Hendrix Lapierre And Connor McMichael Score; Bears Down Phantoms, 4-2, For 5th-Consecutive Win

The Hershey Bears downed the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 4-2, Wednesday night at the PPL Center in Allentown, PA. Hendrix Lapierre scored his 5th of the season and Connor McMichael scored his second goal with the Bears in Hershey’s fifth-straight victory. The Bears record improves to 14-4-2-0 (30 points) on the season.

HERSHEY BEARS LINEUP

Zach Fucale (7-4-1, .913 sv%, 2.00 GAA) got the start in goal for the Bears. Sam Ersson (5-4-1 .919 sv%, 2.48 GAA) got the start between the pipes for the Phantoms. The forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears: 

Mike Vecchione –Mike Sgarbossa – Ethen Frank
Mason Morelli – Connor McMichael – Sam Anas
Julian Napravnik – Hendrix Lapierre – Henrik Rybinski
Kale Kessy – Riley Sutter – Matt Strome

Aaron Ness – Logan Day
Bobby Nardella – Dylan McIlrath
Jake Massie – Vinny Iorio

Scratches: Henrik Borgstrom (non-Covid related illness), Gabriel Carlsson (lower body injury), Shane Gersich (upper body injury), Garrett Pilon (lower body injury), Lucas Johansen (lower body injury), Michael Kim and Kevin O’Neil.


FIRST PERIOD

Hendrix Lapierre made a nice play in the early going, corralling the puck, shooting and  batting the rebound for a second shot on goal.

Later in the period, Lapierre found roommate Vinny iorio for a nice scoring chance, but Iorio was denied.

The Bears finally found the back of the net. Henrik Rybinski made a nice feed to Hendrix Lapierre for his 5th goal of the season. Henrik Rybinski (3) and Bobby Nardella (8) had the helpers.

The first period concluded with the Bears leading, 1-0. Bears led in shots, 10-5. The Bears were 0 for 2 on the man advantage in the first 20. The Phantoms did not have a power play in the first frame.


SECOND PERIOD

The Phantoms tied the game midway through the middle frame. Olle Lycksell (4) potted the game-tying tally at 9:19. Cooper Marody (3) and Cam York (10) had the assists.

The Bears would answer. Connor McMichael (2) dented the twine with a nasty wrsiter on the Bears’ third power play, giving the Bears a 2-1 lead at 12:43 of the middle frame. Bobby Nardella (9) and Mike Sgarbossa (5) had the helpers.

But the Phantoms would answer, again, late in the frame. This time Garrett Wilson (4) would provide the tying tally at 18:45. Hayden Hodgson (1) and Jordy Bellerive (6) had the assists.

The second period ended with the game tied 2-2. Bears led in shots 12-10 in the middle period and 22-15 after two periods.


THIRD PERIOD

The Bears regained the lead with a goal from Mike Sgarbossa (4) at 3:28 of the final frame. Dylan McIlrath (4) and Ethen Frank (4) had the assists.

Ethen Frank added an empty net goal for the 4-2 win.

The Bears are back in action on Sunday when they host the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Puck drop is set for 4PM.


SHAVINGS

  • AHL box score
  • Attendance: 7,129
  • Bears outshot Lehigh Valley 35-20.
  • Bears win 5th straight, go 11-2 in the month of November.

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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18 Responses to Hendrix Lapierre And Connor McMichael Score; Bears Down Phantoms, 4-2, For 5th-Consecutive Win

  1. Jon Sorensen says:

    After watching 20 games, I would say this team is pretty damn good, but I don’t want to jinx them so I won’t.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Seems like they’re building some good chemistry. How are Rybinsky and Borgstrom looking? If I remember they were some interesting reclamation projects by the Caps.

    This may be unpopular but I think they did the right thing sending Mickey down. He never looked comfortable this season or pre-season. Protas might not be putting up massive points but he doesn’t look out of place in the NHL (and clearly Lavi doesn’t have a problem keeping him in the lineup over veteran NAK and Snively so I don’t buy the “coach hates youth” argument either).

    Do you know how Mickey’s numbers compare to other top nine Caps players at the same age? Ovi and Nicky are probably not good comparisons but if I recall correctly TJ and Tom took a few years to get going too. I still think he’ll be a good player, expectations might just be a bit ahead of themselves.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Both look good. Borgstrom really good. I would even say he might be the first callup if one was needed at this point. – unless caps want to bring up a prospect.

    • Jonathan says:

      Tom Wilson, Protas, and McMichael aren’t exactly good comps with each other. Tom and Protas would be, but McMichael is a different set completely. The two big guys could offer size and physical presence fore and back checking even when not producing to give a consistency to their game. McMichael doesn’t have that advantage, so he has to work on 1) other areas to bring to the game or 2) get a better finishing shot than what he’s demonstrated in the NHL so far. As far as offensive production, McMichael is ahead the other two at the same age in most categories. I’m thrilled he’s getting the experience he needs, and that goal above was a nice slap shot from Ovi land, maybe even further out, and I’m sure a great feeling for a player that’s not had opportunity to play recently. McMichael is working hard, he’s doing well, it just takes time. He’ll get there.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Ethen Frank has been very impressive so far.

  4. Jon Sorensen says:

  5. hockeydruid says:

    I see in Hershey CMM plays on the 2nd line and Lapierre plays on the 3rd. Is that where the Caps see them playing in the NHL? I always looked as Lapierre as more a #2 c and CMM either a 3rd or 4th line C. Also what are the chances of both being in Washington by the end of January or Mid Feb?

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      An argument could be made for both players at both center positions. Remember, Caps have a say in who plays where, as well as Bears head coach Todd Nelson, so there could be a few underlying directives we know nothing about with regards to position. I see both getting a callup/recall at some point this season. You are right, it would be better before Willy returns, as roster is packed to the brim right now.

    • Lance says:

      I see both guys at 2C in the NHL. 1C is rarified air. Kuzy and Strome are 2C’s at this point. CMac is more of a goal-scorer and Lapierre is more of a playmaker. Neither is built for a traditional 3C or 4C. They’re not strong enough defensively for those roles on a contending team.

      • Jon Sorensen says:

        I completely agree with your assessment, Lance.

        • Lance says:

          It’s gotta be a psychological roller coaster for kids like CMac and Lapierre because they are both so fantastic at hockey. But to be a 1C you have to be one of the best 32 centers on planet earth. That’s a tall order.

          • Jon Sorensen says:

            No question, Lance. Both had a taste, and maybe they subconsciously elevated their expectations, which makes it even harder. Sometimes I think Lapierre’s goal, celly with Oshie and the media saturation that followed has hurt him in the long run.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      I should add (this will be in the upcoming daily news post) but for what it’s worth, McMichael is playing on the first power play unit while Hendrix Lapierre is playing on the second unit. Having said that, both units are relatively stacked with talent, and Bears head coach Todd Nelson started the second unit on one power play last night.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Ethen Frank has been a splendid surprise. Speed and a wicked shot.

  7. Anonymous says:

    You know they’re good when they get shown live on the NHL Network. Was pleased to be able to see them.

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