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Hershey vs Penguins

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 2017-18 regular season wraps up against their instate rival, the Hershey Bears, at Giant Center today at 5:00 p.m.

The Penguins (44-22-6-3, 97 pts, .647%) have secured home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, clinching the second spot in the American Hockey League’s Atlantic Division, while the Bears (30-36-4-5, 69 pts, .460%) are last in the same division and will miss the playoffs for the first time in four years.

Today’s game is the 12th and final meeting between the clubs this season.

TIME: 5:00 p.m.
PLACE: Giant Center
WATCHAHLLive.com
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SEASON SERIES

DATE HOME ROAD TIME/RESULT
Friday, October 27 WBS Hershey  3-2 WIN
Sunday, November 5 WBS Hershey  2-3 SOL
Sunday, November 12 Hershey WBS  1-5 WIN
Sunday, December 3 Hershey WBS  4-3 OTL
Sunday, December 10 Hershey WBS  1-4 WIN
Saturday, December 30 Hershey WBS  1-2 OT WIN
Wednesday, January 24 Hershey WBS  0-4 WIN
Friday, February 2 WBS Hershey  4-1 WIN
Sunday, February 25 WBS Hershey  3-2 WIN
Sunday, March 18 WBS Hershey  6-4 WIN
Tuesday, April 3 WBS Hershey  5-3 WIN
Sunday, April 15 Hershey WBS  5:00pm

RECENT ACTION

The Penguins and Lehigh Valley Phantoms traded goals in the final two minutes of regulation, but the Phantoms came out on top in a shootout, taking a 2-1 win, on Saturday night at PPL Center. Garrett Wilson cracked the goose egg for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton late in the contest, but the goal was not enough as Chris Conner came back with the equalizer for Lehigh Valley a minute later. Nic Aubé-Kubel scored the only goal of the shootout in the fourth round, granting Lehigh Valley the victory in its final game of the season. Michael Leighton made 30 saves on the night and denied three Phantoms attempts in the shootout, while Alex Lyon turned aside 26 shots in regulation and overtime and went four-for-four on saves in the shootout.

The Bears returned home and wrapped up the season series with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers with a 2-1 win on Saturday at Giant Center. Hershey dictated the majority of play and grabbed an early 1-0 lead with a goal from Jonas Siegenthaler. Mathias Bau scored the game-winner in the second, while Bears goaltender Vitek Vanecek’s work load remained light with only four additional required stops in the second period. Bridgeport ended Vanecek’s bid for his third shutout of the season when Casey Bailey snapped a quick shot past the Hershey netminder at 5:17 of the third period.

PENGUINS NOTES
The Penguins have gone 9-0-1-1 in the season series and have not lost in regulation to the Bears since April 14th 2017

Daniel Sprong established a new franchise record for goals by a rookie with his 31st tally of the season on Friday night in Springfield.

Despite only playing in nine of the 11 matchups between the Penguins and Bears this season, Daniel Sprong leads the series in points with 14 (5+9).

The Penguins continue to be tough to beat with a third period lead, going 28-1-1-0 on the season when leading after two frames.

Chris Summers played in the 450th game in his AHL career Saturday night.

BEARS NOTES
Despite their record, Hershey is 20-1-0-2 when they lead after 40 minutes

Chris Bourque leads the Bears in points with 53 (17+36).

Bourque scored three goals last weekend, giving him 196 in his Hershey career. The forward now sits alone in sole possession of seventh place all-time in franchise history in goals.

Defenseman Connor Hobbs has collected five points (1+4) in his past three games. He posted the first multi-point game of his career (1+2) last Tuesday in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, then returned to the ice Saturday in Charlotte with two assists. Hobbs has registered 16 points (3+13) in 42 games during his rookie season.

Captain Garrett Mitchell’s next game will be his 400th AHL game

CONNECTIONS
Penguins forward Christian Thomas spent the 2016-17 season with the Bears, and led the team in goals (24) and power play goals (12).  His goals, assists (25) and points (49) totals were all career highs.

Bears center Zach Sill spent parts of five seasons with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and ranks sixth on the team’s all-time list with 277 games played. Sill recorded 73 points (33+40) and 315 penalty minutes with the Penguins between 2009 and 2014.

compiled by Jonathan Kliment

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