Graphic: Charlotte Checkers
The Hershey Bears (12-14-0-3) flew out of Harrisburg Tuesday morning for a two game set against the Charlotte Checkers (19-9-0-1) starting Wednesday night at Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte. The Checkers currently reside in second place in the Atlantic Division. Puck drop is 7:00 PM.
The Bears are hoping to put an end to the Checkers 3-game win-streak, while closing their own three game loss run. It’s a battle of special teams with Hershey leading the Division in penalty kill success and Charlotte leading the Division in power play conversion.
This will be the first of eight meetings between the two clubs. The last time these two teams faced-off in Charlotte was in November of 2013 with Hershey taking home the 8-1 victory.
Hershey’s penalty kill will be put to the test as they face the Atlantic Divisions leader in power play conversion at a rate of 23.2%.
The Checkers are coming off a three-game win-streak with back-to-back victories over the Laval Rocket this past weekend and a winning mid-week 5-2 win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The Checkers have gone 8-1-1 in the past 10 games with a 3-1-0 record for the past week. The Checkers hold an eye-popping 3.93 goals per game average.
The Bears have dropped to seventh in the Atlantic Division with a 12-14-0-3 record scoring 77 goals and allowing 98.
Hershey continues to top the Atlantic Division leader board with a top-ranked penalty kill with an 85.5% kill rate.
Checkers Players to Watch
Valentin Zykov was named Checkers number 1 star of the week with 5 goals and 1 assist. He’s also tied for first in the AHL in goals with 17. Trevor Carrick was honored withe second star of the week with his 6 assists while Warren Foegele was named third star with 2 goals and 3 assists.
Janne Kuokkanen was reassigned by Carolina to Finland National Junior team on Tuesday while Steven Lorentz was reassigned by Carolina to the Charlotte Checkers from Florida (ECHL) last week.
Bears Players to Watch
As always, Forward Chris Bourque is a name many teams will talk about in the locker room as he leads the Bears and the AHL in points (32) and leads Hershey in goals (11) and assists (21).
Riley Barber and Liam O’Brien each scored a goal against the Providence Bruins Saturday Night.
Defenseman Connor Hobbs looks to return to the lineup sometime this week after missing 18 games due to a wrist injury that accrued on November 4, 2017.
Defenseman Tommy Hughes returned on loan to South Carolina on Tuesday while Dylan Margonari was added to Hershey’s roster from loan in South Carolina last week. Madison Bowey and Jakub Vrana were paper transactions for the Washington Capitals.
By Allison Shuey