Connor McMichael Scores 13th Goal Of the Season, Julian Napravnik Scores Twice, Bears Down Phantoms, 6-3

Photo: Lehigh Valley Phantoms

The Hershey Bears downed the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 6-3, Wednesday night at the PPL Center in Allentown, PA. Connor McMichael notched his 13th goal of the season, Shane Gersich added his 5th goal of the season, Matt Strome scored his first goal as a Bear and Julian Napravnik added two goals in the victory. The win improves the Bears record to 35-16-5-2 (77 points) on the season.


Zach Fucale (18-10-2-1, 2.56 GAA, .900 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the visiting Bears. Sam Ersson (19-11-1-1, 2.61 GAA, .907 sv%) got the start in goal for the Phantoms. The forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:

 Mike Vecchione –Henrik Borgstrom – Ethen Frank
Mason Morelli – Connor McMichael – Garrett Pilon
Shane Gersich – Henrik Rybinski –Julain Napravnik
Beck Malenstyn – Riley Sutter – Matt Strome

Aaron Ness – Logan Day
Bobby Nardella – Dylan McIlrath
Jake Massie – Lucas Johansen

Scratches: Vinny Iorio (upper body injury), Mike Sgarbossa (upper body injury), Hendrix Lapierre (upper body injury), Sam Anas (abdominal surgery, practicing, no-contact jersey), Benton Maass.

Bears head coach Todd Nelson said Vincent Iorio will be out 7-10 days. Hendrix Lapierre is still a week away from returning.

Recalls/Reassignments: Kale Kessy was traded to Colorado for future considerations earlier in the week. Defender Michael Kim was loaned to our ECHL affiliate, the SC Stingrays, on Wednesday.


The Bears opened the scoring on Connor McMichael‘s 13th tally of the season at 1:54 of the first frame. McMichael fought-off two Phantoms players to control the puck and finish. Jake Massie (8) and Garrett Pilon (14) had the assists.

The Phantoms tied the game with a goal from Garrett Wilson (13) at 7:59. Adam Ginning (14) and Cooper Marody (20) had the helpers.

And that was it for the opening frame. Hershey led in shots, 12-10. There were no power plays in the first period.

Bears forward Henrik Borgstrom sustained an upper body injury in the first period. He was ruled out for the remainder of the game. Connor McMichael returned to center the top line.


The Phantoms took their first lead of the night on Garrett Wilson’s second goal of the game at 7:28 of the middle frame. Cooper Marody (21) and Louie Belpedio (17) had the helpers.

The Bears tied the game 2-2 on Matt Strome‘s first goal as a Bear at 12:01 of the middle frame. Beck Malenstyn (2) had the lone assist.

The Bears grabbed the lead on Julian Napravnik‘s second tally of the season at 12:37 of the second period. Shane Gersich (11) had the lone assist.

The second period concluded with the Bears leading 3-2.


The Bears made it 4-2 on Shane Gersich‘s 5th goal of the season at 5:38 of the final frame. Bobby Nardella (16) had the lone assist.

The Phantoms would get one right back, closing the gap to 4-3. Garrett Wilson (15) notched his third of the night for the hat trick.

Julian Napravnik restored the Bears two-goal lead midway through the final frame with his second goal of the night at 10:59. Henrik Rybinski (11) and Lucas Johansen (6) had the assists.

Bobby Nardella added an empty net goal for the 6-3 final.


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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4 Responses to Connor McMichael Scores 13th Goal Of the Season, Julian Napravnik Scores Twice, Bears Down Phantoms, 6-3

  1. Anonymous says:

    That’s more like it! Not a good team like Providence, but they earned a lead and stepped on the gas. More!

  2. Anonymous says:

    That was a quality win from start to finish.

  3. dwgie26 says:

    Man that lineup is a mess! Haha.

    I do like seeing Rybinski get some reps at center. Really like him. Likely still a year away from any meaning call-up time, but could take 4RW from NAK after next year.

  4. Jim Lash says:

    What the hell is wrong with McMichael??? Only 13 goals on the season???

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