Bears Down Monsters, 3-2; Clay Stevenson Wins In AHL Debut

Photo: Brian Beakes/NoVa Caps

The Hershey Bears downed the Cleveland Monsters, 3-2, Saturday night at the Giant Center in Hershey. Sam Anas scored his 7th goal of the season and netminder Clay Stevenson stopped 25 of 27 shots faced in his AHL debut for the win. With the victory the Bears record improves to 17-5-2-0 (36 points) on the season.


Clay Stevenson (0-0-0, .000 sv%, 0.00 GAA) got the start in goal for the Bears. It was his first career AHL start. Danil Tarasov (2-1-0 .840 sv%, 4.73 GAA) got the start between the pipes for the Monsters. The forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:

Mike Vecchione –Mike Sgarbossa – Ethen Frank
Mason Morelli – Connor McMichael – Sam Anas
Shane Gersich – Hendrix Lapierre – Henrik Rybinski
Kale Kessy – Riley Sutter – Matthew Strome

Aaron Ness – Logan Day
Gabriel Carlsson – Bobby Nardella
Jake Massie – Vinny Iorio

Scratches: Dylan McIlrath and Lucas Johansen (not available to the team), Garrett Pilon (lower body injury), Henrik Borgstrom (upper body injury), Julian Napravnik, Logan Day and Michael Kim.

Hunter Shepard was officially recalled by the Capitals on Monday. The Bears recalled Clay Stevenson from ECHL South Carolina on Monday.

The Hershey Bears announced on Saturday that they had recalled Michael Kim from ECHL South Carolina


The Monsters opened the scoring early in the first frame. Trey Fix-Wolansky (11) scored on the power play at 6:11 of the first period, giving the Monsters the early 1-0 lead. Emil Bemstrom (11) and David Jiricek (8) had the helpers.

The Bears tied the game on Mike Sgarbossa‘s 7th goal of the season at 8:59 of the first frame. Mason Morelli (13) and Bobby Nardella (10) had the assists.

The Monsters added a second power play goal late in the period. Josh Dunne (2) beat Stevenson at 17:17 of the opening stanza. Robbie Payne (1) and Samuel Knazko (10) had the assists.

But the Bears would answer in the waning seconds of the period. Aaron Ness (1) notched his first goal of the season with 24 seconds left in the period. Jake Massie (2), andMike Sgarbossa (9) had the assists.

The first period would conclude with the game tied 2-2. Hershey led in shots 11-10 for the first frame. Cleveland was 2 for 2 and Hershey 0 for 1 on the power play in the first 20 minutes.

Defenseman Bobby Nardella sustained an upper body injury late in the first period and did not return to the game.


The Bears and Monsters skated to a scoreless draw in the middle frame.

Cleveland led in shots, 10-9 in the middle period, with shots tied 20-20 after two frames.

The Monsters were 2 for 2 and the Bears 0 for 2 on the power play after 50 minutes of play.


The Bears took their first lead of the game when Connor McMichael centered a pass to Sam Anas (7) at 8:47 of the final frame. Mason Morelli (14) and Connor McMichael (3) had the helpers.

The Bears held on for the 3-2 win. It was their third consecutive win and 8th win in the last nine games.

The Bears are back in action on Sunday for the second game with the Monsters. Puck drop at Giant Center is set for 5PM.


  • AHL box score
  • Attendance: 8,877
  • Clay Stevenson stopped 25 of 27 for a .926 save percentage.
  • Stars of the game: 1) Mason Morelli, 2) Sam Anas and 3) Aaron Ness


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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7 Responses to Bears Down Monsters, 3-2; Clay Stevenson Wins In AHL Debut

  1. Brianna says:

    Is Henrik Bergstrom going be okay

  2. Brian Beakes says:

    Henrik Rybinski had the PK shift of the season so far killing that late penalty. Causes the turnover, gets a shot and then buries the guy trying to skate it out. Just wow.

  3. KimRB says:

    Clay was sharp. Two goals, neither of which was his fault. First was a blast from the Ovechkin spot by Fix-Wolansky. If that shot is hard and accurate, and it was, its a goal, as Ovi, Stamkos and Laine have shown us a zillion times. And Clay still got a piece of it, and almost made a save he shouldn’t have. The second was a tic-tac-toe passing play.

    What I was looking for was how aggressive he was. You can’t teach confidence, and he was out challenging, square to the shooter, and not sitting deep. Showing he’s a good teammate too, by checking on Ness, after the defenseman got spilled into the net.

    Early reviews look good!

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