Vincent Iorio And Lucas Johansen Score First Postseason Goals; Bears Down Wolf Pack, 3-1, Advance To Eastern Conference Finals

Photo: Hartford Wolf Pack

The Hershey Bears downed the Hartford Wolf Pack, 3-1 in game 3 of the Atlantic Division Finals Wednesday night at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut. With the win the Bears sweep the best-of-five series and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Wolf Pack opened the scoring late in the first period and held the 1-0 lead at the first intermission. The Bears tied the game late in the second period on Vincent Iorio‘s first postseason goal for a 1-1 tie after two periods of play.

The Bears took their first lead of the night early in the final frame on Lucas Johansen‘s first goal since October 28th and made it 3-1 a little over three minutes later on Garrett Pilon‘s second goal of the postseason. That would be the final.


Hunter Shepard (5-1-0, 1.82 GAA, .925 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the visiting Bears. Louis Domingue (0-0-0, 0.00 GAA, .000 sv%) got the start in goal for the Wolf Pack. The forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:

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

Gabriel Carlsson – Dylan McIlrath
Lucas Johansen – Vincent Iorio
Jake Massie – Logan Day

Hunter Shepard
Zach Fucale

Scratches: Mike Sgarbossa (injury), Aaron Ness (injury), Shane Gersich, Bobby Nardella, Henrik Rybinski, Matt Strome, Julian Napravnik, Bogdan Trineyev, Ludwig Persson, Dru Krebs, Alexander Suzdalev.


The Bears and Wolf Pack skated to a scoreless draw in the first half of the first period, with Hartford leading in shots 7-3 at the midway point.

Beck Malenstyn would leave the game after catching a puck to the face near the nidway point of the opening stanza. He would return later in the period.

The Wolf Pack opened the scoring with a goal from Turner Elson (2) at 17:40 of the first period. Ryan Carpenter (3) and Anton Blidh (5) had the hepers.

The first period concluded with the Wolf Pack holding the 1-0 lead. Hartford led in shots 13-4.


The Bears tied the game late in the second period on a snipe from Vincent Iorio (1) at 15:05. Mike Vecchione (1) and Henrik Borgstrom (2) had the helpers.

That would be it for the second period. The Wolf Pack led in shots, 10-6 in the second period and 23-10 after two periods.


The Bears took their first lead of the night on Lucas Johansen‘s first goal of the postseason. Mike Vecchione had the lone assist, making a nice feed from behind the goal to setup the tally.

The Bears quickly made it 3-1 on Garrett Pilon‘s second goal of the postseason at 7:25. Connor McMichael (1) and Joe Snively (6) had the assists.

The Bears would hold on for the 3-1 win and the 3-0 series sweep.

The Bears will face the Rochester Americans (The AHL’s two oldest teams) in the best-of-seven (2-2-1-1-1) Eastern Conference Finals beginning Tuesday in Hershey.

The Bears are now just eight wins away from their 12th Calder Cup.


  • AHL box score
  • Attendance: 4,596
  • Bears were 4 for 4 on the penalty kill.
  • Hartford led in shots 34-16.
  • Hunter Shepard stopped 33 of 34 for a .971 game save percentage.
  • Stars of the game: 1) Hunter Shepard, 2) Mike Vecchione and 3) Turner Elson.

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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18 Responses to Vincent Iorio And Lucas Johansen Score First Postseason Goals; Bears Down Wolf Pack, 3-1, Advance To Eastern Conference Finals

  1. Anonymous says:

    Bring in Rochester!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Go Bears!

  3. Anonymous says:

    8 more win = 12th Calder Cup!

  4. GRin430 says:

    Not pretty, but it counts.


    Iorio was also really good defensively (aside from one booboo late in the game), in addition to scoring.

    And I’m fairly certain that Hartford has a promo where 3 lucky fans, randomly selected off the streets of the city, get to be “main camera person for a period”. No skills necessary. There were times where they showed completely empty parts of the ice surface, while the play was elsewhere. Thankfully they don’t get another game to not show us.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hunter Shepard is like the quiet assassin. He’s absolutely killing it and nobody knows.

  6. Diane Doyle says:

    Congratulations, Bears!!!!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Riley Sutter seems to be doing well

  8. novafyre says:

    from Raw Charge: The Tampa Bay Lightning are among five teams looking to hire a Social Media Manager for the NHL club. The others are the Panthers, Coyotes, Canucks, and Capitals.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Here is Caps advertisement:

      • novafyre says:

        Thanks. Hadn’t heard about District E. 701 7th St NW. Probably where the new NBCSW will be.

        “All applicants for employment at Monumental Sports are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to commencing employment. ” Really? These days, what is ‘fully vaccinated?’

        • Anonymous says:

          That has been in all theor job postings as of late, probably leftover boilerplate text.

          • novafyre says:

            Not so sure. Just read the DC Bar will require all applicants to wear masks when they sit for the city’s 12 hour bar exam. Some COVID policies don’t seem to be going away.

  9. 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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