Brett Leason, Lucas Johansen, Kody Clark And Garrett Pilon Score In Bears 5-2 Win Over Charlotte On Opening Night

Photo: IG:@Liam10za

The Hershey Bears downed the Charlotte Checkers 5-2 in the Bears season opener Saturday night at Giant Center. The victory gives the Bears a 1-0-0 record to start the 2021-22 season.

Brett Leason and Lucas Johansen notched tallies to give the Bears an early 2-0 lead. The Checkers would answer late in the opening stanza to make it 2-1 at the first intermission. Kody Clark made it 3-1 early in the middle frame before the Checkers would answer late in the period to make in 3-2 at the second intermission. Mike Sgarbossa scored early in the third to make it 4-2 and Garrett Pilon would add a tally late to make it 5-2, the final.


Pheonix Copley (0-0-0-0, 0.00 GAA, .000 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the Bears. Christopher Gibson (0-0-0-0, 0.00 GAA, .000 sv%) got the start in goal for the visiting Checkers. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:

Scratches: Mason Morelli, Ryan Dmowski, Matt Moulson (suspension), Jake Massie, Eddie Wittchow.


The Bears wasted very little time in getting things started. Garret Pilon would make a cross ice feed to Lucas Johansen (1) for the Bears first goal of the season at 3:31 of the first period. Garrett Pilon (1) and Joe Snively (1) had the helpers.

But the lead didn’t last long. The Checkers’ Aleksi Heponiemi (1) tied the game at 6:21 of the first period. Logan Hutsko (1) and Max Gildon (1) had the helpers.

The Bears regained the lead late in the first period on a power play goal from Brett Leason (1) at 16:35 of the opening period. Brian Pinho (1) and Joe Snively (2) had the assists.

That would be all of the scoring in the first period. Charlotte led in shots 11-8. Joe Snively and Brian Pinho led the Bears in shots with two each. The Checkers were 1 for 3 and the Bears 1 for 2 on the power play in the first period.


The Bears would stretch their lead to 3-1 with a power play goal from Kody Clark (1) at 2:43 of the second period. Mike Vecchione (1) and Mike Sgarbossa (1) had the helpers.

The Checkers would make it 3-2 midway through the period with a goal from Alexander True (1) at 12:35 of the second period. Logan Hutsko (2) and Max McCormick (1) had the assists.

The period would end with the Bears leading 3-2. Hershey led in shots 13-2 in the second period and 21-13 after two periods of play. The Checkers were 1 for 3 and the Bears 2 for 5 on the power play after 40 minutes.


The Bears regained their tw0-goal lead early in the final frame with a snipe from Mike Sgarbossa (1) just 24 seconds into the period. Garrett Pilon (2) and Cody Franson (1) had the assists.

The Bears would make it 5-2 with a goal from Garrett Pilon (1) at 14:26 of the final frame. Michal Kempny (1) and Mike Sgarbossa (2) had the assists.

The Bears would hold on for the 5-2 final.

The Bears are back in action on Sunday when they host the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Giant Center. Puck drop is set for 3:00 pm.


  • AHL box score
  • Attendance: 7,588
  • Bears led in shots 34-15.
  • Garrett Pilon had a goal and two assists.
  • Joe Snively had two assists.
  • Mike Sgarbossa had a goal and an assist.
  • Joe Snively led all Bears in shots with 4.
  • Bears were 2 for 6 and Charlotte 1 for 3 on the power play.
  • The Checkers did not play in the COVID-shortened 2020 season.
  • Three Stars: 1) Garrett Pilon, 2) Mike Sgarbossa and 3) Joe Snively.
  • The win was Scott Allen’s first victory as head coach of the Hershey Bears.


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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