Bears Fall to Crunch, 3-2 in Season-Opener

Photo: Tori Hartman

The Hershey Bears opened their 2018-2019 season Saturday night with a 3-2 loss to the Syracuse Crunch at Giant Center. Liam O’Brien and Michael Sgarbossa lit the lamp in the opening frame to give the Bears a 2-1 lead at the first intermission. The Crunch would tie things up late in the second period and take a 3-2 lead early in the third period, and hold on for the 3-2 win. The Bears return to the ice on Sunday when they host the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Puck drop is 5:00 pm. 

Washington Capitals goaltending prospect Ilya Samsonov made his North American professional debut in net for the Bears. The Bears starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the game:

Eddie Pasquale got the start in goal for the Syracuse Crunch.

The Bears would start quickly with a goal from Liam O’Brien at 16:50 of the opening frame. Colby Williams and Riley Barber were credited with the helpers.

Syracuse tied the game on a power play goal from Carter Verhaeghe. Sergei Shumakov was called for hooking, setting up the Crunch’s man-advantage.

The Bears would regain the lead with a goal from Mike Sgarbossa at 19:03 of the first. The goal was setup by a nice feed from Riley Barber, his second assist of the game. Colby Williams had the other assist, his second assist of the game, as well. The entire play was setup by a beautiful outlet pass from the defensive zone by Colby Williams.

The first period would end with the Bears leading 2-1. The Crunch led in shots on goal 9-8 after 20 minutes of play.

The Crunch would tie the game with a goal from Taylor Raddysh at 14:02 of the middle frame. Raddysh would knock home rebound on the doorstep for the tying tally.

The middle frame would conclude with the game tied 2-2. The Crunch outshot the Bears 14-10 for the second period and 23-18 after 40 minutes of play. The Bears were 0 for 3 and the Crunch 1 for 2 on the power play after two periods of play.

The Crunch would grab the lead early in the final frame with a goal from Alex Barre-Boulet at 5:26 of the period.

The Bears would be unable to tie things up and would fall, 3-2. The Bears outshot the Crunch 14-8 in the final period, and led 32-31 for the game.


  • Photos from the Bears red carpet event are here.
  • Eight different members of the Chocolate and White made their AHL debut.
  • Attendance was 10,066.
  • AHL box score is here.
  • Hershey finished the night 0-for-4 on the power play and 1-for-3 on the penalty kill.
  • Tonight was the first time the Bears opened their season at home since Oct. 5, 2013.


About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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1 Response to Bears Fall to Crunch, 3-2 in Season-Opener

  1. Pingback: Hershey Bears Drop Home Opener 3-2 to Syracuse Crunch (Photos) | NoVa Caps

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