Aliaksei Protas Scores, Connor McMichael Scores 10th Goal Since Returning To Hershey, But Bears Fall To Phantoms, 5-2

Photo: Lehigh Valley Phantoms

The Hershey Bears fell to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 5-2 Wednesday night at the PPL Center in Allentown, PA. Connor McMichael scored his 10th goal since returning to Hershey and Aliaksei Protas notched his first AHL tally of the season in the loss. With the defeat, the Bears record drops to 28-10-4-1 (61 points) on the season.


Zach Fucale (14-7-2-1, 2.52 GAA, .900 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the visiting Bears. Sam Ersson (11-9-1-0, 2.76 GAA, .909 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
Aliaksei Protas – Hendrix Lapierre – Garrett Pilon
Beck Malenstyn – Riley Sutter – Mason Morelli

Gabriel Carlsson – Dylan McIlrath
Aaron Ness – Bobby Nardella
Lucas Johansen – Vinny Iorio

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

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


The Bears opened the scoring on a redirect from Connor McMichael (10) at 8:22 of the first period. Lucas Johansen (2) had the lone helper. It was his first point since November.

And that would be it for the first frame. Shots were tied 8-8. There were no power plays.


The Phantoms took over the game in the second period, scoring four unanswered goals in a six-minute span to grab a 4-1 lead midway through the middle frame.

The Phantoms tied  the game early in the middle frame. Louie Belpedio (5) netted the tying marker at 6:23. Elliot Desnoyers (10) and Cooper Marody (7) had the helpers.

The Phantoms then took their first lead of the night on a power play goal from Bobby Brink (5) at 7:57.  Elliot Desnoyers (11) and Cooper Marody (8) had the assists.

The Phantoms quickly made it 2-1 on a tally from Kevin Connauton (2) at 10:44 of the second period. Garrett Wilson (13) and Cooper Marody (9) had the assists.

The Phantoms made it 4-1 with a tally from Tyson Foerster (16) at 12:16. Artem Anisimov (9) and Olle Lycksell (24) had the helpers.

The period would end with the Phantoms holding a commanding 4-1 lead. The Phantoms led in shots 12-3 in the second period and 20-11 after two periods. Hershey was 0 for 1 and Lehigh Valley 1 for 2 on the power play after two periods.


The Bears cut the Phantoms lead in half late in the final frame. Hendrix Lapierre made a nice backhanded centering pass to Aliaksei Protas (1), who sticked the puck in mid air for the score. Hendrix Lapierre (13) and Garrett Pilon (11) had the assists.

The Phantoms would add a late goal from Olle Lycksell (8) for the 5-2 final.


  • AHL box score
  • Attendance: 5,120
  • This was the Bears first loss of the season to Lehigh Valley (7-1).

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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1 Response to Aliaksei Protas Scores, Connor McMichael Scores 10th Goal Since Returning To Hershey, But Bears Fall To Phantoms, 5-2

  1. Jon Sorensen says:

    All of a sudden, the Bears can’t “Bear” anymore. Thought Sunday would have them firing on all cylinders tonight. Second period was ugly. Hopefully a momentary blip.

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