Bears Let Another Lead Slip Away, Fall To Phantoms, 4-3 (SO); Julian Napravnik Scores 4th Goal In As Many Games

Photo: Lehigh Valley Phantoms

The Hershey Bears fell to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 4-3 (SO) Sunday night at the Giant Center in Hershey, PA. Garrett Pilon started the scoring early in the second period with his 8th goal of the season, Sam Anas added a power play tally midway through the middle frame and Julian Napravnik added his 4th goal in as many games early in the third period to give the Bears a 3-1 lead in the third period.

Unfortunately it wasn’t enough as the Bears let another lead slip away, giving up three goals in the third period, ultimately sending the game to overtime and the shootout. The shootout loss drops the Bears record to 38-16-5-4 (85 points) on the season.


Zach Fucale (19-10-3-1, 2.58 GAA, .900 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the Bears. Samuel Ersson (20-14-1-1, 2.69 GAA, .903 sv%) got the start in goal for the visiting Phantoms. The forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:

Mike Vecchione – Mike Sgarbossa – Ethen Frank
Joe Snively – Julian Napravnik – Sam Anas
Mason Morelli – Henrik Rybinski – Garrett Pilon
Beck Malenstyn – Riley Sutter – Shane Gersich

Aaron Ness – Logan Day
Gabriel Carlsson – Dylan McIlrath
Lucas Johansen – Jake Massie

Scratches:  Connor McMichael (non-Covid illness), Vinny Iorio, Hendrix Lapierre, Bobby Nardella, Henrik Borgstrom (upper body injury), Bogdan Trineyev and Matt Strome.

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 from Hershey to ECHL South Carolina on Friday.


The Bears and Phantoms skated to a scoreless draw in the opening frame.

Lehigh Valley led in shots, 9-6.

The Phantoms were 0 for 2 on the power play while the Bears did not have a man advantage in the first 20 minutes.


The Bears finally cracked the seal on the scoring early in the middle frame. Garrett Pilon (8) tallied the game’s first score on the power play at 4:05 of the second period. Aaron Ness (13) and Mike Sgarbossa (35) had the helpers. It was the 42nd game this season that the Bears registered the game’s first score.

The Bears extended their lead to 2-0 on Sam Anas‘s 10th of the season at 10:31 of the second period. Anas caught a piece of a shot by Joe Snively for the score. The tally came on a 5-on-3 power play. Joe Snively (13) and Ethen Frank (19) had the helpers.

The Phantoms were awarded a 5-on-3 power play immediately following the conclusion of the Bears 5-on-3 power play, but Hershey’s penalty kill was up to the task.

The second period concluded with the Bears leading 2-0. Hershey led in shots 21-6 in the middle frame and 27-15 after two periods. Lehigh Valley was 0 for 4 and Hershey 2 for 6 on the power play after 40 minutes of play.


The Phantoms closed the gap to a single goal early in the final frame. Louie Belpedio (6) notched the Phantoms first tally at 3:02. Egor Zamula (16) and Artem Anisimov (15) had the assists.

But the Bears quickly answered. Julian Napravnik, who was a late addition to the lineup due to Connor McMichael’s late scratch, continued his hot streak, making it 3-1 at 4:58 of the third period. Henrik Rybinski (12) and Mason Morelli (25) had the helpers.

However, the Phantoms refused to go away. They closed the gap to a single goal less than two minutes later. Ryan Fitzgerald (1) potted the Phantoms second tally at 6:25.  Egor Zamula (17) and Adam Brooks (17) had the helpers.

The Phantoms would then tie the game on the power play. Artem Anisimov (18) scored the tying tally at 9:47. Tyson Foerster (21) and Emil Andrae (2) had the assists.

Regulation would end, tied 3-3.


While there was plenty of action in the extra frame, the overtime period ultimately went scoreless, sending the game to a shootout.

1):Phantoms: Good; Bears: Sgarbossa: No Good
2) Phantoms: No Good; Bears: Napravnik: No Good
3: Phantoms: Good


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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12 Responses to Bears Let Another Lead Slip Away, Fall To Phantoms, 4-3 (SO); Julian Napravnik Scores 4th Goal In As Many Games

  1. Jeremy says:

    How many times now where the Bears have a solid lead, blow it in the third and lose in extras? Anymore this team can’t seem to finish. My hopes for them for a cup run are diminishing if they don’t fix their problems.

  2. dwgie26 says:

    I just watched this. Painful! Plenty of chances to win 3-3 and just couldn’t bury anything.

    Missing lots of bodies though so that didn’t help.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      It’s feels like something changes when they get a lead, about half way through the game. I don’t know if the scheme changes is the issue, conditioning, or just bad luck, but it’s happened a lot in the 2023 calendar year.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What is going on with this team. You almost wait for the collapse to happen.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hard to understand what is happening in the second half of games.

  5. novafyre says:

    Mariners recovered from their bus ride and early morning arrival yesterday and beat the Stingrays 2-1 this afternoon. Michael Kim scored first but that was it for the Rays. He and Bear had 5 sog, Benton had 1. Clay stopped 26 of 28. Bear and Benton did spend time in the K-9 Control Training doghouse.

    Positions in the South did not change, Rays’ magic number is 9. And 18 points left in this season.

    • KimRB says:

      Fear the Kims!

      • novafyre says:

        Come all without, come all within
        You’ll not see nothing like the Mighty Kim
        Come all without, come all within
        You’ll not see nothing like the Mighty Kim

        apologies to Manfred Mann

        • KimRB says:

          Very nice Fyre! But my OCD won’t let me go without saying that you owe the author of the song, Bob Dylan, the apology.

          Everybody’s building hockey rinks
          Some for teams that win the cup
          Others for those that stink
          Everybody’s filling up the stands
          With all their kith and kin
          But when Kim the Dman skates in
          All the goons gonna run at him

          Come all without
          Come all within
          You’ll not see nothing like the Mighty Kim

          • novafyre says:

            AM radio back in the 60s and 70s didn’t tell us who wrote the songs. Didn’t know that Dylan did. Sorry Bob. But I really like your version.

  6. KimRB says:

    In today’s news:

    Water is wet
    Pain hurts
    The Sun rose in the East
    E=MC squared
    Gravity makes things fall

    And…….the Bears blow a lead. Rinse and repeat

    I saw the score before I watched the game. My first thought was “how big of a lead did they blow this time?”

    On the bright side: nice to watch Julian Napravnik blossom into a threat. Don’t know if he has a future in the NHL, but handy as depth scoring for the Bears.

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