Tuesday, the Washington Capitals’ AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears, took the mannequin challenge after practice and it turned out fantastic.
For those who have not been hip to the happenings of the internet for the last week, the Mannequin Challenge involves a group of people being completely still in mid-action poses often while playing a song (like “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmud). It’s taken the internet by storm. Celebrities, athletes, students and even Hillary Clinton have joined in on this viral craze.
The Hershey Bears did their best Washington Capitals impression Sunday evening, besting the Rochester Americans 5-3 to win their fifth straight game. They swept their weekend three-in-three. After losing four of their first five, Hershey has cruised to a 6-2-2 record while recording points in eight straight outings including Sunday.
Five different Bears scored goals for Hershey, and eight others got assists. Christian Thomas would score a first period goal for the Bears for the second time in two nights on a nice backhand feed from prospect Chandler Stephenson. Riley Barber added to the Bears lead later in the first on a tip in front of the net off a Chris Bourque centering pass, his third goal of the season. Along with two tallies from Rochester in the second, Nathan Walker would get his second goal of the year on a Zach Sill pass from behind the net.
Bears Captain Garrett Mitchell scored the fourth goal for the Bears at the beginning of the third on a nice little drop pass from Sill, a goal that would end up being the game-winner. Sill ended the game with two assists. Aaron Ness added an insurance power play marker with a little over eleven minutes left in the game.
Goaltender Joe Cannata made 21 stops in the victory, posting his fourth win of the season.
Capitals goaltending prospect Vitek Vanecek stopped 29 Albany Devils shots for his first career AHL shutout Saturday. The Bears got off to a quick start, taking a 3-0 lead into the first intermission. The Bears were buoyed by tallies from veterans Christian Thomas, Brad Malone, and Stan Galiev, all in a 3:06 span. Galiev’s goal was his first AHL tally since the 2015-16 season, where he scored 3 goals in five games.
First year pro Colby Williams would score his second goal in as many nights to cap the Bears scoring in the second period. The 2015 sixth round pick’s overtime goal Friday gave the Bears a victory over the Springfield Thunderbirds.
Vanecek needed to stop 14 shots in the third to preserve the shutout and the 4-0 win for the Bears.
Friday night, the Hershey Bears trailed the Springfield Thunderbirds 2-1 going into the third period. Halfway through the period, Brad Malone tied the game, forcing the game to an extra frame.
In overtime, Travis Boyd led a rush up the ice and chipped a pass to 21-year-old defenseman Colby Williams. The 2015 sixth round pick out-waited the opposing netminder and tucked home the game winner on his backhand. It was Williams’ first professional goal. Joe Cannata made 27 saves in the win.
Sunday night in Hershey, the Bears won their second game in 24 hours after a goal and assist performance from top prospect, Jakub Vrana. After Brad Malone opened the scoring for the Bears in the first, Vrana would score the go-ahead goal in the second period off a nice takeaway and pass by Travis Boyd. At the end of the second period, Vrana would author a brilliant assist on the game-winning power play goal by Paul Carey.
The Bears held on to win the game behind 22 stops from netminder Vitek Vanecek.
Saturday Night, the Hershey Bears tallied their second win of the season in dominant fashion. The Bears put up a touchdown (and an extra point), destroying the Binghamton Senators 7-2. All the Caps top prospects’ contributed in the win.
Jakub Vrana and Christian Thomas scored two goals apiece while Madison Bowey, Riley Barber, and Chris Bourque recorded the Bears’ other three goals. Hershey goaltender Joe Cannata stopped 15 of the Wolf Pack’s 17 shots.
Wednesday night, the Hershey Bears suffered their fourth loss of the season, a 3-2 loss to the Hartford Wolf Pack. The Bears were able to force overtime and extend their point streak to three, however. Tyler Lewington and Paul Carey recorded the two Hershey goals. Ex-Capital and Hershey Bear Chris Brown scored the Wolf Pack’s first goal off his skate. Hershey goaltender Joe Cannata stopped 32 of the Wolf Pack’s 35 shots in the loss.
The Hershey Bears fell to 1-3 on the season after a heartbreaking 2-1 overtime loss to rival Wilkes-Barre Scranton. The Bears’ only goal belonged to Caps prospect Riley Barber. The goal was Barber’s first of the year and was made off a centering pass from Chris Bourque.
Hershey goaltender Vitek Vanecek looked very calm in net, making 33 saves. The Penguins would win on a penalty shot goal by Dominik Simon.
The Hershey Bears won their first game of the 2016-17 AHL season, defeating the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 5-2 at GIANT Center, Saturday night. Five different Bears scored including several top prospects. 2014 third-round pick Nathan Walker netted his first goal of the season after going one-on-one with a Sound Tiger defenseman and overpowering him to the net. Walker was shoved into goaltender Stephon Williams and the puck somehow went in. Meanwhile Madison Bowey also scored a spectacular empty-net goal in the game’s final minute from the Bears zone. The goal gave Bowey the team lead in points (1 goal, 2 assists). Paul Carey, Aaron Ness (PP), and Brad Malone also scored.
Before tonight’s blowout, the Bears (1-2-0) were outscored 8-4 during their opening two games of the season. They will play rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins tomorrow night.
The Washington Capitals just announced that they have extended their affiliation with AHL Hershey through the 2019-20 season.
“We are excited to extend our long-running affiliation with the Hershey Bears for four more years,” Capitals GM Brian MacLellan said in a release. “The success of our organization over the last decade speaks volumes about the strength of our relationship with Hershey. Our affiliation makes sense both geographically and on the ice, and we look forward to continuing to work with the Bears to develop our prospects into quality NHL players.”
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