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AHL Preview: Portland Pirates Vs. Hershey Bears

Oliver Ekman-Larsson Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

The Hershey Bears (Washington Capitals) return to Giant Center tonight, facing off against the Portland Pirates (Phoenix Coyotes). Tonight is the first of two matchups between the two clubs this season, with the next one set for April 14th at Cumberland Valley Civic Center, Portland’s home rink. Portland holds an advantage over the Bears historically, with a 17-27-2 all-time record against Hershey.

The two clubs most recently met last season in Portland, with the Pirates coming away with a 6-4 victory over the Chocolate and White. Forwards Kyle Greentree, Mike Carman, Ryan Potulny and David Civitarese all scored for Hershey.

Portland enters tonight’s game following a shootout loss at the hands of the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins. The Pirates battled back from an early 3-0 deficit, but battled back to force overtime and then a shootout. Brandon Gormley, Chris Brown and Alexandre Bolduc all scored regulation goals for Portland, however the Pirates couldn’t find the back of the net once in the shootout.

Hershey was unsuccessful in the win column as well last night, picking up no points. The St. John’s IceCaps defeated the Bears 2-1 last night, with a late power play goal propelling them to the victory. Barry Almeida scored the lone goal for Hershey and Bears goalie, Dany Sabourin stopped all but two of the shots he faced in a losing effort. Eric O’Dell and Derek Meech tallied goals for the IceCaps.

Hershey goaltender, Braden Holtby will likely get the start between the pipes. Former Hershey Bear, Joel Rechlicz returns to Giant Center tonight, following two seasons with the Chocolate and White.

You can follow Matthew on twitter @m_speck and email him at mspeck21@yahoo.com with any questions or comments.