Photo: Lehigh Valley Phantoms
The Hershey Bears downed the Rochester Americans, 2-1 Saturday night at the Giant Center in Hershey, PA. The victory improves the Bears record to 37-16-5-2 (81 points) on the season. The Bears remain one point behind the Providence Bruins for first place in the Atlantic Division.
Connor McMichael scored his 14th goal of the season early in the first period and Ethen Frank added his 27th goal of the season and second goal in as many nights. Frank now has the most goals by a Bears rookie since Craig Fisher (43) during the 1990-91 season. Frank’s goal was also the game-winner.
Hunter Shepard (14-6-5-1, 2.23 GAA, .912 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the Bears. Michael Houser (6-6-2-0, 3.09 GAA, .899 sv%) got the start in goal for the visiting Americans. The forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:
Mike Vecchione – Mike Sgarboosa – Ethen Frank
Joe Snively – Connor McMichael – Sam Anas
Mason Morelli – Hendrix Lapierre -Garrett Pilon
Beck Malenstyn – Riley Sutter – Henrik Rybinski
Aaron Ness – Logan Day
Bobby Nardella – Dylan McIlrath
Jake Massie – Benton Maass
Scratches: Lucas Johansen (upper body injury), Vinny Iorio (upper body injury), Henrik Borgstrom (upper body injury) and Matt Strome.
The Americans’ opened the scoring with a goal on the second shot of the game. Michael Mersch (14) potted the opening tally at 4:12. Mason Jobst (17) and Brett Murray (20) had the helpers.
THE CAPTAIN 🚨 pic.twitter.com/lboamZersh
— Rochester Americans (@AmerksHockey) March 18, 2023
But the Bears quickly answered. Connor McMichael (14) collected a loose puck at center ice and and finished for the unassisted tally at 4:40.
Mc Money! Connor McMichael with his 14th of the season, ties the game, 1-1. #ALLCAPS #HBH pic.twitter.com/5uPy9JZZ9r
— Capitals Prospects (@jon_m_sorensen) March 18, 2023
And that was it for the first fame. Hershey led in shots 11-9. Rochester was 0 for 1 on the power play.
The Bears did not have a power play in the first 20 minutes. However, The Americans’ Jeremy Davies was called for high-sticking as time expired in the period, giving the Bears a two-minute power play to start the second period.
The Bears took their first lead of the game on Ethen Frank’s 27th tally of the season at 3:37 of the middle frame. Mike Sgarbossa (33) and Benton Maass (1) had the assists.
Frankophiles unite! Ethen Frank with his team-leading 27th goal of the season, gives the Bears a 2-1 lead. #HBH #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/poHdJxT2B4
— Capitals Prospects (@jon_m_sorensen) March 19, 2023
The goal gave Frank the most goals by a Bears rookie since Craig Fisher (43) during the 1990-91 season.
Hendrix Lapierre, in his first game back after missing time with an upper body injury, took a hit into the boards. He got up and stayed in the play, but then headed to the room. He would later return to the game.
Hendrix Lapierre, in his first game back after missing time with an upper body injury, takes a hit into the boards. He got up and stayed in the play, but has since headed to the room. #ALLCAPS #HBH pic.twitter.com/AgGBgF8RVk
— Capitals Prospects (@jon_m_sorensen) March 19, 2023
The second period concluded with the Bears leading 2-1. Shots were tied 7-7. Both teams were 0 for 2 on the power play after two periods.
The Bears and Americans skated to a scoreless draw in the final frame.
Hershey doubled-up the Americans in shots 14-7 in the final frame.
- AHL box score
- Attendance: 10,562
- Stars of the game: 1) Ethen Frank, 2) Hunter Shepard and 3) Connor McMichael
- Frank with the most goals by a Bears rookie since Craig Fisher (43) during the 1990-91 rookie season.
Tight game all the way to the end.
In other news, Tyler Wall stopped 22 of 22 as the Rays won 5-0. Bear had a goal and Kim an assist. Bear has 21 goals and 32 assists in his 58 games. Kim has 6 goals and 24 assists in 41 games. Maass, who got an assist in Hershey tonight, has 4 goals and 5 assists in 45 games. Tyler has 2,57 GAA and 0.906 Save% in 27 games. Clay, who backed up Tyler tonight, is ahead with a 2.57 GAA and 0.915 S% but seems to be in a bit of a slump at the moment. Next Rays game is 3:05 tomorrow afternoon.
Earlier today the ECHL Reading Royals (Fryers/LHV affiliate) loaned goalie Bailey Brkin to Hershey for a PTO. I’m assuming he backed up Hunter since both Tyler and Clay were dressed for the Rays tonight.
I thought Maass played well. He might stick around for a bit. The problem is that Carlsson and Protas will be returning from DC (as soon as season is over). Roster room is getting tight.
Good breakdown on Rays – I greatly appreciate the update, Fyre. So many Caps prospects, so little time.
As I said before Jon, I don’t know how you have time to watch anything else. I still have 2 periods of SC and all of the Bolts game to watch before the Caps tomorrow afternoon, Rays again tomorrow afternoon, and Tampa again tomorrow night. I know, in a few months I’ll be moaning the fact that there is no hockey on. But I still don’t know how you do it.
No mas Maas.
Yo quiero mas Michael Kim, por favor!
I remember somebody under an Anonymous moniker here poopooing the two way contract that Ethen Frank got, saying that there’s many AHLers who excel, then can’t handle the NHL. While that poster is correct, I think Frank has a real shot at not only making the NHL soon, but being a valuable depth scorer. Because he has NHL hands, and an NHL shot. His goal tonight is a good example. He saw his opportunity, took his time, came in on the right post, and lifted it over the goalie. No panic, no rushing the shot. Or, at other times, he can rip it from the left circle, like a certain guy in red we all know. He’s got the tools. Next year we’ll likely see if he has the toolbox.