On a night where a franchise record 20,662 stuffed animals were donated to charity, the Hershey Bears organization also saw a milestone achieved by one of its newest players.
22-year-old rookie Zach Sanford scored his first professional goal during Hershey’s 4-2 victory over Syracuse, Sunday night. After Nathan Walker forced a turnover, the Australian hit Sanford with a pass in front of the crease. Sanford then beat Crunch goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis with a pinpoint perfect shot over the blocker 23 seconds into the third period. The goal made it 2-0 Hershey.
The Hershey Bears were unable to push their win streak past four games Saturday night against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, losing in overtime 3-2.
With five minutes left in the game, Travis Boyd scored on a pinpoint wrister to force an extra frame. The game would mark the third straight game that Boyd has scored a goal and the sixth straight in which he has recorded at least one point. He has recorded at least one point in two thirds of games this year for the Bears (14 of 21)
Chris Bourque scored the only other goal for the Bears in the game. Vitek Vanecek stopped 25 shots in the overtime loss.
Sunday’s game against Syracuse will be Teddy Bear Toss Night.
Friday night, the Hershey Bears held on for a 4-3 win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on the backs of Christian Thomas and Travis Boyd.
After two second-period tallies, Thomas took sole position of the team lead in goals (11) over newly-graduated Jakub Vrana. On a first period assist and the game-winning goal in the third, Boyd moved into first on the team in points with 19.
Top prospect defenseman Madison Bowey also scored in his first game back following a four-game absence with a lower-body injury. Joe Cannata stopped 23 shots in the Bears’ fourth straight win.
While napping Wednesday afternoon, 20-year-old Jakub Vrana received the call he always dreamed about. With TJ Oshie injured and the Caps wanting more speed, Vrana was promoted to Washington and will make his NHL debut Thursday night against the New York Islanders.
At the time of his call-up, Vrana was the AHL’s third best goal-scorer, tallying nine goals in 18 games. Despite Paul Carey’s long point-per-game streak, Vrana has been by far and away the Bears’ most dangerous player. The talented Czech winger began the season in October with five goals in six games. He followed that up with a four-goals-in-six-games outburst in November. In 57 career AHL games, Vrana already has four multi-goal games.
Vrana will be bringing a skillset to Washington that includes a big shot along with plus-skating and stick-handling. The 2014 first-round pick’s talent is evident in all nine of the goals he scored so far this season.
Saturday night, the Hershey Bears were able to jump out to a three-goal lead over the Springfield Thunderbirds on goals from Travis Boyd, Chandler Stephenson, and Christian Thomas. Thomas’ goal would tie him with Jakub Vrana for the team lead (9).
Although the Thunderbirds were able to battle back in the second, the Bears would thwart any comeback attempts as Travis Boyd would score the eventual game-winner early in the third for his second goal of the game. It came off a dynamite Vrana assist. The win was the Bears’ second over the Thunderbirds in as many nights.
Vrana and Boyd are now tied for second on the Bears in points (16). Caps prospect goaltender Vitek Vanecek stopped 16 shots for the win. The win marked Troy Mann’s 100th with the Bears.
The Hershey Bears were able to beat the Springfield Thunderbirds 5-2 in the first leg of a home-and-home, Friday night. The Bears would receive a strong outing from goaltender Joe Cannata stopping 25 of 27 shots.
Liam O’Brien began the scoring for the Bears early in the first. After Springfield finished the period up 2-1, the Bears would score four unanswered goals to win the game 5-2.
The Hershey Bears dispatched their intra-state rival, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 4-0 in a scrappy game Wednesday night. Prospect goaltender Vitek Vanecek made 24 saves to earn his second shutout of the season.
Four different Bears scored including Zach Sill, Christian Thomas, Christian Djoos, and Paul Carey. Carey’s goal extended his point streak to 12 games.
The game was scoreless for the first 39:21 of the game until Zach Sill scored the eventual game winner.
Entering their game against the Syracuse Crunch Friday night, Hershey Bears players had no idea that some of them would be making one their final impressions before the Caps would call up a forward. They put on a good showing, defeating the Crunch 5-1.
Jakub Vrana opened up the scoring in the first with a breakaway goal after a nice pass from Chris Bourque. The tally would be Vrana’s eighth of the season. Bourque and Christian Thomas would each add two goals as the game went on.
Chris Bourque leads the Bears in points after Friday with four goals and twelve assists. Though Vrana owns the lead for goals with eight, veteran Christian Thomas has put up an impressive six for second on the team. Chandler Stephenson recorded three assists on the night as well, pushing his assist total to seven on the year. Vitek Vanecek stopped 23 of 24 shots for the win.
The Hershey Bears were able to snap their three-game skid Wednesday night in Utica, beating the Comets 4-2. Capitals prospect Nathan Walker scored two goals, including the game-winning tally. Recent ECHL call-up Domenic Monardo added two assists.
The Bears’ first goal was scored by Liam O’Brien on a fire drill in front of the net.Hershey would increase their lead later in the period on a Chris Bourque five-on-three power play goal with assists from Paul Carey and Jakub Vrana.
The assist marked Carey’s 12th point of the year in 13 games. Vrana’s assist would bring his season point total to ten. Walker now has four goals and four assists on the year. Bears Goalie Joe Cannata stopped a total of 19 shots against his former team.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.