Bears Blow Another Lead, Fall To Amerks, 4-3 In Shootout; Connor McMichael Scores Third Goal In Last Four Games

Screen cap: AHL TV

The Hershey Bears fell to the Rochester Americans, 4-3 (SO) Friday night at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, New York. Mike Vecchione and Sam Anas notched tallies in the first five minutes of the game and Connor McMichael added his third goal in the last four games early in the second period for an early 3-0 Bears lead.

But the Amerks scored three unanswered goals in the second period, ultimately pushing the game to overtime and the shootout and would win it in the skills competition. The loss drops the Bears record to 37-16-5-3 (82 points) on the season.


Zach Fucale (19-10-2-1, 2.57 GAA, .899 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the visiting Bears. Malcolm Subban (15-13-3-2, 3.00 GAA, .903 sv%) got the start in goal for the  Americans. The forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:

Mike Vecchione – Mike Sgarbossa – Ethen Frank
Joe Snively – Connor McMichael – Sam Anas
Mason Morelli – Hendrix Lapierre – Garrett Pilon
Beck Malenstyn – Riley Sutter – Henrik Rybinski

Gabriel Carlsson – Dylan McIlrath
Aaron Ness – Logan Day
Bobby Nardella – Jake Massie

Scratches:  Lucas Johansen (upper body injury), Vinny Iorio (upper body injury), Henrik Borgstrom (upper body injury), Shane Gersich, Julian Napravnik, Bogdan Trineyev and Matt Strome.

Bears head coach Todd Nelson said Vinny Iorio (upper body injury) and Lucas Johansen (upper body injury) are “probably a day away” from returning. They are on the road trip and could go tomorrow at Syracuse.

Recalls/Re-assignments: Zach Fucale and Gabriel Carlsson were re-assigned from Washington to Hershey on Thursday. Benton Maass and Clay Stevenson were re-assigned to ECHL South Carolina on Friday.


The Bears wasted just 29 seconds before denting the twine. Mike Vecchione (21) knocked home a rebound at 0.29 of the first frame for an early Bears lead. Mike Sgarbossa (34) and Ethen Frank (18) had the helpers.

Less than five minutes later the Bears made it 2-0 on Sam Anas‘ ninth goal of the season. Dylan McIlrath (12) and Joe Snively (11) had the assists.

The first period concluded with the Bears holding the 2-0 lead. Rochester led in shots 10-8. There were no power plays in the first frame.


The Bears made it 3-0 on Connor McMichael‘s 15th goal of the season at 1:35 of the middle frame. Joe Snively (12) made the nice feed in traffic. Aaron Ness (12) had the second helper.

But this time the Amerks would answer. Joseph Cecconi (2) notched Rochester’s first goal of the game at 2:52 of the second period. Brendan Warren (3) and Tyson Kozak (5) had the helpers.

The Amerks later cut the Bears lead to a single goal. Brett Murray (18) potted the Amerks second goal at 12:03. Mason Jobst (18) and Lawrence Pilut (20) had the assists.

Rochester completed the comeback in the middle frame. Brett Murray (19) scored his second goal of the period on the power play with 90 seconds remaining in the middle frame, making it 3-3. Mason Jobst (18) and Lawrence Pilut (20) had the helpers.

And that would be it for the second period. Shots in the second period were tied 10-10. Rochester was 1 for 1 on the power play while the Bears did not have a man advantage in the first 40 minutes of play.


The Bears and Amerks skated to a scoreless draw in the final frame.

Shots were tied 6-6 in the final 20 minutes. Rochester led in shots 26-25 in regulation.

Hershey was 0 for 1 and Rochester 1 for 2 on the power for regulation.


There was no scoring in the extra frame, sending the game to the shootout. The Amerks would take it in the skills competition.

  1. Amerks: Jobst: Good; Hershey: McMichael: No Good
  2. Amerks: Rousek: No Good, Hershey: Snively: No Good
  3. Amerks: Kisakov: Good


  • AHL box score
  • Attendance: 6,411
  • Rochester led in shots 33-27.
  • Hershey was 0 for 2 and Rochester 1 for 3 in the power play.
  • Zach Fucale stopped 29 of 32 shots faced for a .906 game save percentage.
  • Mason Morelli played in his 200th AHL game

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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5 Responses to Bears Blow Another Lead, Fall To Amerks, 4-3 In Shootout; Connor McMichael Scores Third Goal In Last Four Games

  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m running out of answers. Bears are a really good team in the first 30 minutes. In the last 30…not so much.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is the Bears theme for the 2022-23 season.

  3. KimRB says:

    Three things that are certain: Death, Taxes, and the Bears blowing a lead

    • Anonymous says:

      It has be excruciating with the Bears since the start of the 2023 calendar year. I think it’s coaching.

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