Bears Beat Checkers 2-1, Sweep Weekend Set Against AHL’s Best Team

Photo: Tori Hartman

The Hershey Bears beat the Charlotte Checkers 2-1 Sunday evening at Giant Center in Hershey. The win improves the Bears record to 26-20-0-3 (55 points) on the season. The win is the Bears sixth-straight and gives the Bears a sweep of the weekend set with the Checkers, the AHL’s best team. The win also gives the bears points in 12-straight games. The Bears are back in action on Wednesday when they host the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM.

The Bears would start the scoring with a goal from Jayson Megna to take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. The Checkers would tie the game in the middle frame, but the Bears would retake the lead late in the second period with a 5-on-3 power play goal from Riley Barber, making it 2-1 Bears at the second intermission. The final frame would go scoreless.

Ilya Samsonov (11-11-1-2, 3.00 GAA, .885 sv%) started between the pipes for the Bears. Alex Nedeljkovic (22-5-4, 2.55 GAA, .907 sv%) got the start for the visiting Checkers. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:

O’Brien – Sgarbossa – Barber
Gersich– Megna – Pinho
Malenstyn – Pilon – Walker
Whitney– Gustafsson – Ikonen

Ness – Lewington
Siegenthaler – Sproul
Johansen – Hobbs

Christian Djoos was re-assigned to Washington on Friday, following his two-game conditioning stint in Hershey. To make room on the Capitals roster for Djoos, Jonas Siegenthaler was re-assigned to Hershey on Friday.

Scratches: Colby Williams (lower body), Kris Bindulis (upper body) and Joey Leach (wrist injury – long-term) were the injury scratches. Tobias GeisserMax Kammerer and Mason Mitchell were the healthy scratches.

The Bears would strike first with a goal from Jayson Megna at 16:01 of the opening frame. This was Megna’s 10th goal of the season. The play was initially setup by a chip and chase by Shane Gersich, which opened the slot for a clean shot by Megna. Brain Pinho (5) and Shane Gersich (11) were credited with the helpers.

The first period would end with the Bears leading 1-0. The Checkers led in shots on goal (SOG) 12-10. The Checkers were 0 for 1 and the Bears 0 for 1 on the power play in the first period.

The Bears would be called for a quick penalty at the start of the middle frame, giving the Checkers a 5-on-3 for 1:38 of the second period, but the Bears would kill the Checkers man advantage.

However, the Checkers would eventually tie the game in with a 5-on-5 goal from Nicolas Roy at 10:09 of the middle frame. Roy would enter the crease from the right wing unguarded, and deflect a centering pass for the Checkers lone goal of the evening.

The Bears had what looked to be a go-ahead power play goal by Jayson Megna but it was disallowed due to a high stick.

However, immediately following the disallowed goal, the Checkers were called for another penalty, giving the Bears a 5-on-3 for 1:00 of the middle frame. The Bears would capitalize with a blast from Riley Barber at 18:29 of the second period. Mike Sgarbossa (20) and Aaron Ness (30) were credited with the helpers.

The second period would conclude with the Bears leading 2-1. The Checkers outshot the Bears 8-6 in the middle frame, and led 20-16 after 40 minutes of play. The Checkers were 0 for 4 and the Bears 1 for 5 on the power play after two periods.

The Bears and Checkers would skate to a scoreless final frame.


  • Stars: 1) Ilya Samsonov, 2) Riley Barber and 3) Jayson Megna
  • Charlotte outshot Hershey 30-21
  • Ilya Samsonov stopped 29 of 30 shots faced for a .967 save percentage.
  • Riley Barber led the Bears in shots with 4.
  • The Checkers were 0 for 5 and the Bears 1 for 5 on the power play.
  • Final regular season meeting between Bears and Checkers.
  • Attendance: 8,722
  • The AHL box score is here.



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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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6 Responses to Bears Beat Checkers 2-1, Sweep Weekend Set Against AHL’s Best Team

  1. Mark Bass says:

    It was a Great game after a lackluster first period! Bears tied it late in the third than each team had several breakaways 3 on 3 but both Goalies were strong.
    I think it went 5 rounds in the shootout until the Bears won it. Siegenthaler scores the first
    goal in his first game after coming up to Hershey yesterday. Attendance was 9182

  2. Mark Bass says:


    Mark A. Bass

  3. Anonymous says:

    I have aid often that the caps should draft a G every year assuming they think he will be a pro…

  4. Pingback: Hershey Bears Sweep Weekend Against Charlotte Checkers; Continue Point Streak (Photos) | NoVa Caps

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