Photo: Hershey Bears
The Hershey Bears just disposed of the Toronto Marlies in five games, earning their first trip to the Calder Cup Finals since 2010. The chocolate and white will play the Columbus Blue Jackets’ AHL affiliate, the Lake Erie Monsters (who has hockey’s hottest new tradition) in the championship series beginning Wednesday.
The Bears jumped out to a 3-0 lead, scoring two goals in the first 2:13 of the second period. The Marlies chipped away and made it close, scoring once in the second period and then a second time midway through the third period. But the Bears would hold on, with NHL veteran Justin Peters making 21 saves.
Hello, Capitals fans. As you mourn, you may wish for a hockey fix to fill that hole in your heart. If the NHL’s playoffs can’t do justice for you because you begin to weep every time you hear Pierre McGuire’s voice (oh, that’s a normal symptom when he talks?), I have just the hockey fix for you.
The Hershey Bears.
Let me give you an introduction to the organization and this year’s team.
Last night, the Hershey Bears defeated the WBS Penguins in Game Seven with Caps prospect Travis Boyd playing the hero.
Bears radio announcer, Scott Stuccio, was — let’s just say — excited during the goal call.
Photo: Kyle Mace/Chocolate Hockey
The Caps’ affiliate just dispatched the Penguins’ affiliate in the second round of the AHL playoffs. It was all because of Caps’ 2011 sixth round pick Travis Boyd.
The 22-year-old prospect scored the biggest goal of his professional career, tucking a beautiful no-angle shot underneath the crossbar after skating out from behind the Baby Pens net.
Photo: Kyle Mace
The Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins are currently engaged in a brutal playoff series, which has featured multiple head shots and two suspensions. Meanwhile, in the American Hockey League, the two organizations’ farm teams are playing each other and things have gotten feisty as well.
Monday during Game Four, Hershey Bears and WBS Penguins players almost brawled during warm-ups, trash talking each other at center ice. According to Chocolate Hockey’s Kyle Mace, Penguins’ forward Tom Sestito tripped Liam O’Brien, looking for a fight. After the game, the rivalry spilled onto social media, with O’Brien verbally eviscerating Sestito on Twitter.
Photo: Kyle Mace/Chocolate Hockey
While the Capitals had last night off, their minor-league AHL affiliate Hershey Bears delivered a shellacking to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The Bears won 8-0, which included two goals 19 seconds apart. Per the AHL’s PR, it was Hershey’s largest margin of victory in a road shutout in the team’s 78-year history.
It was also a memorable night for one of the Capitals’ newest prospects. Via Chocolate Hockey, 18-year-old defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler scored his first AHL point in his first AHL game, assisting on a second period goal scored by Erik Burgdoerfer.
Photo: Hoodie Allen
Before Wiz Khalifa and Fallout Boy performed at Giant Center tonight, opener Hoodie Allen took the stage. And the rapper did so in a Hershey Bears jersey. This is tremendous. This is almost as cool as Snoop Dogg rapping in a Caps jersey.
There’s much, much more about it at Chocolate Hockey, a Bears blog run by former RMNB member and my forever little brother Kyle Mace. Check it out >>
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.
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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