Hendrix Lapierre Scores First Professional Hat Trick, Bears Down Checkers, 5-2

The Hershey Bears downed the Charlotte Checkers, 5-2 Saturday night at the Giant Center in Hershey, PA. The victory improves the Bears record to 43-17-5-4 (95 points) on the season.

The Bears opened the scoring for the second straight night with a goal from Hendrix Lapierre less than three minutes into the game. But the Checkers would answer late in the period for a 1-1 tie at the first intermission.

Lapierre added another power play goal midway through the middle frame and added an even-strength goal at the end of the period for his first professional hat trick and a 3-2 Bears lead at the second intermission.

Mike Sgarbossa notched his 21st tally of the season midway through the final frame and Shane Gersich added an empty net goal for the 5-2 final.

The Bears are now one point ahead of the Providence Bruins for first place in the Atlantic Division, as the Bruins fell to the Hartford Wolf Pack on Saturday night. Both teams have three more games remaining on their regular season schedules.


Zach Fucale (20-10-4-2, 2.51 GAA, .902 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the Bears. Mack Guzda (14-8-3-1, 2.86 GAA, .899 sv%) got the start in goal for the visiting Checkers. The forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:

Joe Snively – Mike Sgarbossa – Garrett Pilon
Henrik Borgstrom – Connor McMichael –Julian Napravnik
Mason Morelli – Hendrix Lapierre – Henrik Rybinski
Shane Gersich – Riley Sutter – Matt Strome

Gabriel Carlsson – Dylan McIlrath
Jake Massie – Aaron Ness
Lucas Johansen – Vinny Iorio

Scratches: Ethen Frank (upper body injury), Mike Vecchione, Sam Anas, Bobby Nardella, Logan Day, Ludwig Persson and Bogdan Trineyev.

Recalls/Re-assignments: Beck Malenstyn was recalled by the Capitals prior to Friday’s game. Ludwig Persson was officially re-assigned from BIK Karlskoga of HockeyAllsvenskan (Sweden-2) to Hershey on Friday.


Hendrix Lapierre (13)  got the scoring started at 2:58 of the first period. Vincent Iorio (18) and Julian Napravnik (2) had the assists. Lapierre scored just 2:11 into last night’s game against the Springfield Thunderbirds.

The Checkers answered late in the period. Dennis Cesana (1) notched the game-tying tally at 13:54. It was Cesana’s first career AHL goal.

And that was it for the first 20 minutes. The Checkers led in shots 12-11. Charlotte was 0 for 2 and Hershey 1 for 2 on the power play in the first frame.


The Bears opened the middle frame with 1:43 remaining on a power play but were unable to convert.

The Bears regained the lead on Hendrix Lapierre‘s second goal of the game at 9:30 of the second period. Both of his goals came on the power play. Goaltender Zach Fucale (2) had the lone assist.

The Checkers tied the game at 15:59 with a tally from Gerry Mayhew (23). Lucas Carlsson (32) and Riley Nash (33) had the assists.

The Bears got the lead right back on Hendrix Lapierre‘s third goal of the game. Mason Morelli (28) and Henrik Rybinski (13) had the helpers. It was Lapierre’s first professional hat trick.

The second period concluded with the Bears leading 3-2. Hershey led in shots 14-11 in the second period and 25-23 after 40 minutes of play. Charlotte was 1 for 3 and Hershey 2 for 3 on the power play after two periods.


The Bears stretched their lead to 4-2 midway through the final frame on Mike Sgarbossa‘s 21st goal of the season at 9:14. Shane Gersich (13) and Matt Strome (2) had the helpers.

The Bears added an empty net goal from Shane Gersich for the 5-2 final.

The same two teams do it again Tuesday night at Giant Center. Puck drop is set for 7PM.


  • AHL box score
  • Attendance: 9,028
  • Zach Fucale stopped 34 of 36 for a .944 game save percentage.
  • Stars of the game: 1) Hendrix Lapierre, 2) Zach Fucale and 3) Shane Gersich.

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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3 Responses to Hendrix Lapierre Scores First Professional Hat Trick, Bears Down Checkers, 5-2

  1. novafyre says:

    Took a shootout but Stingrays beat Florida for the second night in a row. Tyler allowed 3 goals out of 28 shots and 1 goal in the shootout.

    Kim scored the middle goal but was stopped in the shootout (O’Neil and Humitz scored). He had 1 sog, Maass had 3. Bear did not play. I presume because of his injury yesterday (have not watched today’s game yet). He was placed on reserve today.

    Stingrays, Jax, Greenville, and Florida have all made the playoffs. Stingrays have a 5 pt lead but still have not won the division. Next game is Wednesday.

  2. KimRB says:

    Good for the confidence of Lappy. Maybe this is a turning point for him. As the great Yogi Berra once said “when you come to a fork in the road….take it”

    Have we found Trineyev yet? Maybe he’s being held in a safe house somewhere, with Bjorklund.

    Shame about Frank. Maybe without the injury, he could have hit 35 goals.

  3. 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!

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