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.
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.
Washington Capitals prospect Garrett Mitchell is expected to miss four to six months as he recovers from shoulder surgery. According to Tim Leone of The Patriot-News, the surgery is scheduled for Thursday in Washington.
Mitchell has a torn labrum in his right shoulder. He said he’s had shoulder problems for most of the season, but the ailment was aggravated on Nov. 24 during a game against the Binghamton Senators.
The Washington Capitals have tried to improve their physical play in recent years, adding more power forward prospects into their system. On Sunday, two of those prospects playing for the Caps’ AHL affiliate in Hershey — Michael Latta and Garrett Mitchell — combined for a big hit on Norfolk Admirals’ forward and Anaheim Ducks prospect Max Friberg. The hit was so powerful that it made the glass unhinge and fly into the Giant Center crowd.
Washington Capitals defensive prospect Dmitry Orlov set his AHL high with four points (one goal, three assists) in the Hershey Bears’ 4-0 away victory over the St. John’s IceCaps on Saturday. Philipp Grubauer‘s shutout gave the Bears their first win of the season (1-2-1).
Orlov missed an NHL recall opportunity this week as a case of pink eye kept him from filling in for John Erskine. Orlov was healthy-scratched out of Friday’s Bears game as well, but after a 5-1 loss the night before, Bears coach Mike Haviland made two changes to the lineup, one of which was putting Orlov in for Tomas Kundratek.
Goaltender David Leggio spent all of last season with Buffalo’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Rochester Americans. Leggio was dominant, winning 38 games and sporting a .924 save percentage. That performance merited MVP consideration at season’s end.
With Dany Sabourin having left during the offseason in favor of playing in Austria, the Hershey Bears were in desperate need of a veteran goaltender that could share the load and help mentor Capitals prospect Philipp Grubauer. Bears’ general manager Doug Yingst found his man in Leggio and signed the goaltender to a two-way contract for 2013-14.
“Obviously, the Bears are one of the best franchises in the AHL,” Leggio said to The Patriot-News’ Tim Leone during the summer. “They’ve won championships and the arena’s always packed. I’m very excited to come to a place where I feel we’ll have a chance to win a championship. They’ve won championships in the past and have a commitment to winning.”
On Tuesday, the Bears opened training camp and Leggio arrived in style. He just might have the coolest mask in the AHL.
Carrick signs his deal. (Photo credit: @CapitalsPR)
Capitals defensive prospect Connor Carrick has signed a three-year entry-level contract with the club, according to Mike Vogel. Via CSN’s Chuck Gormley, Carrick’s deal carries a $550,000 NHL salary in years one and two, and a cap hit of $575,000 in year three.