Hendrix Lapierre Scores 9th Goal Of The Season, But Bears Fall To Checkers, 3-1

Screen cap: AHL TV

The Hershey Bears fell to the Charlotte Checkers, 3-1, Saturday night at the Giant Center in Hershey, PA. Capitals forward prospect Hendrix Lapierre scored his 9th goal of the season in the loss. The Bears record drops to 22-8-2-1 (47 points) on the season.


Zach Fucale (11-6-1-1, 2.50 GAA, .900 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the Bears. Alex Lyon (8-8-1-0, 2.64 GAA, .907 sv%) got the start in goal for the Checkers. The forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:

Mike Vecchione –Mike Sgarbossa – Ethen Frank
Aliaksei Protas – Connor McMichael – Garrett Pilon
Mason Morelli – Hendrix Lapierre –Henrik Borgstrom
Beck Malenstyn – Riley Sutter – Henrik Rybinski

Gabriel Carlsson – Dylan McIlrath
Aaron Ness – Vincent Iorio
Jake Massie – Bobby Nardella

Scratches: Sam Anas (lower body injury), Lucas Johansen (Covid protocol), Kale Kessy (upper body injury), Shane Gersich, Julian Napravnik, Matthew Strome.

Recalled/Re-assigned: The Washington Capitals loaned Aliaksei Protas to the Bears on Saturday. Forward Alex Fortin was returned to ECHL South Carolina and forward Kevin O’Neil was released from his professional tryout and returned to South Carolina on Friday.


The Checkers opened the scoring with a goal from Aleksi Heponiemi (7) at 12:57 of the opening frame. The goal was setup by a turnover by Gabriel Carlsson in the Bears own zone.

The Bears tied the game on Hendrix Lapierre‘s 9th goal of the season at 17:30 of the opening frame. Lapierre jumped on the ice for a shift and out-hustled a Checkers player for the puck, firing a shot five-hole for the tally. Aaron Ness (8) had the lone assist.

Another angle of Lapierre’s tally, from the stands.

The first period concluded with the game tied, 1-1. Charlotte led in shots 10-8. The Checkers were 0 for 2 and the Bears 0 for 1 on the power play after 20 minutes.


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

The Bears led in shot, 11-7 in the second period.

Charlotte was 0 for 4 and Hershey 0 for 3 on the power play after two periods.


The Checkers took a 2-1 lead late in the final frame with a power play goal from Cameron Morrison (2) at 14:16. Santtu Kinnunen (13) and Aleksi Heponiemi (8) had the helpers.

The Checkers added an empty net goal with 1:55 remaining to make it 3-1, and that would be the final

The Bears are back in action on Sunday when they host the Syracuse Crunch at Giant Center. Puck drop is set for 5:00PM.


  • AHL box score
  • Attendance: 9,697
  • This was Garrett Pilon’s first game since November 19.

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 Scores 9th Goal Of The Season, But Bears Fall To Checkers, 3-1

  1. Anonymous says:

    While tonight’s loss was not Fucale’s fault, I do have a question. Why would he start against the stronger team (Charlotte Checkers) and Hunter Shepard get the start tomorrow against the lesser team (Syracuse Crunch)? Makes no sense.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Gersich a healthy scratch 👀

  3. novafyre says:

    Listened to Bears radio. Sounded as though Protas was very busy if not productive. Bears sinned too much.

    Stingrays beat Savannah 4-1. Bear had a goal (Maass assist) and then an assist on the second goal. Maass got a 2 minute for instigating and a 5 minute for fighting. Tyler in net. Bear second star of the game.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Is Bear looking worth of a call up to Hershey? Positions are scarce (Gersich was a healthy scratch tonight) but I’d love to see him get a couple of games.

      • Novafyre says:

        No. Absolutely not. Terrible player. Leave him alone.

      • Novafyre says:

        ECHL All Stars is January 16. Bear is Rays’ player rep (Rays HC coaches the East and Travis Ward, Rays equipment manager who got his start at Caps Medstar Iceplex is tournament equipment mgr.). I certainly wouldn’t mess with Bear before then. And if he goes to Hershey, he needs to play not follow the Caps example of recall to the bench. Rays are first in South and Bear is a big reason why.
        First in points and assists, second in goals. 33 points in 28 games.

        • Jon Sorensen says:

          Watching Grand Rapids-Texas Stars replay. A lot of former Caps: Riley Barber, Vrana, Alex Chiasson

        • horn73 says:

          Difference is that when Caps call players up, often it is for game day insurance should a player wake up sick/covid. I know it may be a shock, but the players in Hershey are not as good as the players in DC….

          Also, reading so many post on this site, seems Caps fans prefer 3rd and 4th liners more than impact players. I think many want the caps to have 12 players on the 3rd and 4th lines….

          • dwgie26 says:

            Ha! Tend to agree with you. Makes sense though as NovaCaps covers prospects better than anyone else and I love that!

            I really like our depth and youth right now. But you need to beat someone out to get a spot. I mean the Hershey roster is stacked right now which is fun to see and it will be interesting to see who makes the jump next year. Still a lot of time to sort that out, but there are 5-6 guys who have a legit shot to be on Caps roster. I think we’ll see 3-4 promoted and we’ll see some vets (Like Sheary) get resigned.

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