jakub-vrana

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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jakub-vrana

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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dmitry-orlov-rehab-1

Photo: Kyle Mace/Chocolate Hockey

On Wednesday night Dmitry Orlov concluded his conditioning assignment in Hershey. The Russian defender has been out all season while rehabilitating the wrist injury he suffered in the World Championship last May.

In three games with Hershey, Orlov had three assists and six shots. He seems to have his heavy, booming slap shot back. Over the weekend, Orlov tallied two primary assists on the power play, just by rifling the puck on net.

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burakovsky-stare-down1

Photos: Kyle Mace/Chocolate Hockey

Sunday in Bridgeport, CT, Washington Capitals prospect/guy-that-should-really-be-on-the-team-right-now Andre Burakovsky had a goal and an assist in the Hershey Bears’ 4-3 win over the Sound Tigers. The victory clinched a playoff spot for Hershey.

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andre-burakovsky-first-ahl-goal

Photo: Kyle Mace / Chocolate Hockey

Friday night in Portland, Maine, one Washington Capitals prospect had an odd milestone. 2013 first-round pick Andre Burakovsky scored his first American Hockey League goal. In an odd twist, it came 163 days after his first NHL goal earlier this season.

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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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Hockey is Even Better in Slow Motion (Video)

Much like Jay Beagle, I discarded my dearest flipper this season and traded it in for an iPhone 6. On Saturday, I went to the Hershey Bears game and went crazy with its video settings and some attachable camera lenses I bought. The results were incredible.

From my glass side seats I captured Mike Moore‘s overtime game-winning goal and the Bears subsequent celebration. Like they celebrated freaking inches from me. While I didn’t notice it live, former Caps enforcer Liam O’Brien kissed Moore on the noggin. Also, I’ve never seen Philipp Grubauer so excited in my life.

No matter if it was Steve Oleksy doing a double skate stop in front of the net or Connor Carrick flipping the puck to himself skating up the ice, there are so many amazing things we miss in hockey at full speed. So I slowed them down.

Here are the Hershey Bears in slow-motion.

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carrick-hardest-shot

Photo: AHL

After the NHL All-Star Game wrapped up, the AHL held their own all-star skills competition in Utica, New York. The Caps-affiliated Hershey Bears were well-represented at the event with Philipp Grubauer, Connor Carrick, and veteran Tim Kennedy competing for the Eastern Conference.

According to The Patriot-News’ Tim Leone, Grubauer won the AHL’s top goaltender award after stopping 16 of 19 shots. That’s cool. Then there’s Carrick.

The 20-year-old defenseman, who spent a large chunk of last year in Washington, unleashed a 98 MPH slapshot during the Hardest Shot competition, which is kind of surprising. His three scores, according to Chocolate Hockey, were 93 MPH, 98 MPH, and 93.2 MPH.

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nate-schmidt-hershey-bears-7

Photo: Kyle Mace / Chocolate Hockey

UPDATE, January 12, 10:40 AM. Schmidt has a fracture in his shoulder blade and will miss 6-8 weeks.

Washington Capitals defenseman Nate Schmidt is just a ball of positive energy regardless of the Schmiduation. After only playing in two NHL games since December 18th (despite having the second best possession numbers among all Caps defensemen), head coach Barry Trotz sent Schmidt down to Hershey to get in some work over the weekend.

On Saturday, Schmidt nearly scored a hat trick. Then, on Sunday, the 23-year-old defenseman got injured (the severity is still unknown) after taking a run from Admirals forward Chris Wagner.

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nathan-walker-snowglobe-kangaroo

Photo: Hershey Bears

Nathan Walker is the first Australian to be drafted by an NHL team. Someday he’ll be the first Australian to play in the NHL, but right now, Walker is the first Australian to play in the American Hockey League.

The Hershey Bears are doing something to honor that fact. On Saturday, the Bears will be giving snow globes away to the first 5,000 fans.

The globes will showcase Walker. Also: a kangaroo.

I’m not making this up. Look at this zoomed-in photo below. That really is a kangaroo.

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