Shane Gersich Scores First Goal Of The Postseason, Bears Beat Amerks, 1-0, Advance To Calder Cup Finals

Photo: Rochester Americans

The Hershey Bears downed the Rochester Americans, 1-0 in game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals Friday night at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester. With the win, the Bears Earle the best-of-seven series four games to two and advance to the 2023 Calder Cup Finals.

Following a scoreless first frame, Shane Gersich notched his first tally of the post season midway through the middle frame to give the Bears a 1-0 lead at the second intermission. As it turns out, Gersich’s goal would be the series-winner.

That was all the Bears needed as they held on for the 1-0 victory. Hunter Shepard stopped all 24 shots he faced for his second shutout of the postseason.


Hunter Shepard (9-3, 2.01 GAA, .924 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the visiting Bears. Malcolm Subban (8-5, 2.68 GAA, .915 sv%) got the start in goal for the Americans. The forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:

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

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

Hunter Shepard
Zach Fucale

Scratches: Ethen Frank, Vincent Iorio (injury – day-to-day), Mike Sgarbossa (injury), Bobby Nardella, Henrik Rybinski, Matt Strome, Julian Napravnik, Bogdan Trineyev, Ludwig Persson, Dru Krebs, Alexander Suzdalev.


The Bears and Amerks skated to a scoreless draw in the first 20 minutes of play.

The Bears had the only power play of the period, just two minutes into the contest, but were unable to dent the twine.

Rochester led in shots 9-6.


The Bears finally broke the drought midway through the middle period. Shane Gersich (1) recorded his first goal of the postseason at 12:40 of the second period to give the Bears a 1-0 lead. Beck Malenstyn (3) and Gabriel Carlsson (2) had the helpers.

The Amerks were awarded a 5-on-3 power play for 1:24 but the Bears’ three-man penalty kill was up to the task, as Rochester came up empty.

The second period concluded with the Bears leading 1-0. Hershey led in shots, 9-8. Hershey was 0 for 2 and Hershey 0 for 3 on the power play after two periods.


The Amerks returned to the power play early in the third period after Beck Malenstyn was called for a high stick in the Bears offensive zone, but once again the Bears penalty kill was the better special teams unit.

The third period would ultimately go scoreless, as the Bears held on for the 1-0 win. They take the Eastern Conference Finals four games to two and advance to the 2023 Calder Cup Finals.

The Bears now face the winner of the Western Conference Finals. The Coachella Valley Firebirds and Milwaukee Admirals series is currently tied, 2-2.

Photos: Rochester Americans

  • AHL box score
  • Attendance: 8,777
  • Rochester leed in shots 24-19.
  • Hunter Shepard stopped all 24 shots he faced.
  • This is the 24th trip to the Finals for the Bears.

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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24 Responses to Shane Gersich Scores First Goal Of The Postseason, Bears Beat Amerks, 1-0, Advance To Calder Cup Finals

  1. GRin430 says:


    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Caps, or at least Bears, better re-sign that dude. He’s gonna get quite a few offers from outside, though.

      • novafyre says:

        Bolts have not yet resigned their backup (Elliott) — early word was that he was going to retire but no news. I am surprised that the Tampa writers have not included Shepard in their lists of replacements.

    • Anonymous says:

      He’s the MVP for me.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Ugly but sufficient

  3. Go bears says:

    Ugly win but they made the plays they needed to. Now they can rest a little and regroup.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Go Bears!

  5. Anonymous says:

    4 more wins for #12!

  6. Jon Sorensen says:

    If Coachella wins their series, Coachella will have home ice. If Milwaukee takes the series, Bears will have the home ice advantage in the best-of-seven finals.

  7. Jon Sorensen says:

  8. DWGie16 says:

    Well that was fun. I feel like we were lucky to get out of there win the win. Shepherd is so hot and cold. He was the man tonight.

    McMichael, Protas, and Malenstyn continue to impress. I thought Snively was off tonight. Sutter was solid as well. I feel like he is a call-up at minimum next year. I like NAK on a one-year deal but Sutter may be the next man up in a season. On dee, I thought third pair of Massie and Johansen was our best. Carlsson looked good again and got an assist. Hope we sign him on a two-way next year.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bears penalty kill was a difference maker as well. Stopping the 5-on-3 was the game.

    • Anonymous says:

      If there is one concern heading into next series, it continues to be scoring. Maybe defense will take them the distance, but man it would be great to find some scoring.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, so far it’s very much “defense wins championships”

        • DWGie26 says:

          Defense does win championships. But gotta outscore the other team. I guess 1-0 meets the criteria. Haha.

          I hope Frank gets unlocked in the finals.

          It’s not like Bears haven’t created opportunities. They just aren’t finishing.

  9. Jon Sorensen says:

  10. 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!

  11. Anonymous says:

    This may be a hot take, but so far Bears stiffest test has been in first series against Checkers. That changes now, regardless if it’s the Firebirds or the Admirals.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Good to see Shane get a big goal. He’s been a good soldier all season, deserved it.

  13. DWGie26 says:

    Does anyone know any details with injuries. I know Iorio is day-to-day but he might have a hard time getting back in as the dee pairs are solid.

    But what about Sgarbossa… is he done for the playoffs? I haven’t heard anything. Is he skating or not even to that point yet?

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