Bears Rally To Down The Rocket 4-2; Connor Hobbs, Joe Snively And Brian Pinho Score First Goals Of the Season

Photo: Laval Rocket

The Hershey Bears rallied to beat the Laval Rocket 4-2 Saturday night at Place Bell in Laval, Quebec. The win improves the Bears record to 4-2-1-0 (9 points) on the season. The Bears wrap-up their current four-game road trip on Wednesday when they visit the Rochester Americans. Puck drop is 7:00 PM.

The Rocket would open the scoring with a power play goal midway through the first period, giving Laval a 1-0 lead at the first intermission. The two teams would alternate goals in the middle frame, with the Bears getting goals from Connor Hobbs and Joe Snively, for a 2-2 tie at the second intermission. The Bears would take their first lead of the game on Brian Pinho’s first goal of the season, early in the final frame and that would be enough. The Bears would add an empty net goal from Liam O’Brien in the final minute of play for a 4-2 final.

Vitek Vanecek ( 1-1-0-0, 4.16 GAA, .851 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the Bears. Charlie Lindgren (1-2-0-0, 3.28 GAA, .880 sv%) drew the start for the Rocket. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:

Scratches: Shane Gersich (upper body), Lucas Johansen, Tobias Geisser, Bobby Nardella and Chris McCarthy. Travis Boyd and Martin Fehervary were recalled by the Capitals on Friday. Riley Sutter and Kody Clark did not make the road trip this week.

Things would get a bit chippy midway through the first period. Kale Kessey, playing in his first game of the season for the Bears, would deliver two physical, but legal hits. The first hit was to former Bear Riley Barber, who would take a swing at Kessey with his stick following the hit. Kessey’s first hit on Barber would draw retaliation from a Rocket player.

Moments later Kessey would tee-up a second hit, sending a Rocket player sliding along the rail and nearly into the Bears bench. Losing control of the game, the officials would soon whistle Kessey for slashing, and that would cost the Bears.

The Rocket would grab the game’s first lead with a power play goal from Ryan Poehling at 11:34 of the first frame.

The first period would end with the Rocket leading 1-0. Laval led in shots on goal 9-5 after 20 minutes. Hershey was 0 for 1 and Laval 1 for 2 on the power play in the opening frame.

The Bears would tie the game with a beautiful shot by Connor Hobbs from the left point at 8:39 of the middle frame. Hobbs would adjust his shot to the pass, and fire far side for the tally. Martin Fehervary and Brett Leason would get the assists. Leason’s assist was his first AHL point.

But Laval would strike right back with a goal from Nikita Jevpalovs at 12:33 of the middle period. The goal was setup by a turnover in the Bears defensive zone.

The Bears would get it right back. Joe Snively would tie the game with a spinning slapper shot from the slot at 16:35 of the second period. Garret Pilon and Brett Leason would be credited with the assists.

The period would conclude with the game tied 2-2. Hershey led in shots on goal 12-6 in the middle period, and 17-15 after two periods. The Bears were 0 for 2 and the Rocket 1 for 3 on the power play after 40 minutes.

The Bears would take their first lead of the game early in the final frame with a goal from Brian Pinho at 3:44 of the final frame. Axel Jonsson-Fjallby had the lone assist.

Liam O’Brien would add an empty net goal for the 4-2 final.


  • Attendance: 5,089
  • The AHL box score is here.
  • Bears outshot the Rocket 27-25.
  • Vitek Vanecek stopped 23 of 25 shots for a .920 game save percentage.
  • Brett Leason had two assists.
  • Matt Moulson led the Bears in shots with 4, Connor Hobbs had 3.
  • The Bears were 0 for 3 and the Rocket 1 for 4 on the power play.


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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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