Bears Thump Phantoms, 7-3; Ethen Frank Scores Two Goals (Again), Shane Gersich Records 100th Career AHL Point

Photo: Lehigh Valley Phantoms

The Hershey Bears downed the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 7-3 Saturday night at the PPL Center in Allentown, PA. Ethen Frank recorded two goals and two assists and Shane Gersich recorded his third goal of the season for his 100th career AHL point in the victory. With the win the Bears record improves to 28-8-4-1 (61 points) on the season.


Zach Fucale (13-7-2-1, 2.50 GAA, .901 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the visiting Bears. Pat Nagle (1-4-1-0, 3.03 GAA, .905 sv%) got the start in goal for the Phantoms. The forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:

Mike Vecchione –Mike Sgarbossa – Ethen Frank
Joe Snively – Connor McMichael – Henrik Borgstrom
Mason Morelli – Hendrix Lapierre – Garrett Pilon
Beck Malenstyn – Riley Sutter – Shane Gersich

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

Scratches: Henrik Rybinski (non-Covid illness), Sam Anas (abdominal surgery, out indefinitely), Lucas Johansen (upper body injury), Kale Kessy (upper body injury), Jake Massie, Julian Napravnik and Matthew Strome.

Recalls/Re-assignments: The Capitals re-assigned goaltender Clay Stevenson from AHL Hershey to ECHL South Carolina on Saturday.


The Bears opened the scoring with a goal on the rush from Mike Vecchione (14) at 7:55 of the first period. Ethen Frank (14) and Mike Sgarbossa (23) had the helpers.

Shane Gersich extended the Bears lead to 2-0 midway through the initial stanza. The redirect was setup by a nice centering pass by Vincent Iorio (12). Bobby Nardella (13) had the secondary assist. It was Gersich’s 100th career AHL point.

Mike Sgarbossa made it 3-0 just before the end of the  first period. Ethen Frank (15) and Logan Day (7) had the assists.

The first period concluded with the Bears holding a commanding 3-0 lead. Ethen Frank and Mike Sgarbossa each had two points in the frame. The Bears led in shots, 10-6 for the first 20 minutes. There were no power plays in the first fame.


The Bears made it 4-0 on a goal from Garrett Pilon (6) at 1:49 of the middle frame. Connor McMichael (9) and Gabriel Carlsson (10) had the helpers.

But the Phantoms would finally answer. Lehigh Valley killed-off a five-minute major and added a shorthanded goal in the process. Cal O’Reilly (5) notched the shorthanded tally at 10:34 of the middle frame to make it 4-1. Max Willman (8) had the lone assist.

The middle frame would conclude with the Bears leading, 4-1. Hershey led in shots 11-8 in the second period and 21-14 after 40 minutes of play. Hershey was 0 for 1 on the power play after two periods. The Phantoms did not have a man advantage.


The Bears restored their four-goal lead just 34 seconds into the final frame. Ethen Frank notched his 19th goal of the season on a breakaway to make it 5-1. Mike Vecchione (20) and Logan Day (8) had the assists.

But the Phantoms would quickly answer. Ronnie Attard (7) potted the Phantoms second goal of the game at 2:53 of the third period. Cal O’Reilly (12) and Adam Ginning (10) had the helpers.

Ethen Frank (20) scored his second goal of the period at 12:05 of the final frame to make it 6-2. Dylan McIlrath (10) and Gabriel Carlsson (11) had the assists.

But the Phantoms answered again to make it 6-3. Jackson Cates (8) notched the tally at 14:03.  Zayde Wisdom (7) and Wyatte Wylie (5) had the helpers.

Mason Morelli (8) added a late power play goal to make it 7-3. It was his third goal in the last two games. Connor McMichael (10) and Mike Sgarbossa (24) were credited with the assists. That was the final.

The Bears are back in action on Sunday when they host the Bridgeport Islanders for the Bears’ annual Teddy Bear Toss game. Puck drop is set for 3PM.


  • AHL box score
  • Attendance: 8,624
  • Bears extend their points streak to 8 games.
  • Ethen Frank had two goals and two assists.
  • Frank has three two-goal games in the last six games.
  • Frank became the first Bears rookie to reach the 20-goal mark since Riley Barber (26) and Travis Boyd (21) achieved the feat in the 2015-16 season.
  • Mike Sgarbossa had a goal and two assists and was a +5.
  • Shane Gerisch recorded his 100th AHL point.
  • Connor McMichael and Gabriel Carlsson each had two assists.
  • Zach Fucale stopped 20 of 23 shots faced.
  • The Bears are 7-0 against Lehigh Valley so far this season.
  • The Bears power play, once at the bottom of the league, now has goals in eight-straight games.

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 Thump Phantoms, 7-3; Ethen Frank Scores Two Goals (Again), Shane Gersich Records 100th Career AHL Point

  1. Anonymous says:

    Gotta think Caps will sign Frank before the end of the season. If not he will be scarfed up.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Very impressive play tonight. Power play heating up, goals in last 8 games.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Yo Caps! What are you waiting for?! Sign Frank for gods sake!

  4. Diane Doyle says:

    A beary good game. And tomorrow is the Teddy Bear toss game.

  5. novafyre says:

    Rays came out a lot more active. Maas and Crossley coordinated their glove drop with the initial puck drop and both got 5min fighting majors. Bad blood leftover from last game. Maas got the worst of the fight – he is no Ali. But he fought again in the second. While fighting one Blades another Blades ripped off Maass’ helmet. Maass got the penalty (5min major), went down the tunnel and I don’t believe ever came back. While in the game he had 2 SOG.

    Bear continues to struggle. No goals, no assists, 3 SOG. Still taking faceoffs, still getting ice time, but he has gone cold. Has was back in the game and had 1 SOG.

    Rays lost in OT when Clay let a shot slip between his legs. Rays outshot the Blades 41-20 so Clay made 18 saves. Not much in quantity but some good quality saves. First Blades goal was direct off a faceoff which is tough for any goalie. OT goal was all on him.

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