As the Washington Capitals captured their first victory of the 2022-23 campaign on Saturday, the Hershey Bears also won big at Giant Center in their season opener, as they topped the Utica Comets 3-1.
In that victory for the Capitals’ minor-league affiliate, Hendrix Lapierre was among the standouts as he made quite the impact in his AHL debut.
Lapierre and Henrik Borgstrom combined for Hershey’s first goal of the game on the power play, as Borgstrom got to the front and tucked in a rebound off a Lapierre shot past Utica’s Akira Schmid to make it a 1-0 hockey game. The assist marked Lapierre’s first career AHL point in his first-ever AHL game, and he finished the game with a helper and two shots on goal.
Our first goal of the season makes it 1-0 with 11:18 left in the first!
— Hershey Bears (@TheHersheyBears) October 15, 2022
It’s not the first time that Lapierre has made noise in his pro debut. No. 29 scored his first career NHL goal in his NHL debut against the New York Rangers last season.
TJ OSHIE ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! 😱
— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) October 14, 2021
Lapierre, a 2020 first-round pick for the Capitals, is looking to return to the NHL after having been returned to juniors last season after a six-game stint with the big club. A strong start to his AHL career is a good step in the right direction.
Mike Vecchione and Riley Sutter also scored en route to the win. Former Washington prospect Brian Pinho had the lone goal for Utica. Zach Fucale had 19 saves on 20 shots in the win for the Bears.
In addition to Lapierre, fellow Capitals prospect and good friend Vincent Iorio also made his AHL debut. He had three shots and showcased his mobility and strong skating while using his 6-3, 205-pound frame to his advantage.
— Hershey Bears (@TheHersheyBears) October 16, 2022
Hershey returns to the ice on Sunday at 3 p.m. to face the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.