Riley Sutter Scores Overtime Game-Winner, Bears Down Firebirds, 5-4 (OT); Ethen Frank And Joe Snively End Scoring Droughts

Screen cap: AHLTV

The Hershey Bears downed the Coachella Valley Firebirds, 5-4 (OT) in game 3 of the Calder Cup Finals Tuesday night at Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania. With the Bears win, the Firebirds now lead the best-of-seven series, two games to one.

The Bears opened the scoring in game 3, as Ethen Frank notched his first tally of the postseason early in the first period. The tally ended the Bears goal-scoring drought in this year’s postseason and ended a Bears streak of 235:42 of playing time in Calder Cup Finals without a goal, dating back to the second period of game 3 of 2016 Finals against the Lake Erie Monsters. The Firebirds answered with a power play goal of their own before the end of the period for a 1-1 tie after 20 minutes of play.

It took the Bears just 65 seconds to regain the lead in the middle frame. Joe Snively notched his first goal since April 29 to make it 2-1. The Bears added a late power play goal from Sam Anas for a 3-1 lead at the second intermission.

The Firebirds closed the gap to 3-2 early in the final frame, but this time the Bears would answer right back less than a minute later. Garrett Pilon scored his third postseason goal to make it 4-2, midway through the period. But Coachella Valley would rally. They added a late power play goal to make it 4-3 and scored the game-tying 6-on-5 tally with 50 seconds remaining in regulation, sending the game to overtime. Riley Sutter won it in the extra frame.


Hunter Shepard (10-5, 2.22 GAA, .915 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the Bears. Joey Daccord (14-7, 2.15 GAA, .930 sv%) got the start in goal for the visiting Firebirds. 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

Aaron Ness – Logan Day
Gabriel Carlsson – Dylan McIlrath
Lucas Johansen – Vincent Iorio

Hunter Shepard
Zach Fucale

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


The Bears and Firebirds split offensive zone time in the early going, with the Firebirds leading in shots, 6-2 at the midway point of the opening stanza. The Bears passing was fairly disjointed for a majority of the period, which ultimately derailed a number of potential rushes.

The Bears were awarded the game’s first power play with 7:38 remaining in the period, and they would finally dent the twine. Ethen Frank (1) notched his first goal of the postseason at 13:24, giving the Bears their first lead of the series. Sam Anas (8) and Logan Day (7) had the helpers.

But the Firebirds would go on their first power play with less than three minutes remaining in the period, and they too would cash in. Brogan Rafferty (2) potted the tying tally at 18:39 of the period. Jimmy Schuldt (3) and Cameron Hughes (19) had the assists.

The first period concluded with the game tied, 1-1. Coachella Valley doubled-up the Bears in shots, 10-5. Both teams were 1 for 1 on the power play in the first 20 minutes.


The Bears wasted little time in regaining the lead early in the middle frame. Joe Snively (2) finished a beautiful give-and-go with Garrett Pilon to make it 2-1 at 1:05 of the second period. Garrett Pilon (6) and Connor McMichael (4) had the helpers.

The Bears returned to the power play with 12:48 and 8:14 remaining in the second period, but were unable to capitalize on either of the man advantages.

The Bears went to a third power play late in the second period and this time the Bears power play unit was up to the task. Sam Anas (4) scored the Bears third goal at 17:18 of the second period. Garrett Pilon (6) and Connor McMichael (4) had the assists.

The Bears held the 3-1 lead at the end of the second period. The Bears led in shots, 12-5 in the second period and 17-15 after 40 minutes of play. Hershey was 2 for 3 and Coachella Valley 1 for 1 on the power play after 40 minutes.


The Firebirds closed the gap early in the final frame. Carsen Twarynski (5) made it 3-2 at 6:33 of the third period. Shane Wright (6) had the lone assist.

But this time the Bears answered right back. Garrett Pilon (3) scored less than a minute later at 7:21 to make it 4-2, and seemingly give the Bears the much needed breathing room. Logan Day (8) had the lone assist.

But the Firebirds would rally. They closed the gap to a single goal with a power play tally from Cameron Hughes (2) with 4:34 remaining in regulation. Ryker Evans (18) and Brogan Rafferty (7) had the helpers.

The Firebirds completed the comeback with a 6-on-5 goal with 50 seconds remaining in regulation. Cameron Hughes (3) scored the tying tally, with assists from Kole Lind (21), Andrew Poturalski (6).

The game would head to overtime.


Riley Sutter won it for the Bears in overtime.

Game 4 is Thursday at Giant Center in Hershey. Puck drop is set for 7PM ET.


  • AHL box score
  • Attendance: 10,580
  • Coachella Valley led in shots 37-30.
  • Bears first victor in Calder Cup Finals since June 14, 2010.
  • Hunter Shepard stopped 33 of 37 shots for a .891 game save percentage.
  • Hershey was 2 for 4 and Coachella Valley was 2 for 3 on the power play.
  • With Saturday’s crowd, a fourth consecutive sellout, the Firebirds’ postseason home attendance reached 117,879 fans. That’s the most in the history of the American Hockey League, passing the 2009 Manitoba Moose who saw 116,095 fans pass through their gates.

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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16 Responses to Riley Sutter Scores Overtime Game-Winner, Bears Down Firebirds, 5-4 (OT); Ethen Frank And Joe Snively End Scoring Droughts

  1. Anonymous says:

    Go Bears! What a game!

  2. Anonymous says:

    “Over? Was it over when the Germans bomber Pearl Harbor?”

  3. Jon Sorensen says:

    Thought the game-winner couldn’t have gone to a more deserving player. Sutts has worked hard all season. Felt Bears would need to win 5-4 type games, hopefully their scoring has returned. If so, it’s anybody’s series.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Go Bears!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thought for sure CV was gonna win it in extra frame, they controlled most of the possession, but then maybe they got tired? Script was flipped in a blink.

  6. Jeremy says:

    Whoever coaches defense needs to be chewed out for that 3rd period defensive collapse

  7. Anonymous says:

    Let’s go Bears! Three more, please.

  8. Prevent Defense says:

    A nail-biting affair! Bears definitely have met their match. Glad to see Sutter pull the Bears’ chestnuts out of the fire. A rather appalling collapse late in the Third Period. Thought I was watching the Caps for a minute. Hard to believe Alex True isn’t offered an NHL contract tout de suite. He was ALL OVER the Bears’ defenders and they had little answer. Wonder if the Caps can trade for True’s rights.

    Stream feed we were watching was the Radio play-by-play synchronized with the TV feed. A great business model! All local commercials with no video, instead of the hideous corporate ones. Zach Fisch does great work. So does John Walton

    Oh by the way there was some other hockey game on last night. Didn’t watch, wasn’t interested, don’t care. Bring on the NHL Draft, Free Agency, and next season’s training camp.

    From the same movie: “Mr. Blutarsky: Zero point Zero.”

    • andrew777dc says:

      I hope at least you recognized where my two response lines came from? 🙂 They both come right after that phrase, in this very sequence)

  9. Anonymous says:


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