Photo: Kyle Mace
Newly-signed Capitals prospect Caleb Herbert had a fantastic debut with the Hershey Bears last Wednesday, picking up two points in a 3-2 win over the Portland Pirates. The 22-year-old forward recently finished his junior season at University of Minnesota-Duluth before opting to turn pro this spring.
“It was an exciting day when I found out I was going to be in the lineup,” Herbert told Patriot-News’ Tim Leone. “It was kind of a shock. Not really a shock, but my head was kind of spinning all day. I was thinking about the game all day. It was kind of tough to settle down.”
Herbert settled down when it mattered though. In the first period, a nice keep-in by Steve Oleksy led to a breakdown by the Portland defense. Herbert, who received the puck on the half wall, fed it to Jeff Taffe in the slot. Taffe put it past netminder Louis Domingue.
Early in the second, Herbert, who played on a line with Taffe and Dustin Gazley, had more luck. After receiving a pass in the left faceoff circle, he fought through a stick check and backhanded the puck on net. It was an innocent-looking shot, but it somehow found its way past the goalie for Herbert’s first AHL goal.
Bears deadline acquisition Kris Newbury later scored the game-winner. Herbert was named the game’s first star. Most importantly, the win pushed the Bears back into playoff territory. They’re currently eighth in the Eastern Conference, with a one-point advantage over the Norfolk Admirals.
Herbert’s assist is at the 0:30 mark, his goal is at the 1:20 mark.