Bears Blank Bruins, 1-0; Hunter Shepard Records First Shutout Of The Season

Screen cap: AHL TV

The Hershey Bears blanked the Providence Bruins, 1-0, Wednesday night at the Giant Center in Hershey, PA. Hunter Shepard stopped 22 of 22 shots faced for the shutout victory. The Bears record improves to 22-6-2-1 (47 points) on the season, which remains the best in the AHL.


Hunter Shepard (7-0-2-0, 1.69 GAA, .936 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the Bears. Brandon Bussi (8-1-3-1, 2.14 GAA, .936 sv%) got the start in goal for the Bruins. The forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:

Mike Vecchione –Mike Sgarbossa – Ethen Frank
Mason Morelli – Connor McMichael – Julian Napravnik
Beck Malenstyn – Hendrix Lapierre –Shane Gersich
Kale Kessy – Riley Sutter – Matt Strome

Aaron Ness – Logan Day
Gabriel Carlsson – Dylan McIlrath
Jake Massie – Vinny Iorio

Scratches: Sam Anas (lower body injury), Henrik Borgstrom (Covid Protocol), Garrett Pilon (lower body injury), Bobby Nardella (upper body injury), Henrik Rybinski (upper body injury), Kevin O’Neil, Alex Fortin and Michael Kim.

Recalled/Re-assigned: Beck Malenstyn was loaned to Hershey on Wednesday. The Capitals recalled defenseman Lucas Johansen on Tuesday. The Bears recalled Alex Fortin and Kevin O’Neil from ECHL South Carolina on Tuesday.


Beck Malenstyn wasted no time announcing he was back in Hershey early in the first frame.

The Bears opened the scoring on Mike Vecchione‘s 12th of the season at 12:59 of the first frame. Jake Massie (5) and Vincent Iorio (9) had the helpers. It would be the only goal of the game.

And that was it for the first frame. Hershey led in shots 8-7 in the first stanza. Providence was 0 for 2 and Hershey 0 for 3 on the power play in the first period.


The Bears killed a 5-on-3 Bruins power play at the start of the middle frame to maintain the 1-0 lead.

The second period would go without scoring or incident until Connor McMichael received a hit up high late in the period.

McMichael would leave the ice under his own power, but head to the Bears locker room.

The second period would conclude with the Bears leading 1-0. Providence led in shots, 8-7 in the middle frame, with shots tied 15-15 after two periods.


Connor McMichael returned at the start of the third period.

The Bears and Bruins skated to a scoreless draw in the final frame.

The Bears are back in action on Saturday when they host the same Providence Bruins at Giant Center. Puck drop is set for 5PM.


  • AHL box score
  • Attendance: 10,515
  • Shots were tied 22-22.
  • Stars of the game: 1) Hunter Shepard, 2) Mike Vecchione and 3) Brandon Bussi
  • With the win tonight head coach Todd Nelson has clinched his spot to represent the Atlantic Division at the 2023 #AHLAllStar Classic.

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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14 Responses to Bears Blank Bruins, 1-0; Hunter Shepard Records First Shutout Of The Season

  1. Jon Sorensen says:

  2. Jon Sorensen says:

  3. Anonymous says:

    Malenstyn was an animal tonight.

  4. hockeydruid says:

    For some reason I really like the 3rd line!! Would be nice to see that line play for the Caps next year. YEAH Hunter congrats on the whitewash!

  5. KimRB says:

    Glad CMac is OK. That was a nasty elbow to the head. I didn’t know Morelli was a scrapper, he jumped right on Bruin Wagner after that hit

    • Anonymous says:

      Morelli may never make it to the next level, but he is a guy you would want as a teammate. He will do what ever is asked (or in this case, required).

  6. Jon Sorensen says:

  7. novafyre says:

    The South Carolina Stingrays, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Washington Capitals and AHL’s Hershey Bears, announced today that forward Bear Hughes has been named to the 2023 Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic roster. The mid-season event is hosted by the Norfolk Admirals and will take place on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023, at Norfolk Scope Arena in Norfolk, Virginia. The game will air LIVE exclusively on NHL Network and will stream on FloHockey. “I am honored and excited to be the one player representing the Stingrays,” said Hughes.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Surprised he hasn’t got a couple of games in Hershey yet.

      • novafyre says:

        I think he is leading in points, second in goals or maybe the other way around. Perhaps Hershey is wanting him to bask a bit in the love Rays fans are showing — and the ECHL. Maybe they looked at McM losing some confidence switching leagues and is not wanting to make the same mistake. Or maybe the others they have recalled are a better fit into the Bears scheme of play. I’m just glad that he is getting the ice time and recognition.

        • dwgie26 says:

          Well if he keeps playing the way he is, he’ll get there. The Bears are just stacked right now and winning.

          When is Pilon coming back? Also really like to see Rybinski back. If anyone has a sense of when those guys will return, I’d love to know.

  8. novafyre says:

    Trivia for the Day: The ECHL Hall of Fame started in 2008 (has its own section in the HHoF in Toronto) and in the class of 2010 came:
    The first inductee in the Developmental Player category, Olaf Kolzig was 11-9-1 and ranked third in the ECHL with a 3.41 goals-against average in 21 regular-season games and 1-2-0 with a 4.66 goals against average in three postseason games with Hampton Roads in 1990-91. In 1991-92 with Hampton Roads, Kolzig led the ECHL in the regular season with a .914 save percentage while going 11-3-0 with a 2.90 goals-against average in 14 regular-season games. He was selected as an NHL All-Star in 1998 and 2000 and became the first former ECHL player to win the Vezina Trophy in 1999-2000. Kolzig appeared in 719 career NHL games and ranks 21st all-time with 303 wins while posting 35 shutouts and having a goals-against average of 2.71 and a save percentage of .906. He played his first 15 NHL seasons with Washington where he was 301-293-86 with 35 shutouts and a 2.70 goals-against average in 711 regular season games and 20-24 with six shutouts and a goals-against average of 2.14 in 45 playoff games. He led the Capitals to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1997-98 registering four shutouts and a goals-against average of 1.95. He had 41 wins, five shutouts and a goals-against average of 2.24 in 1999-2000 earning a selection to the NHL All-Star Game and First Team All-NHL while winning the Vezina Trophy.

  9. novafyre says:

    The South Carolina Stingrays, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Washington Capitals and AHL’s Hershey Bears, announced today that Head Coach Brenden Kotyk has been named head coach of the Eastern Conference All-Star Team for the 2023 Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic.

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