Game Preview: Bears at Checkers, 7 p.m. | NEWS – Hershey Bears

October 21, 2022

The Hershey Bears continue the 2022-23 regular season, presented by Penn State Health, as they hit the road for the first time this season, opening a weekend pair of games against the Charlotte Checkers tonight at 7 p.m. at Bojangles Coliseum. Both Hershey and Charlotte have started the season with an unblemished 2-0-0-0 record. This evening’s contest marks the first of eight games on the schedule between the Atlantic Division foes, with each team slated to host four games on home ice this season.

Hershey Bears (2-0-0-0) at Charlotte Checkers (2-0-0-0)

October 21, 2022 | 7 p.m. | Game 3 | Bojangles Coliseum

Referees: Jake Kamrass (3), Brandon Schrader (46)

Linespersons: Daniel Kovachik (72), Brian Pincus (25)

Broadcast Information 

Voice of the Bears, Zack Fisch on the call

RADIO: WFVY-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM & SportsRadio 98.9-FM


LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream, Caps Radio

Radio pre-game coverage starts at 6:30 p.m.


Hershey concluded its opening weekend with a 2-1 victory on Sunday against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Forward Hendrix Lapierre opened the scoring midway through the first period for his first career AHL tally, and Mike Vecchione broke a 1-1 tie with a power-play goal in the third that stood up as the game-winner. The Checkers are coming off an opening weekend sweep of the Hartford Wolf Pack that culminated with a 3-1 victory on Saturday, led by a two point (1g, 1a) effort from Riley Nash and a 30-save effort from Mack Guzda.


Mike Vecchione’s goal on Sunday was not initially credited to the forward, but the American Hockey League subsequently issued a correction during the week to provide proper attribution, giving him game-winners in consecutive games. The last Bears player to achieve the feat was Beck Malenstyn (March 8, 2022 vs. Lehigh Valley, 4-0 W; March 11, 2022 at Bridgeport, 2-1 W). Vecchione also previously accomplished the achievement last season, registering game-winning goals in back-to-back contests on Dec. 17, 2021 at Springfield (2-0 W) and Dec. 18, 2021 vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (8-3 W).


Mason Morelli enters tonight’s game as the Bears’ assists leader after recording a pair of helpers in the season-opener against Utica on Oct. 15. The fourth-year pro enjoyed a breakout 2021-22 season, registering a career-high 21 assists to finish fifth on the team. Morelli’s single-game high in the AHL is three assists, set on Dec. 29, 2021 vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.


Lucas Johansen returns this weekend to the site of where he scored his lone career AHL game-winner almost a full calendar year ago. On Oct. 23, 2021, Johansen who beat Antoine Bibeau at 4:37 of overtime to lift Hershey to a 2-1 victory over the Checkers. Johansen went on to finish his best pro campaign to date, putting up career totals in goals (8) and points (28), and also made his NHL debut on Dec. 31 with Washington against Detroit.


Hershey was 3-5-0-0 against Charlotte during the 2021-22 season, with Garrett Pilon and Mike Sgarbossa each sharing the team scoring lead against the Checkers with identical 4g, 4a statlines, while Seattle Kraken prospect Alexander True led Charlotte against Hershey with 10 points (5g, 5a)…Tonight’s game could mark the Bears debut of forward Sonny Milano, who was loaned to Hershey by Washington earlier this week…The Checkers are in their second season as an affiliate of the Florida Panthers after opting out of the 2020-21 season and previously playing as a Carolina Hurricanes affiliate during their tenure in the AHL…While the Checkers don’t have any former Bears players on their roster, forward Patrick Giles is an alumnus of the Hershey Jr. Bears program and was part of the Jr. Bears 2012-13 squad that participated in the Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament, where the native of Chevy Chase, Maryland appeared in two games…Similar to Hershey this season, the Checkers have a revamped bench; while Geordie Kinnear remains head coach, Charlotte has added Bobby Sanguinetti and Jared Staal as assistants on the bench…The Bears have a lifetime record of 22-19-0-1 (.536) record against the Checkers.