The Hershey Bears’ 2016-17 season concluded on Wednesday evening with a 4-2 loss to the Providence Bruins in Game 7 of the Atlantic Division Finals. The Bears went down 3-1, and nearly came back, but stout defense from the Bruins kept Hershey off the board when they needed it most.

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Bruins Hand Bears 4-2 Loss to Force Game 7

On May 16, 2017, in Game Recap, by Corey Swartz

It looked pretty good for the Bears at the start of Game Six of the Atlantic Divison Finals. Two first-period goals put the Bears up 2-0 after one period. However, the next forty minutes would be a different story.

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Madison Bowey celebrates his game winning overtime goal against Providence in game five of the Atlantic Divison Finals Sunday afternoon in Providence (Kyle Mace / Chocolate Hockey)

The Hershey Bears faced a big challenge in Game 5 against the Providence Bruins Sunday afternoon. With a tied series, the Bears had the opportunity to come home with a lead or a deficit. They did just that thanks to another overtime win at Dunkin’ Donuts Center by a 3-2 final score.

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When goaltender Pheonix Copley was injured in game four of the Atlantic Divison Finals Friday night in Providence, both Bears players and fans alike held their breath. Copley had been stellar in the first two games on the road in the series, but now the Chocolate and White turn to Vitek Vanecek as Copley will miss game five due to his injury.

Vanecek, who has not allowed a goal in his last 104 minutes played, will get the nod on Sunday. The 21-year-old netminder faced nine shots after replacing Copley with only 42 seconds remaining in the second period.

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The Hershey Bears lost Game 4 in Providence by a final score of 2-1. The game took a turn for the worse for Hershey when Pheonix Copley went down with a lower-body injury during Providence’s second goal at the end of the second period, and Hershey never recovered in the third.

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Chris Bourque celebrates his GWOTG against Providence Friday Thursday night at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in the Atlantic Divison Finals (Kyle Mace / Chocolate Hockey)

Pheonix Copley has been a big story for the Hershey Bears this season. He was brought in at the trade deadline to give the team a chance to win games, and if that wasn’t evident at any point this season, it was on Thursday night. The Bears won Game 3 in Providence behind 39 saves from Copley and two goals from Chris Bourque propelled the Bears to a 2-1 victory over the Bruins in the second overtime in as many games. Hershey leads the series two games to one.

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Stan Galiev celebrates with Travis Boyd and teammates after Boyd’s overtime winning goal against Providence Sunday night at Giant Center. (All photos: Kyle Mace / Chocolate Hockey)

Troy Mann said in his postgame interview following the Hershey Bears’ 3-1 loss in Game 1 that it wasn’t how much your power play scores, but when they score. That turned out to be the turning point of Game 2, as Christian Djoos scored in the late moments of a power play with 2:30 on the clock in the third period to tie the game at two apiece. Travis Boyd completed the comeback less than six minutes into overtime, and the Bears took the second game of their series with the Providence Bruins by a final score of 3-2.

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In another repeat of a 2009 playoff series, the Hershey Bears and Providence Bruins will face off in the Atlantic Divison Finals. The series begins with game one Saturday night in Hershey. As puck drop nears, I break down this series and provide a final prediction for how I think it will turn out.

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After a well deserved second day off on Tuesday, the Hershey Bears were back on the ice Wednesday morning at historic Hersheypark Arena. Two notable faces joined the Chocolate and White as they prepared for their second round series against Providence starting on Saturday.

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Bourque Brothers Dye Hair Blond for Playoffs

On May 3, 2017, in News, by Kyle Mace


Photo: Christian Thomas/@cpt27 on Twitter

It all started with a Twitter poll. Bears captain Garrett Mitchell posted on his Twitter account a question for Bears fans: should Ryan Bourque dye his hair blond once again for the Calder Cup playoffs.

The votes were overwhelming and 83% of the 500 people who got to vote in the very short time the poll was live voted “Effin rights.”

“The other night the topic came up in a Twitter poll against my discretion,” said Ryan, “but sometimes you have to give the people what they want. The poll spoke for itself.”

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