Bears Fall To Checkers 3-1; Trail Series 3-0

PhotO: Tori Hartman

The Hershey Bears fell to the Charlotte Checkers 3-1 Tuesday night at Giant Center in Hershey. With the win, the Checkers now lead the best-of-seven series 3-0. Game 4 is set for Wednesday night at Giant Center.

Vitek Vanecek (1-2-0-1, 2.32 GAA, .940 sv%) started between the pipes for the Bears. Alex Nedeljkovic  (4-1-0-1, 2.20 GAA, .916 sv%) got the start in goal for the visiting Checkers. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:

Walker – Megna – Barber
O’Brien – Pilon– Whitney
Gersich – McCarthy – Pinho
Malenstyn – Steman – Cherniwchan

Ness– Hobbs
Geisser – Sproul
Johansen– Williams

Suspended: Tyler Lewington served his one-game suspension for an incident in Game 2 of this series.

Scratches:  Mike Sgarbossa and Kris Bindulis (upper body) were the injury scratches. Joe Snively (School), Jusso Ikonen, Hampus Gustafsson, Steven Spinner and Bobby Nardell0 were the healthy scratches for Game 3.

The Bears struck first with a goal from Nathan Walker just before the end of the first period. Walker redirected a nice feed from Ryan Sproul for the game’s first tally. Ryan Sproul (1) and Jayson Megna (4) had the assists.

The first period would expire with the Bears leading 1-0. The Bears outshot the Checkers 11-7 for the first 20 minutes. There were no penalties called in the first period.

The Checkers would tie the game early in the middle frame with a shot from the left point by Aleksi Saarela at 6:32 of the second period. The shot either surprised Vanecek, or he just didn’t see it well, but a shot that Vanecek normally stops at a high percentage.

And that would be all of the scoring in the middle frame. The Checkers dominated the shot production in the middle frame, outshooting the Bears 12-2. Both teams were 0 for 2 on the power play in the second period.

The Bears and Checkers would skate to a scoreless draw for most of the final frame before Charlotte potted the game winner with 2:08 left in the final frame. Lucas Johansen would be unable to clear a rebound off of Vanecek, leaving an easy cleanup shot for Stelio Mattheos.

The Checkers would add an empty net goal from Aleksi Saarela, his second tally of the game, for the 3-1 final.

The story to this game was the Bears continued difficulties on the power play, ultimately going o for 4 in the final frame, and 0 for 6 in the game. The loss of Mike Sgarbossa could be blamed for a part of this, but the Bears struggled significantly on the power play in the previous series against Bridgeport.


  • Bears were 0 for 6 and the Checkers 0 for 2 on the power play.
  • Charlotte outshot the Bears 23-18 for the game.
  • Nathan Walker led the Bears with 4 shots.
  • Attendance: 7,436
  • The AHL box score for the game is here.



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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3 Responses to Bears Fall To Checkers 3-1; Trail Series 3-0

  1. Pingback: Hershey Bears Lose Third Consecutive Game Against Charlotte Checkers (Photos) | NoVa Caps

  2. Day One Caps Fan says:

    Well, Jon, a disappointing season all around for Caps lovers. One wonders what the GMs have up their sleeves to atone for all of this

  3. Pingback: Washington Capitals Prospect Review and Forecast: Vitek Vanecek | NoVa Caps

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