Comets Blank Bears, 3-0

Photo: Jeff Bexton/Utica Comets

The Hershey Bears fell to the Utica Comets, 3-0, Friday night at the Adirondack Bank Center in Utica, NY. The Bears have now lost four of their last five games dating back to the Teddy Bear Toss game on January 29. Hershey’s record drops to 29-12-4-1 (63 points) on the season. They also fall to second place in the Atlantic Division.


Zach Fucale (14-8-2-1, 2.58 GAA, .897 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the visiting Bears. Akira Schmid (9-4-3-1, 2.38 GAA, .913 sv%) got the start in goal for the Comets. The forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:

Mike VecchioneMike SgarbossaEthen Frank
Joe SnivelyConnor McMichaelHenrik Borgstrom
Mason MorelliHendrix LapierreGarrett Pilon
Beck MalenstynRiley SutterHenrik Rybinski

Aaron NessBobby Nardella
Gabriel CarlssonDylan McIlrath
Lucas JohansenVinny Iorio

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

Recalls and Reassignments: Aliaksei Protas was recalled by the Capitals from Hershey on Friday.


Henrik Rybinski returned to the lineup for the first time since January 21 and made a statement in his very first shift back.

Forward Riley Sutter caught a puck in the face midway through the first period and would have to leave the game for repairs.

Zach Fucale stopped a Comets penalty shot late in the frame, keeping the game scoreless.

The first period concluded without a score. The Comets outshot the Bears 12-2 in the first period. Both teams were 0 for 1 on the power play in the first 20 minutes of play.


Riley Sutter returned to the game early in the middle frame.

The Bears opened the second period with good offensive push, but it was the Comets that first dented the twine. Jack Dugan (8) notched the game’s first tally at 6:34 of the second stanza. The goal was unassisted.

The Bears continued the pressure. Garrett Pilon had the Bears best scoring opportunity midway through the period but his shot hit the crossbar. Zach Fucale made a number of big saves to keep it 1-0.

The second period ended 1-0, Utica. The Comets led in shots 14-11 in the second period and 26-13 after two periods. Hershey was 0 for 1 and Utica 0 for 2 on the power play after 40 minutes of play.


The Comets extended their lead to 2-0 late in the final frame when Nolan Foote notched his 15th tally of the season at 11:35. Tyce Thompson (12) had the lone assist.

Utica added an empty net goal to make it 3-0. That would be the final.

The Bears are back in action on Saturday when they host the Hartford Wolf Pack at Giant Center. Puck drop is set for 7PM.


  • AHL box score
  • Attendance: 3,917
  • Utica led in shots, 33-19.
  • Zach Fucale stopped 31 of 33 in the loss.

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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6 Responses to Comets Blank Bears, 3-0

  1. Jon Sorensen says:

    Life comes at you fast. Bears were hitting on all cylinders, power play was coming alive, and then…lose 4 out of 5 and fall to second place just like that.

  2. Eric Lord says:

    The Bears are passing up to many good shots. They have an open shot in the circle & then try to force a pass into the center. Lapierre has been doing this a lot lately. Need to get guys in front & put shots on net. Score gritty goals instead of trying to score on a perfect passing play

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