Connor McMichael Scores 7th Goal Of The Season, Aliaksei Protas Adds Two Assists As Bears Down Crunch, 4-3

Screen cap: AHL TV

The Hershey Bears downed the Syracuse Crunch, 4-3, Sunday night at the Giant Center in Hershey, PA. Connor McMichael scored his 7th goal since returning to the Bears and Aliaksei Protas added two assists in the victory. The Bears record improves to 23-8-2-1 (49 points) on the season.


Hunter Shepard (8-1-2-1, 1.88 GAA, .928 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the Bears. Max Lagace (5-6-4-0, 3.90 GAA, .876 sv%) got the start in goal for the Crunch. 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

Aaron Ness – Logan Day
Gabriel Carlsson – Dylan McIlrath
Bobby Nardella – Vinny Iorio

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

Callups/Re-assignments – Aliaksei Protas was re-assigned to Hershey on Saturday. Joe Snively cleared waivers on Sunday and will join the team next week.


The Bears wasted little time in potting the first goal of the game. Beck Malenstyn (1) recorded his first tally since returning to Hershey at 4:19 of the opening frame. Henrik Rybinski (6) and Riley Sutter (4) had the helpers.

And that would be it for the first frame. The Bears led in shots 6-5 in the first frame. Syracuse was 0 for 1 and Hershey 0 for 2 on the power play in the first 20 minutes.


The Bears made it 2-0 early in the second period on Connor McMichael‘s 7th goal of the season at 2:49 of the middle frame. Aliaksei Protas (1) had the lone assist.

The Crunch tallied their first goal of the game at 8:22 of the second period. Jack Finley (5) notched the tally, assisted by Gabriel Fortier (6) and Philippe Myers (4), cutting the Bears lead to 2-1.

But the Bears restored their two-goal lead moments later on Mike Sgarbossa‘s 11th of the season at 10:36 of the middle frame. Ethen Frank (10) and Vincent Iorio (10) had the helpers.

The Bears made it 3-1 with a power play goal from Mike Vecchione (13) at 14:32 of the middle frame. Aliaskei Protas made a beautiful no-look dish to setup the goal. Aliaksei Protas (2) and Ethen Frank (11) had the assists

The second period concluded with the Bears leading, 4-1. Shots were tied 12-12 in the second period. Syracuse was 0 for 3 and Hershey 1 for 3 on the power play after two periods.


The Crunch cut the Bears lead to 4-2 with a goal midway through the final frame by Gabriel Dumont (6) at 8:37. Alex Barré-Boulet (28) and Gage Goncalves (18) had the helpers.

The Crunch cut the Bears lead to one with a tally from Shawn Element (7) with 6:57 remaining in the game. Darren Raddysh (29) and Declan Carlile (8) had the assists.

The Bears would hang on for the 3-2 win.

The Bears are back in action on Wednesday when they host the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at Giant Center. Puck drop is set for 7PM.


  • AHL box score
  • Attendance: 10,404
  • Syracuse led in shots, 28-22.
  • Connor McMichael led all Bears in shots with 4.
  • Syracuse was 0 for 5 and Hershey 1 for 3 on the power play.
  • Stars of the game: 1)  Mike Sgarbossa, 2) Beck Malenstyn and 3) Aliaksei Protas

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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8 Responses to Connor McMichael Scores 7th Goal Of The Season, Aliaksei Protas Adds Two Assists As Bears Down Crunch, 4-3

  1. Hope this can translate to a Calder Cup victory in a few months!

  2. novafyre says:

    Guess the Bears didn’t want the Crunch to feel lonely in the sin bins.

    Much closer than I expected. Congrats to Sgarbossa (1st star), Beck (2nd), McM, and Protas (3rd).

  3. Anonymous says:

    Just win!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Keep it rolling1

  5. dwgie26 says:

    Love seeing our prospects shine again. CMM got one and could have had a couple of others. The Protas pass on PP was just sick. 4th line looked great again. I’d like to see two of those three in WSH next year.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Gotta be fair and balanced with my reporting, he had three breakaways on Saturday night but was unable to convert on any of them. Unlike him, but facts are facts.

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