Hendrix Lapierre Records First AHL Point In Bears 3-1 Victory Over Utica Comets

Screen cap: AHL TV

The Hershey Bears opened their 2022-23 campaign with a 3-1 victory over the Utica Comets Saturday night at Giant Center in Hershey. Capitals prospects Hendrix Lapierre and Vincent Iorio made their American Hockey League (AHL) debuts in the victory.


Zach Fucale got the start in goal for the Bears. Akira Schmid got the start between the pipes for the Comets.

Mike Vecchione – Mike Sgarbossa – Garrett Pilon
Shane Gersich – Henrik Borgstrom – Sam Anas
Mason Morelli – Hendrix Lapierre – Ethan Frank
Beck Malenstyn – Riley Sutter – Kale Kessy

Lucas Johansen – Arron Ness
Bobby Nardella – Dylan McIlrath
Gabriel Carlsson – Vincent Iorio

Jake Massie, Julian Napravnik, Logan Day, Henrik Rybinski (injury) and Martin Has (injury) were the scratches.


The Bears opened the scoring with a power play goal from Henrik Borgstrom (1) at 8:42 of the first period. Hendrix Lapierre earned his first AHL point with the primary assist. Mason Morelli had the second assist.

The Bears made it 2-0 near the end of the first frame with a tally from Mike Vecchione (1) at 17:42 of the frame. Garrett Pilon (1) and Mike Sgarbossa (1) had the helpers.

The period concluded with the Bears leading 2-0. The Bears led in shots 10-6. Utica was 0 for 1 and the Bears 1 for 1 on the power play in the first period.


The Comets closed the gap to 2-1 with a power play goal from former Hershey Bears forward Brian Pinho (1) just 24 seconds into the middle frame. Nolan Stevens (1) and Reilly Walsh (1) had the assists.

That would be all of the scoring in the middle frame. Utica led in shots, 7-2. Comets led 13-12 after two periods. Utica was 1 for 3 and the Bears 1 for 2 on the power play after two periods.


The Bears and Comets skated to a scoreless draw for  most of the final frame. Riley Sutter would add an empty net goal with 29 seconds left in the game for the 3-1 final.

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


  • AHL box score
  • Attendance: 7,766
  • Bears led in shots 23-20.
  • Zach Fucale stopped 19 of 20.
  • Sam Anas and Vincent Iorio led all Bears in shots with 3 each.
  • Stars of the game: 1) Mike Vecchione, 2) Zach Fucale and 3) Henrik Borgstrom.
  • Utica was 1 for 4 and Hershey 1 for 2 on the power play.
  • This was Todd Nelson’s debut as head coach of the Bears.

By Jon Sorensen

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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6 Responses to Hendrix Lapierre Records First AHL Point In Bears 3-1 Victory Over Utica Comets

  1. Jon Sorensen says:

    Good showing by the Bears. The offense seemed to be fairly aggressive throughout, and also liked the play of Lapierre and Iorio, seemed to be able to play at AHL speed and physicality. It’s one game, but so far so good.

  2. Eric Lord says:

    I was surprised by a couple of the lineup choices by Nelson, but they seemed to work. Vecchione on the left wing was something I didn’t expect. I thought Lapierre would start in that slot, but he looked comfortable playing center. Playing Morelli on his line helped him because is a guy who does the little things well and works hard. I expected one of the left-handed d-men to play the right side, but I didn’t expect it to be Ness. I thought Johansen would be the one to slide over, but Ness moved over seamlessly

  3. Anonymous says:

    Better offense already.

  4. novafyre says:

    Just watched Saturday’s game on demand. The Bears started strong and finished strong, but I felt the Comets were the better team in-between. Some good individual play (Fucale was consistent throughout and held the fort during that gap) but they aren’t yet working as a team. Is it the pairings? The fact that so many are new? New coach? Something else? Felt like the potential was there but they sagged in the middle of the game.

    Was wondering why Pinho left so I read an article on him. I think with his injuries in Hershey and his father dying he was looking for a new start. He said first call was from the Devils — always nice to be wanted (as AJF said). But he also mentioned how the Devils and Comets play a fast game which fits his style. This implies that the Caps/Bears don’t. And while I think the BEars are faster than the Caps, Lavi has stressed that the Bears will be following his schemes. So Bears speed is something I’m going to try to pay attention to.

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