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!
Photo: Kyle Mace
Friday night in Lehigh Valley, Washington Capitals defense prospect Patrick Wey suffered what the Hershey Bears are calling a “day-to-day upper body injury” after getting elbowed in the head by goon Jay Rosehill.
The play occurred in the Phantoms’ zone. As Wey pinched and tried to keep the forecheck going, Rosehill elbowed him in the head.
Photo: Hartford Wolf Pack
On Sunday afternoon, Capitals’ AHL affiliate Hershey Bears defeated the Hartford Wolf Pack 1-0 on a goal scored by Casey Wellman with just 1.5 seconds remaining in overtime. Wolf Pack goalie Jason Missiaen made 36 saves on 37 shots over 67 minutes of play, while Caps prospect Pheonix Copley held down the fort for the Bears, recording his first shutout as a pro.
Photo: Kyle Mace
The Hershey Bears lost their season opener to the Norfolk Admirals, but a goal by Steve Oleksy gave the hometown fans something to cheer about.
Oleksy, having narrowly missed a roster spot with the big club, will spend the season in the AHL unless he gets called up. Plays like this are exactly what Oleksy needs to stay on Washington’s radar.
On Wednesday, the Hershey Bears opened their preseason by playing the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at the brand new PPL Center. The result of the actual game however is secondary to the sick goal Russian prospect Stan Galiev scored.
Galiev does a 360, passes the puck to himself, goes through two defenders, and then snipes the puck to the top right corner of the net.
Just look at this!
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