Garrett Pilon Scores 11th Goal Of The Season In Bears 3-2 Win Over Penguins

Photo: JustSports Photography/Hershey Bears

The Hershey Bears downed the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 3-2 Sunday night at Giant Center in Hershey. The win improves the Bears’ record to 18-10-2-1 (39 points) on the season.


Following a scoreless first period, Dylan McIlrath dented the twine midway through the middle frame to give the Bears a 1-0 lead. Mike Vecchione would pot the Bears second tally with one second left in the second period to give the Bears a 2-0 lead at the second intermission.

The Penguins quickly cut the Bears lead in half with a tally just 30 seconds into the final frame, but Garrett Pilon would reinstate the Bears two-goal lead with a power play goal midway through the final frame, to make it 3-1. The Penguins would make it 3-2 with a 6-on-4 power play goal with less than three minutes to play, but the Bears would ultimately hang on for the win.


The Bears started goaltender Pheonix Copley (8-6-1-1, 2.84 GAA, .894 sv%) in net while the Penguins countered with Alex D’Orio (0-2-0-0, 5.14 GAA, .854 sv%). The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:

Injuries: Matt Moulson (upper-body injury), Eddie Whittchow (lower-body injury), Bobby Nardella (lower-body injury), Lucas Johansen (upper-body injury) and Kale Kessy (upper-body injury).

Scratches: Ryan Dmowski, Christopher Brown and Colby McAuley were the healthy scratches.

Re-called: Mike Sgarbossa was recalled to the Capitals taxi squad on Wednesday. He was recalled to the Capitals roster on Friday.

Re-assigned: The Bears re-assigned goaltender Ryan Bednard to ECHL South Carolina on Wednesday. Jordan Subban was also returned to the South Carolina Stingrays in the ECHL this week. Will Graber was returned to the Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL earlier this week.

Released: The Bears released forward Vladislav Mikhalchuk from his professional tryout on Wednesday.

Note: It was announced this week that Matt Moulson had back surgery and will be out for an extended period of time.


The Bears and Penguins skated to a scoreless draw in the opening period.

Hershey led in shots 13-7. Joe Snively led all Bears in shots with 3 in the first frame.

Both teams were 0 for 1 on the power play in the opening frame.


The Bears would finally break the seal with a long-distance tally from Dylan McIlrath (3) at 7:06 of the second period.

Mike Vecchione (5) would receive a feed from behind the goal by Shane Gersich and net the Bears second goal just before time expired in the second period. Shane Gersich (9) and Cody Franson (11) were credited with the assists.

The Bears held the 2-0 lead at the second intermission. The Penguins led in shots 12-6 in the middle frame, with shots tied 19-19 after two periods. Both teams were 0 for 2 on the power play after two periods of play.


The Penguins got on the scoreboard just 30 seconds into the final frame. Mitch Reinke (1) would pot the Pens first goal of the game, cutting the Bears lead to 2-1. Pierre-Olivier Joseph (10) and Jan Drozg (4) had the helpers.

The Bears would re-instate their two goal with a power play goal from Garrett Pilon (11) at 8:40 of the third period. Cody Franson (12) and Joe Snively (20)

The Penguins would cut the Bears lead to 3-2 with a 6-on-4 power play. Radim Zohorna (5) would pot the tally at 17:33 of the third period. Anthony Angello (1) and Alexander Nylander (7) had the assists.

The Bears would hold on for the 3-2 win.


  • NHL box score
  • Attendance: 7,440
  • Stars of the game: 1) Garrett Pilon, 2) Mike Vecchione and 3) Dylan McIlrath.
  • Penguins led in  shots 28-25.
  • Joe Snively led all Bears in shots with 4.
  • Pheonix Copley stopped 26 of 28 shots faced for a .929 game save percentage.
  • Brian Pinho made his first since November 5.
  • Bears are 7-0 against the Penguins so far this season.
  • This was the Bears 4th game in five nights.


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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