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Previewing the First Round Match-Up Between the Sharks and Bears
WORCESTER, MA -- For the 2015-16 season, the San Jose Barracuda will begin their inaugural season as the AHL team of the San Jose Sharks. For now, the Sharks AHL team resides in Worcester, Massachusetts, where the Worcester Sharks are set to play Hershey in Round 1 of the Calder Cup Playoffs. Here’s a snapshot of the first-round matchup:
Worcester Sharks (41-29-4-2, 88 pts) vs. Hershey Bears (46-22-5-3, 100 pts)
The 2014-15 regular season series between Worcester and Hershey was split between the two, with the Sharks going 2-2-0-0 including one shootout win.
THE LAST TIME: The two clubs faced off on Wednesday, April 1 at the Giant Center in Hershey, PA. The Sharks trailed 2-0 early in the second period before Travis Oleksuk and Matt Willows each scored for Worcester, forcing overtime. Aaron Dell was excellent in net, making 36 saves and stopping six of seven shooters in the shootout. John McCarthy scored in the 7th round to give Worcester the 3-2 shootout victory.
BEARS TO WATCH:
Former Sharks forward Tim Kennedy has shined bright for the Hershey Bears this season. The 5'10" 176- pounder from Buffalo, NY has a team-high 59 points (11 goals, 48 assists) in 75 games, putting him 19th overall in scoring in the AHL. Kennedy played for Worcester during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons, racking up 68 total points in 72 games. The 28-year-old center will be looking to continue his torrid play in his return to the DCU Center.
Stanislav Galiev and former San Jose Jr. Shark Casey Wellman each scored 25 goals for the Bears this season. Galiev is scary on the power play with a team-high 15 goals with the man advantage.
First round draft pick Jacub Vrana (13th overall in 2014) recently joined the team after spending the season in Linköping. The 19-year-old forward is highly skilled and led Czech Republic to a silver medal in the 2014 Under 18 World Championships.
Former Worcester Sharks captain Mike Moore had 14 points (3-11-14) in 41 games this season for the Bears. Connor Carrick led all Bears blue liners with 42 points (8-34-42) in 73 games.
Goaltender Phillipp Grubauer is currently with the Washington Capitals as they battle the New York Islanders in the playoffs. Rookie Pheonix Copley was 17-4-3 with Hershey with a 2.17 GAA and a .925 SV%.
You can listen to every game live on WTAG Worcester or watch online for a small fee at www.AHLLive.com.