Whatever you think of Bruce Boudreau, he will forever be a part of DC hockey lore. He transformed the Washington Capitals into contenders, won the Jack Adams his first year behind the bench, and he invigorated a languid fan base. He had stories; amazing hockey stories. After talking with Caps radio man John Walton, I’m ready to share one of Bruce’s most legendary moments.
On December 26, 2006, Bruce Boudreau — a few months after his first AHL championship and exactly a full year before he was permanently hired as head coach of the Washington Capitals — jumped onto a bus with the Hershey Bears for a 220-mile jaunt up I-95 to Bridgeport, Connecticut. The Bears had Christmas off and were forced to travel the day of the game. The drive usually takes about three and a half hours.
The team ran into post-holiday traffic, pushing their arrival time back a few hours. When the Bears finally arrived at the Arena at Harbor Yard, they had just 20 minutes before warm-ups. As each player grabbed his gear off the bus, they ran to the locker room. Boudreau, who always preferred the comfort of his track-suit on the bus, grabbed his only companion, a suit bag, and headed inside to the visiting team’s coaches’ office along with assistant Bob Woods and general manager Doug Yingst.
Tonight, we had the pleasure of having our own Hershey Correspondent Kyle M. down on the ice as the Hershey Bears celebrated their 11th Championship in Franchise History. And boy did he get some great photos.
Below the jump, check out Bryan Helmer hoisting the Calder Cup, the Bourque family celebrating Chris’s MVP Award, Doug Yingst getting a champagne shower from Michal Neuvirth and Francois Bouchard losing his dang mind. The overriding theme of these photos is “WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!”
The Hershey Bears concluded a brutal stretch of four games in five mornings/nights today, as they took on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at 1:00 p.m. The game, originally scheduled for 3PM, was bumped up two hours early to accommodate the Gold Medal Game between the United States and Canada.
In his first start since returning from the Russian National Team in the Olympics (and eating McDonald’s everyday), Semyon Varlamov played splendidly against the Baby Pens stopping 30 shots and thwarting three consecutive opportunities in the shootout as the Bears prevailed 2-1. After falling behind 2-0 in the shootout, clutch goals by Keith Aucoin, Alex Giroux and the previous night’s hero (more on that later) Mathieu Perreault allowed Hershey to win the shootout 3-2. Kyle Wilson scored Hershey’s lone goal of the game during regulation, despite the Bears peppering Baby Pens goalie Brad Thiessen with 33 shots. The win was Hershey’s 46th on the season.
Saturday night with Bruce Boudreau in attendence for a pregame book signing, the Hershey Bears pushed their incredible AHL Record home winning streak to 21 with a resounding 9-2 victory over the New York Islanders farm team, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Hershey jumped out to a 5-1 first period lead on the heels of a first period hat trick by everyone’s favorite miniature-sized-center Mathieu Perreault.
Perreault ended the night with an incredible four goals, including one on a penalty shot in the second period. Other crazy stats accumulated during the night? Prepare yourself:
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