Aliaksei Protas Scores Goal And Assist In Bears 5-4 Comeback Victory Over Senators

The Hershey Bears rallied late to down the Belleville Senators, 5-4 Saturday night at Giant Center in Hershey. The victory improves the Bears record to 24-14-3-3 (54 points) on the season.

The Bears opened the scoring with a 5-on-3 power play goal from Mike Vecchione less than three minutes into the contest. The Senators answered with a power play goal of their own, but the Bears would quickly answer with a deflected goal from Marcus Vela for a 2-1 lead. The Senators would tie the game on a power play goal after Dylan McIlrath was called for a five-minute major, making it 2-2 at the first intermission.

The Bears would retake the lead on a power play goal from Aliaksei Protas midway through the middle frame, but once again the Senators would answer for a 3-3 game at the second intermission.

The Senators took their first lead of the night early in the final frame, but this time the Bears would answer with a scrappy goal from Mason Morelli to tie the game 4-4 midway through the final period. Moments later Cody Franson would dent the twine from just inside the blueline to give the Bears a 5-4 lead. That would be the final.


STARTERS

The Bears started goaltender Hunter Shepard (3-1-0-1, 1.63 GAA, .923 sv%) in net, while the visiting Senators countered with Mads Sogaard (10-9-0-0, 2.61 GAA, .909 sv%) in goal. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:

Injuries: Garrett Pilon (upper-body injury), Mike Sgarbossa (upper-body injury), Matt Moulson (back surgery) and Bobby Nardella (lower-body injury).

Scratches: Colby McAuley, Drake Rymshaw, Kale Kessy, Tariq Hammond.

COVID-Protocol: Tobias Geisser.


FIRST PERIOD

The Bears opened the scoring with a 5-on-3 goal by Mike Vecchione (11) at 2:35 of the first frame. The goal was setup by a nice dish from Aliaksei Protas from below the goal. Protas (5) and Cody Franson (18) had the helpers.

The Senators would tie the game with a power play goal of their own. Hugo Roy (1) would pot the game-tying tally at 11:28 of the first period. The goal was unassisted.

The Bears would answer. Marcus Vela (3) deflected a shot from the point by Lucas Johansen to restore the Bears one-goal lead.

Dylan McIlrath would receive a five-minute major and a game misconduct for this slashing call late in the first frame.

The Senators tied the game on the ensuing power play. Egor Sokolov (11) scored to tie the game at 16:25 of the first period.

The first period would end with the game tied 2-2. Belleville led in shots 12-11 in the first frame.


SECOND PERIOD

The Bears regained the lead on a power play blast from Aliaksei Protas (2) at 11:49 of the middle frame. Alex Alexeyev (9) and Lucas Johansen (12) had the assists.

But the Senators would answer once again. Chris Wilkie (6) would tie the game 3-3 at 15:33 of the second period. The goal was unassisted.

The second period would end with the game tied 3-3. Shots were tied 12-12 in the middle frame, with Belleville leading 24-23 after two periods. Belleville was 2 for 4 and Hershey 2 for 3 on the power play after two periods.


THIRD PERIOD

The Senators took their first lead of the game on a 4-on-4 goal from Logan Shaw (4) 1:39 into the final period.

This time the Bears would answer midway through the final frame. Mason Morelli would clean-up the loose change and go between the legs through the five-hole to tie the game 4-4. Macoy Erkamps (3) and Marcus Vela (2) had the helpers.

The Bears would retake the lead with a long blast from Cody Franson (5) at 10:41 of the third period. Mike Vecchione (21) and Axel Jonsson-Fjallby (18) had the assists.

And that would be the final.

The Bears are back in action on Sunday when they return to visit the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at the PPL Center in Allentown.


SHAVINGS

  • AHL box score
  • Attendance: 10,174
  • Hershey led in shots 35-30.
  • Belleville was 2 for 5 and Hershey 3 for 5 on the power play.
  • Mason Morelli and Marcus Vela led the Bears in shots with 4 each.
  • Hunter Shepard stopped 26 of 30 shots faced for a .866 save percentage.

SCENES FROM CHOCOLATE TOWN

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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5 Responses to Aliaksei Protas Scores Goal And Assist In Bears 5-4 Comeback Victory Over Senators

  1. Anonymous says:

    Not only hung on with the late lead, but rallied late to take the lead. Good job Bears.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The pipeline looks good… not great but ok… Protas, Axel, Becks, Henrique, AA, Clark and Sutter and Lucas J? not sure… I think Shane G looks ok… Connor M and Brett L look ok…

    • Anonymous says:

      I think it’s much better than the so called mainstream experts (The Athletic prospect guys) give them credit for. I always laugh at those rankings. You know they haven’t watched one Bears game. Go back and see where they have Snively ranked.

      • Jon Sorensen says:

        I am twirling plates from all appendages, watching games and tracking just 40 prospects in the Capitals system. It’s a full time job. I don’t know how they cover over 1,300 prospects in the NHL system.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The McIlrath penalty and ejection is a mind-bender.

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