It was a familiar scene for Jakub Vrana Friday morning at Giant Center. For the third year in a row, he was packing his hockey equipment in a large red Washington Capitals bag before heading home for the summer. At only 21, Vrana is viewed as the Capitals top prospect, but a tumultuous finish to his second full season as a professional, he finds himself in a tough situation.

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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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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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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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It took 75 games and some help from the Springfield Thunderbirds, but the Hershey Bears can finally say they are playoff bound after taking a 2-1 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Friday night. Hershey faces Providence tomorrow with a chance to alter their first round opponent, which currently is the same Penguins team they faced tonight. A win would have them facing Lehigh Valley.

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Photo: @TheHersheyBears

With eleven minutes remaining in the third period, it looked like the end for the Hershey Bears. The team had surrendered an early 1-0 lead and trailed for the first time in the game to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, and in the midst of a critical last five games for Hershey, the team needed a comeback.

The Bears needed a perfect goal to solve Phantoms goaltender Alex Lyon, and they got it with a goal five minutes later from Riley Barber. The game would go to overtime when Travis Boyd got around the defense and roofed a shot that went in and out in a flash to get the Bears a critical 3-2 win.

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Hershey Bears Player Music Videos

On March 29, 2017, in Video, by Kyle Mace

Back in February, I was tweeted a really cool video of some of our videos edited in a quick little video. After talking to the creator, @tmhjesslyn, she made a longer video with a ton of awesome clips. Now, she brings back some shorter edits, but with a few of your favorite players. First up: Riley Barber, Christian Thomas, Jakub Vrana, Nathan Walker, Aaron Ness, and Pheonix Copley

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Photo via @TheHersheyBears

The Hershey Bears defeated the St. John’s IceCaps on Sunday afternoon to get a win out of back to back contests following a late 4-3 loss yesterday.

The game featured excellent chemistry by the line with Jakub Vrana, Travis Boyd, and Riley Barber. They combined to get the Bears on the board over halfway through the first when Barber made a picture perfect shot from the slot to put the Bears up 1-0.

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Tom Gilbert is joined by teammates after scoring the eventual game winning goal for Hershey on Wednesday night against Binghamton (Kyle Mace / Chocolate Hockey)

The Hershey Bears hosted the Binghamton Senators Wednesday night before a sold-out Giant Center, and behind goals from Hubert Labrie, Tom Gilbert, and Riley Barber, Hershey took a 3-1 victory tonight. Pheonix Copley backstopped the Bears to the win.

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You know a hockey team is feeling good about themselves when they’re having fun. That’s exactly what happened Wednesday morning at Giant Center when the Bears held a team shootout at the end of practice. A very good sign for Hershey as they prepare for one of the most important months of the season.

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