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Bears Announce Roster Changes

by Scott Stuccio / Washington Capitals

HERSHEY, Pa. – The HERSHEY BEARS announced today that the club has returned forwards Alex Berry and Matt Pope to the ECHL’s Reading Royals. Additionally, defenseman Brett Flemming and goaltender Philipp Grubauer have been reassigned to HERSHEY from Reading. The announcements were made by BEARS President/GM Doug Yingst.

Berry, 26, recorded four points (two goals, two assists) and 40 penalty minutes in 18 games with the BEARS. He began the season in Reading, where he posted four goals, six assists, 25 penalty minutes and a plus-four rating in 13 games.

The 6-2, 220-pound native of Danvers, MA missed the entire 2011-12 season due to injury. During the previous season, Berry posted AHL career highs in goals (14), assists (20), points (34) and penalty minutes (150) in 75 games with the Norfolk Admirals. He was also selected as Norfolk’s IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year for his efforts in the community.

Berry spent most of the 2009-10 season with the AHL Toronto Marlies, appearing in 55 games and totaling seven points (three goals, four assists). He also recorded five assists in five regular-season games with the Royals, and went on to help Reading into the American Conference finals with two goals and four assists in 16 Kelly Cup playoff contests. Prior to turning pro, Berry played four years of college hockey at UMass-Amherst (HE), where he lettered in all four years and put up 62 points (29 goals, 33 assists) in 124 career games. He was originally selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the fifth round (153rd overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

Pope, 28, returns to Reading for the second time in a week. He appeared in one game on January 4 for the Royals, recording one goal and one assist. In 21 games with HERSHEY, Pope has registered four points (one goal, three assists).

The 6-1, 193-pound native of Langley, BC has played in total of 173 AHL games with HERSHEY, San Antonio, Manitoba and Binghamton, tallying 42 points (19 goals, 23 assists).

Pope was named a starter in the 2009 ECHL All-Star Game, during his first professional season. With ECHL Bakersfield in 2008-09, Pope racked up 30 goals and 33 assists in 54 games. Prior to turning pro, Pope played four years at Bemidji State University (WCHA), amassing 71 points (33 goals, 38 assists) in 143 career games.

Flemming, 21, has recorded 10 points (two goals, eight assists), 56 penalty minutes and a plus-three rating in 34 games with the Royals, and has been part of a blueline corps responsible for the third-lowest goals against per game average (2.77) in the ECHL. Flemming has appeared in one game with HERSHEY this season, recording a plus-one rating.

The 5-11, 184-pound native of Regina, SK earned 21 games with the Chocolate and White in his rookie year of 2011-12, posting four points (two goals, two assists).

Prior to turning pro, Flemming played in 147 games in his junior career with the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors (OHL), totaling 105 points (nine goals, 96 assists) and 288 penalty minutes. His plus-60 efficiency rating in 2009-10 set a Majors franchise record and led the OHL, the same season in which he helped Mississauga to a berth in the Memorial Cup finals. Flemming was originally selected by the Washington Capitals in the fifth round (145th overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

Grubauer, 21, appeared in one game for HERSHEY this season – his AHL debut on October 21 against the Binghamton Senators – and earned third-star honors.

The 6-0, 180-pound native of Rosenheim, German rejoins the BEARS after backstopping the Royals to the top of the ECHL’s Eastern Conference and second-best record in the league. Of the Royals’ 25 wins on the season, Grubauer has 19 of them – a number which leads the ECHL. His goals-against average of 2.30 ranks fifth overall. Grubauer was also named a starting goaltender in the 2013 ECHL All-Star Game, and was the Warrior Hockey Goaltender of the Month for November.

Grubauer has a record of 42-18-6 over two seasons in the ECHL with the Royals and South Carolina Stingrays, and was named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team in 2011-12.

Prior to turning pro, Grubauer played in 105 OHL games with Belleville, Windsor and Kingston, and was a member of the Spitfires’ 2010 Memorial Cup championship team. He was originally selected by the Capitals in the fourth round (112th overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

The BEARS are on the road for a matchup tomorrow, January 8 at 7:00 PM against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The team returns home on Saturday, January 12 to host the Connecticut Whale at 7:00 PM. The first 5,000 fans will receive an ice scraper courtesy of UGI. Tickets for this game and all home games are on sale at the GIANT Center box office, by calling (717) 508-BEAR or online at

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