years.

A few observations on Bridgeport.  First, they are BIG on defense.  Loic Leduc is listed at 6’7″ and that might be cheating him.  But the Bears’ speed and tenacity made the Sound Tigers work for every inch of ice today.  Second, Bridgeport has some talent in their veteran corps.  Coming from all over the place last season – Joe Whitney from the Devils, Bracken Kearns from the Sharks, Ben Holmstrom from the Checkers – the Sound Tigers’ vets are deadly when they get going in the offensive zone.  Third – and this is a guess only from memory as I would need to look at a video replay of this game – the Sound Tigers seem to like to clog their blue line and not allow clean entries, which might explain how the Bears only ended up with 20 shots on goal today.

Everything that Bridgeport brought, however, Hershey had an answer for.  The Bears have allowed the first goal now in six of their 10 games, whereas last year the team led the AHL in first-goals.  But, the team has points in five of those six (3-1-0-2), and now has points in three straight (2-0-0-1) thanks to a total team effort today.

Below is audio of the Bears’ third-period goals, here is the box score, and the press release recap follows.  It’s a dinner-time arrival back in central Pennsylvania, back at practice tomorrow at the GC (10:00 AM) and then off to Allentown on Friday.

Thanks for listening today everyone.



Paul Carey scored a pair of goals, Chris Bourque set them both up and Justin Peters made 39 saves to help the Bears to a 4-2 victory over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Wednesday at Webster Bank Arena.

Veteran Bracken Kearns would give the Sound Tigers a 1-0 lead when he scored on a two-man power play advantage.  Kearns would get a whack at an Alan Quine rebound and slide it by Peters at 7:42.

Hershey tied the game on a nice play out of the right wing corner by Bourque.  The winger made a quick centering pass while double-teamed and found an untouched Carey for a chip shot from in close that beat goaltender Chris Gibson at 16:47.

Early in the second period, Connor Carrick gave the Bears their first lead of the day when his center-point one-timer off of a feed from Sean Collins sailed past a screened Gibson at the 5:00 mark.

The 2-1 score would hold until the third period.  Off of a set faceoff play, Ryan Pulock carried down the right boards and passed to the goal line.  Sebastien Collberg stopped the pass before backhanding it in front where Quine knocked the puck in at 9:41.

The Bears reclaimed the lead at 14:25 when Bourque again found Carey, this time for a one-timer from long range that beat Gibson high glove side.

The fourth line would be deployed shortly afterward and a hard forechecking play by Dustin Gazley forced Gibson to misplay the puck behind his net.  The puck came off of Gazley and into the slot, where a wide-open Nathan Walker hammered hit home for his first goal of the season at 15:41.

Peters would stop Joe Whitney at the goal crease on two opportunities while the Sound Tigers skated with a sixth attacker, and the Bears rode those saves to victory.

Peters improved to 3-1-1 with the win, while Gibson dropped to 4-2-0 in making 16 saves on 20 shots.  Hershey finished the day 0-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill, improving its road record to an even 3-3-0-0 and earning points in three straight games (2-0-0-1).

NOTES:  The Bears scratched D Madison Bowey, D Mike Moore and LW Jakub Vrana…The Sound Tigers scratched D Matt Carkner, D Matt Finn, C Jared Gomes, LW Andrew Rowe and C Carter Verhaeghe…With the win, Hershey has three straight victories in morning games (3-2 shootout at Lake Erie, 2/24/10 and 4-1 at Bridgeport, 12/7/05)…LW Paul Carey (3-1-4) and Chris Bourque (1-4-5) extended their point streaks to three games.