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.
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.
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.
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.
#Caps defenseman Nate Schmidt sustained an injury (scapular fracture) last night in Hershey and will be out 6-8 weeks.
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) January 12, 2015
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.
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.
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: Kyle Mace of Chocolate Hockey
Steve Oleksy, stuck in Hershey due to Washington’s defensive depth, scored one of the biggest goals of his career Sunday, well at least in my opinion. Thirty-nine seconds into the first period, Binky sneaked into the slot and scored Hershey’s 2014 Teddy Bear Toss goal.
Oleksy’s tally unleashed 17,295 stuffed animals which were thrown onto the ice by fans at Giant Center. All of the bears will be donated to needy children, which is so awesome.
Photo: Kyle Mace – Chocolate Hockey
Last night in Hershey, Caps goaltending prospect Pheonix Copley did something remarkable. No, I’m not talking about the AHL rookie’s second straight shutout. Nor am I talking about his mind-boggling shutout streak of 144:28.
Copley tried to scored an empty net goal!
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