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Photo: Kyle Mace / Chocolate Hockey

The Hershey Bears had a big night on Friday. They won 10-4, completing the best-of-five series against the Worchester Sharks in round one in four games.

Casey Wellman led the way with three goals and an assist, Chris Brown scored twice, Nate Schmidt, Cameron Schilling, Tim Kennedy, and Jakub Vrana all had three points in the game. Vrana also scored his first AHL goal.

The other goal-scorers included Dustin Gazley and Liam O’Brien.

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bowey-goal

Capitals top defensive prospect Madison Bowey scored a shorthanded goal in the first game of their conference semifinal series against the Portland Winterhawks (featuring another Caps prospect, Blake Heinrich). That early second-period tally kickstarted the Rockets, who were trailing by two after first period.

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Vrana battles Andrew Gordon. (Photo: Jeremy Long/Lebanon Daily News)

Washington Capitals 2014 first-round pick Jakub Vrana has had a strong start to his North American career. After scoring 12 goals and 12 assists in 44 SHL games, Vrana arrived in Hershey on April 9. Since then he’s dominated the AHL, registering five assists in three games, including a three-point performance on Saturday that landed him first star of the game honors. Coach Troy Mann has Vrana playing left wing on the second line along with veterans Jim O’Brien and Casey Wellman. As you can tell, it’s going splendidly.

Since we know you guys are more of a visual crowd, here’s GIFs of all of Vrana’s delicious apples. He wears #39.

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Photo: Michael Griggs/Miami University

Capitals’ 2012 sixth-round pick and top collegiate prospect Riley Barber has decided to leave Miami University and sign a three-year entry-level contract with Washington beginning in the 2015-16 season.

By inking a pro deal, the 21-year-old Barber has ended speculation that he may snub the Caps to become an unrestricted free agent on August 15, 2016.

Barber is a talented goal scorer. The Hockey News ranked him the fifth best prospect in the Caps’ system.

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Tom Wilson draws (and takes) a lot of penalties. (Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Throughout the season, the Washington Capitals have generated a lot of offense during four-on-four play. With Tom Wilson, who leads the Caps in penalties taken and drawn per 60 minutes of ice time, expected to return to the line-up, it’s not farfetched to think we may see some coincidental penalties doled in the first round series against the Islanders.

While four-on-four play only accounted for 178.5 of the 5002 minutes of the time Caps spent on the ice during the regular season, the Caps scored 13 goals (good for second in the league and among playoff teams) in those situations, meaning they scored at a rate roughly 57 percent higher than in all situations and almost twice as high as during the five-on-five play.

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madison-bowey

Photo: Marissa Baecker/Getty Images

Caps’ top defensive prospect Madison Bowey was the hero in game four of the Kelowna Rockets’ first round WHL playoff series against the Tri-City Americans. Late in the second period, the Americans took a 4-1 lead with what looked like a back-breaking shorthanded goal. It was at that point the Rockets, fueled by Bowey, managed to turn the game around and sweep the series.

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Capitals Sign Prospect Travis Boyd

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Photo: Minnesota Men’s Hockey Facebook

The Capials have announced the signing of center Travis Boyd to a two-year entry-level contract.

21-year-old Boyd has spent the past four seasons at the University of Minnesota, where he centered the top line this season, which ended on Friday as the Gophers lost to intrastate rival Minnesota-Duluth in the first round of the Northeast regional tournament. Earlier this month, Minnesota won its first ever Big 10 tournament.

The native of Edina, MN was one day too old to be eligible for the 2012 draft.

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Senior Travis Boyd leads Minnesota to the NCAA Tournament (Photo: Brian Ekart)

With all six conference tournaments ending last Sunday, the field for the NCAA Tournament is set. This weekend, the top sixteen teams are divided in four single-elimination regional tournaments whose winners will face each in Frozen Four semifinals in Boston on April 9. The championship game will be played on April 11.

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nikita-soshnikov

Photo: Atlant-MO.ru

A few days after the Toronto Maple Leafs announced the signing of one of the KHL’s top young players Nikita Soshnikov from the Atlant Moscow Region, some interesting details about the move have come up.

Via Maple Leafs Hot Stove, here’s what Leafs’ Director of player personnel Mark Hunter had to say about the move.

We got a lead from Evgeny Namestnikov, who we hired as a scout for us over in Russia. He said come over to watch this young man who he liked a lot, who he coached.

The Maple Leafs hired Namestnikov, a former NHL player and father of current Tampa Bay Lightning forward Vlad, to scout for them while working as an assistant coach for Soshnikov’s Atlant. This went mostly unnoticed in North America, but Russia’s top hockey reporter Alexei Shevchenko, after confirming Namestnikov’s double affiliation, referred to situation as “awkward.”

I think what the Leafs did was an unfair practice and requires an NHL investigation regarding its legality and possibly prohibiting it in the future.

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christian-djoos

Photo: Ola Westerberg / Bildbyran

Defenseman Christian Djoos, drafted by the Capitals in the seventh round of the 2012 draft, is set to join the Hershey Bears. Djoos’ SHL season ended as Brynas was swept by regular-season champs Skelleftea.

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