Connor McMichael Scores, Extends Points Streak To 10-Straight Games, Zach Fucale Pitches Shutout, Bears Down Monsters, 3-0

Photo: Cleveland Monsters

The Hershey Bears downed the Cleveland Monsters, 3-0 Sunday afternoon at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio. The victory improves the Bears record to 41-16-5-4 (91 points) on the season and secures a first-round bye in the 2023 postseason.

The Bears opened the game with goals from Connor McMichael and Garrett Pilon in the first period and Henrik Rybinski added a tally in the middle frame. Zach Fucale pitched a shutout, his second shutout of the season. The Bears penalty kill went a perfect 12 for 12 in Cleveland this weekend. The Bears improve to 7-0-0-2 in their last nine games.


Zach Fucale (19-10-4-1, 2.58 GAA, .899 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the visiting Bears. Pavel Cajan (7-8-2-0, .3.55 GAA, .873 sv%) got the start in goal for the Monsters. The forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:

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

Gabriel Carlsson – Dylan McIlrath
Aaron Ness – Logan Day
Bobby Nardella – Vinny Iorio

Scratches: Ethen Frank (upper body injury), Lucas Johansen (cramps, migraines), Matt Strome, Julian Napravnik, Jake Massie, Henrik Borgstrom and Bogdan Trineyev.


The Bears opened the scoring on a beautiful give-and-go between Joe Snively and Connor McMichael, who finished for his 16th goal of the season at 12:54 of the opening stanza. McMichael now has points in 10-straight games.

The Bears quickly extended their lead to 2-0 on Garrett Pilon‘s ninth goal of the season at 15:54. Mike Sgarbossa (37) and Bobby Nardella (20) had the helpers.

The first period concluded with the Bears holding another 2-0 lead. Cleveland led in shots, 9-8. There were no penalties called in the first frame.


The Bears extended their lead to 3-0 on Henrik Rybinski‘s fifth goal of the season at 12:22 of the middle frame. Hendrix Lapierre (15) and Mason Morelli (27) had the assists.

And that was it for the middle frame. Cleveland led in shots 10-6 in the second period and 19-14 after two periods. The Monsters were 0 for 3 on the power play after two periods while the Bears did not have a man advantage.


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

The Bears face the Providence Bruins on Wednesday with first place on the line.


  • AHL box score
  • Attendance: 10,405
  • Cleveland led in shots 29-17.
  • Stars of the game: 1) Connor McMichael, 2) Zach Fucale and 3) Joe Snively
  • Zach Fucale stopped 29 of 29 shots faced for his second shutout of the season.
  • ‘Hershey was 0 for 3 and Cleleland 0 for 7 on the power play. The Bears penalty kill went a perfect 12 for 12 in Cleveland this weekend.

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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13 Responses to Connor McMichael Scores, Extends Points Streak To 10-Straight Games, Zach Fucale Pitches Shutout, Bears Down Monsters, 3-0

  1. GRin430 says:

    Hmmm…. Caps next game is Thursday… Think some of the kids would appreciate a back-to-back? How much worse could they play than the old farts have today?

  2. KimRB says:

    Connor McMichael is playing with a ton of confidence, in all situations,and is looking more NHL ready with every game. So why do I get this sneaking suspicion he’ll be traded for a draft choice? Probably because BMac has done stupid things like that before. How’s Vegas working for ya, Chandler? Liking things there in Joisey, Vitek and Jonas?

  3. Jon Sorensen says:

  4. Jon Sorensen says:

    Greetings folks! Just a quick note, if you haven’t done so already, please consider subscribing to NoVa Caps posts in the “subscribe” box located in the upper right corner. Thank you!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Cleveland is a .500 team missing their best players, but Bears stayed focused and did what they needed to do. Measuring stick game mid week.

  6. Anonymous says:

    First round bye!

  7. novafyre says:

    ‘Twas a tougher game in Toledo but the Rays punched their playoff ticket with a 4-1 win. Tyler Wall stopped 23 of 24 while the Rays scored in all periods off 42 shots (outshooting opponents this weekend 128 to 63). Michael Kim had one of those goals out of his 6 shots, Bear had 3 sog, and Maass one assist and one shot. Rays outscored their three opponents in back-to-back-to-back in three cities 18-1.

  8. Jon Sorensen says:

  9. Anonymous says:

    Cleveland lost a lot of talent to callups to Lumbus. They looked suspect, but Wednesday’s game against Providence will be a good indicator of how well this team is playing.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Snively and McMichael look unstoppable- they are gonna be key in postseason

    • KimRB says:

      They weren’t exactly facing the early 1980s New York Islanders. Cleveland was icing a depleted team. It’s nice for the Bears to get back to winning ways, but let’s not get carried away.

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