Rochester Rocks Hershey, 5-1 To Take A 1-0 Series Lead In Eastern Conference Finals

Photo: Twitter/Rochester Americans

The Rochester Americans thumped the Hershey Bears, 5-1 in game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals Tuesday night at Giant Center in Hershey. With the win the Americans take a 1-o lead in the best-of-seven series.

Rochester wasted all of 14 seconds to score the series’ first goal and added a second tally midway through the opening stanza to take a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.

The Americans made it 3-0 less than two minutes into the middle frame, added a fourth tally before the midway point of the game, and held the commanding 4-0 lead into the second intermission.

The Bears got on the scoreboard midway through the third period with a tally from Aaron Ness, his first career playoff goal, to make it 4-1. The Amerks added a late empty net goal for the 5-1 final.


Hunter Shepard (6-1-0, 1.71 GAA, .933 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the Bears. Malcolm Subban (6-2-0, 3.06 GAA, .910 sv%) got the start in goal for the visiting Americans. 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
Aaron Ness – Logan Day
Lucas Johansen – Vinny Iorio

Hunter Shepard
Zach Fucale

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


The Americans wasted all of 14 seconds to post the first goal of the series. Joseph Cecconi (2) notched the first tally at 0:14. Brett Murray (6) and Michael Mersch (5) had the helpers.

The Americans’ stretched their lead to 2-0 midway through the period. Brett Murray (4) recorded the second goal of the series at 9:04 of the first period. Michael Mersch (6) and Jeremy Davies (4) had the assists. The Amerks had two goals on their first four shots.

The Amerks would hold the 2-0 lead for the remainder of the first period. Shots were tied 9-9. Hershey was 0 for 1 on the power play while the Amerks didn’t have a man advantage in the first 20 minutes.


Rochester made it 3-0 less than two minutes into the middle stanza. Matt Bartkowski (2) notched the Amerks third tally at 1:42 of the second period. Jiri Kulich (4) and Linus Weissbach (5) had the assists.

The Amerks stretched their lead to 4-0 midway through the middle frame. Mason Jobst (3) recrded the tally at 6:32. Jeremy Davies (5) had the lone assist.

Zach Fucale replaced Hunter Shepard in goal following the Amerks fourth goal.

Rochester held the 4-0 lead into the second intermission. The Amerks led in shots 12-8 in the second period and 21-17 after two periods. Hershey was 0 for 2 and Rochester 0 for 1 on the power play after two periods.


The Bears finally dented the twine midway through the final frame. Aaron Ness (1) notched the Bears first goal at 9:42. It was Ness’ first career postseason goal. Logan Day (3) and Joe Snively (7) had the helpers.

The Americans added an empty net goal with a minute remaining in regulation to make it 5-1, the final. Game 2 is set for Thursday in Hershey.


  • AHL box score
  • Attendance: 7,947
  • Rochester led in shots, 23-22.
  • Rochester was 0 for 1 and Hershey 0 for 2 on the power play.

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.
This entry was posted in Hershey Bears, News and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Rochester Rocks Hershey, 5-1 To Take A 1-0 Series Lead In Eastern Conference Finals

  1. Anonymous says:

    That was ugly.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Bears seemed to have an early edge in possession, but the two goals on four shots by Amerks pretty much sucked the life out of them

  3. Anonymous says:

    A gruesome slaughter

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thought the Amerks used the boards for their zone entries a lot more than other teams, caught bears off by that. Easy to fix though.

  5. Eric Lord says:

    Rochester took the middle of the ice away, similar to what Charlotte did in game three. The Bears kept trying to skate through the Rochester player at the blue line & that didn’t work. Hershey also did not move the puck quick enough & didn’t create shooting lanes. It was frustrating how many times that the Bears shot the puck into the Rochester player positioned directly in front of them. Also, there were too many times when the Bear player passed up an open shot to make another pass or try to skate around a defender. This usually led to no shot at all. I feel that the Bears gave Rochester too much room coming into the offensive zone. The Americans have speed. Can’t continue to let them to skate with pace into the offensive end. Stand them up at the blue line. Need to make their entries more difficult

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Was gonna comment something similar. Offensively, Rochester was attacking the Bears zone along the boards, which I thought was a different look, hadn’t seen a lot of that this season from opponents. Props to them for the game plan, but I doubt it works in game 2.

Leave a Reply