Madison Bowey and Team Canada will try to bring Wolrd Junior supremacy to Canada on home soil. (Photo: Hockey Canada)
On Friday, the 2015 World Juniors will be underway in Montreal and Toronto. Two groups of five teams will be battling for ten days to determine the strongest junior team on the planet. It’s arguably the most meaningful and most exciting annual international hockey tournament.
The Washington Capitals will not be well represented at the tournament unlike in years past. After the club decided to not release Andre Burakovsky in a controversial move, only three Caps prospects will be playing at the tournament: Canadian defenseman Madison Bowey and two Czech nationals, forward Jakub Vrana and goalie Vitek Vanecek.
Photo: Kyle Mace/Chocolate Hockey
Remember a few weeks ago when we wrote about Stan Galiev scoring 3 goals in 3 games for Hershey? That torrid streak continued to 8 goals in 8 games before snapping this past weekend.
Galiev, who has 9 goals and 4 assists, is ranked second on the Bears in goals and fifth in points. This is a renaissance.
Let’s check out the other five goals from his 8-in-8 streak.
Photo: Tom Sorensen/USA Hockey
Capitals fifth-round pick Shane Gersich stays hot. After a tremendous start to the season with Omaha of the USHL that has him third in the league in goals, the Minnesota-native forward got the call to represent the US at the World Junior A Challenge. He’s done well there too.
Photo: Kyle Mace/Chocolate Hockey
Since turning pro, the career of Capitals 2010 third-round draft pick Stan Galiev hasn’t gone as expected. The dynamic winger struggled with system play and never found a role with the AHL’s Hershey Bears under coaches Mark French and Mike Haviland. He spent the majority of the last two seasons with Reading in the ECHL. Last year, injuries and scratches limited him to just 30 games between the AHL and ECHL.
Despite this stunning goal in the beginning of the season, 2014-15 started as more of the same for Galiev, who has been playing in North America since 2008. Galiev was scratched in five of seven games in the opening months. But now, it seems like we may actually see a breakout year for the Russian winger.
After scoring four goals in his first 44 career AHL games, Galiev has scored three in his last three, including a game-winner against St. John’s on Sunday. Those were the only goals Hershey scored those games.
This is pure joy. (Photo: Johan Bernstrom / Bildbyran)
Jakub Vrana, Capitals’ first-round pick at the last draft, scored a hat trick in his team’s 6-5 shootout win against Farjestad on Friday.
That is a hat trick as the Swedish scorekeepers count it: after scoring two goals in regulation, Vrana also netted a game-winning shootout attempt, which is considered a goal in Sweden, unlike in North America, where we call that a DC Hat Trick. The KHL used to count shootout game-winners as goals early in its existence, too, but then decided against it.
Vrana’s highlights are below the jump.
Photo: Peter Holgersson / Bildbyran
Capitals prospect Jakub Vrana scored a goal and an assist as his Linkoping defeated Lulea 3-1 in an SHL game. Vrana, who scored the game-winning goal on Saturday, now has five goals and five assists. That was his fourth two-point game of his SHL season.
The 18-year-old forward also had two two-point nights in the Champions Hockey League. This year, he has had six two-point nights in 21 outings.
Videos of Vrana’s highlights from Saturday are under the jump.
Photo: Peter Skaugvold / Bildbyran
Czech forward Jakub Vrana, who was selected by the Capitals in the first round of the 2014 draft, assisted on two goals as his Linkoping defeated Skelleftea AIK 3-1. Vrana missed the two previous matches (including a Champions League game against Sparta Prague) as he had not yet returned from Czech Republic, where he suited up for his national team at the junior Four Nations tournament.
Gersich with Team USA at the 2014 U18 World Juniors (Photo: IIHF)
Washington Capitals fifth-round pick in 2014 Draft Shane Gersich has been named to the Team USA roster for the 2014 World Junior A Challenge, the tournament showcasing the best players from “A” level leagues, such as the Canadian CJHL and the American USHL.
The tournament is held every year in Canada. This year, the games will be played in Kindersley, Saskatchewan.
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