Connor McMichael Scores Twice, But Bears Blow Four-Goal Lead, Fall To Monsters, 6-5 (SO)

The Hershey Bears fell to the Cleveland Monsters, 6-5 (SO), Sunday evening at the Giant Center in Hershey. Connor McMichael scored two goals in regulation and converted in the shootout in the loss. The Bears record falls to 17-5-2-1 (37 points) on the season.


Zach Fucale (10-5-0, 2.42 GAA, .901 sv%) got the start in goal for the Bears. Pavel Cajon (3-3-1, 3.14 GAA, .887 sv%) 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
Julian Napravnik – Hendrix Lapierre – Henrik Rybinski
Kale Kessy – Riley Sutter – Shane Gersich

 Jake Massie – Aaron Ness
Gabriel Carlsson – Logan Day
Michael Kim – Vinny Iorio

Scratches: Garrett Pilon (lower body injury), Henrik Borgstrom (upper body injury), Bobby Nardella (upper body injury), Matthew Strome and Martin Has.

Recalls/Re-assignments: Dylan McIlrath and Lucas Johansen were officially recalled by the Capitals on Sunday morning. The Bears recalled Martin Has from ECHL South Carolina on Sunday.

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 Bears jumped out to a quick lead in this one. Kale Kessy (2) got things started at 2:25 of the first frame, knocking home a gritty goal in the crease. Michael Kim (1) and Riley Sutter (2) had the assists.

The Bears quickly made it 2-0 less than four minutes into the contest. Mike Vecchione would snipe his 10th of the season at 3:22 of the first period. Logan Day (4) and Mike Sgarbossa (10) had the helpers.

The Bears’ Kale Kessy and the Monsters’ Brett Gallant dropped the gloves at 14:11 of the first frame.

The Bears made it 3-0 on Ethen Frank‘s 8th of the season. Jake Massie (3) and Hendrix Lapierre (10) had the assists.

The Bears made it 4-0 on a beautiful goal by Connor McMichael (3) at 15:14 of the period. Sam Anas (7) and Mason Morelli (15) had the helpers.

The Monsters would get one back late in the period. Josh Dunne (3) would make it 4-1 at 16:57 of the frame. Roman Ahcan (1) and Tyler Angle (5) had the assists.

The first period concluded with the Bears leading, 4-1. Hershey led in shots 18-10 in the first 20 minutes.


The Bears made it 5-1 on Connor McMichael‘s second goal of the game at 4:37 of the middle frame. Mike Vecchione (11) had the lone assist.

But the Monsters clawed their way back in to the game. David Jiricek (4) made it 5-2 at 6:23 of the second period. He was assisted by Trey Fix-Wolansky (13) and Emil Bemstrom (12).

The Monsters made it 5-3 with a tally from Brett Gallant (1) at 10:37 of the second period. Samuel Knazko (11) and Billy Sweezey (7) had the assists.

The Monsters would cut the Bears lead to one with a goal from Brendan Gaunce (7) at 12:55 of the middle frame.

The Monsters would tie the game 5-5 on a power play goal with 2:12 remaining in the second period. Josh Dunne (4) notched the tying tally at 17:48.

The second period concluded with the game tied 5-5. Cleveland led in shots 12-9 in the second period with Hershey leading 27-22 after 40 minutes of play.


The Bears and Monsters skated to a scoreless draw for the final frame.

Cleveland led in shots 10-4 for the final frame.


The overtime period would also go scoreless. Shots were tied 2-2 in the extra frame.

Connor McMichael would convert:

But that would be it for the Bears. Monsters win in shootout.

The Bears are back in action on Friday for the first of two games against the Penguins in Wilkes-Barre.


  • AHL box score
  • Attendance: 7,260
  • This was Michael Kim’s first career AHL game.


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 Connor McMichael Scores Twice, But Bears Blow Four-Goal Lead, Fall To Monsters, 6-5 (SO)

  1. Did the Caps and Bears trade performance quality? Goodness. C-Mac showing why he is deserving of playing time too.

  2. Jonathan says:

    Crap. Great production for McM……unless he had defensive lapses in the game. Good to see him put the puck in the net.

  3. Diane Doyle says:

    Defense is clearly optional this game. Okay, the Caps have all the Bears’ defensemen or they’re in transit or injured.

    • They need to work on getting a crop of prospects together in HER and developing them while still maintaining that depth (thinking of 2008-2011 Bears teams). Trading so many picks away to try and win Cups has its downside too.

  4. Anonymous says:

    That first goal was smooth. An NHL netminder isn’t stopping that.

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