Wednesday morning, the Washington Capitals re-assigned forward Zach Sanford back to AHL affiliate Hershey Bears. The move comes as the NHL’s holiday roster freeze was lifted after the three-day Christmas break. Since his call-up back to Washington, Sanford played in one game and was a healthy scratch a majority of the time.
“He’s on the ice,” Barry Trotz Trotz explained to the Washington Post before the holiday break. “He’s seeing what we’re doing, just taking in that whole process. I think it’s good. Right now, if he was in Hershey, he wouldn’t be skating. He’d be at home, and I think there’s more benefit for him to be here. We feel that if a certain role opens up, that’s where he’ll go in.”
According to the Hershey Bears, Sanford will join the team in Syracuse for their game Wednesday night.
On Saturday morning, as the roads piled up with cars driven by Washingtonians befuddled by winter, the Capitals jumbled their roster, calling up Zach Sanford from the AHL.
Sanford started the season with the Caps, playing 19 games. After only registering one point in NHL, he was sent down to the minors at the end of November. In just six games with the Bears, Sanford scored four goals (including his first professional marker) and had three assists, earning his call up back to the Caps.
“It was good for me,” Sanford said of his time in Hershey, which was his first experience in the AHL after signing with Washington out of college. “I thought I went in with a good mindset. I was going to work as hard as I could and not be pissed off about anything. It turned out well for me.”
2013 second-round pick Zach Sanford had his biggest night as a professional Sunday, scoring two goals and registering four points in Hershey’s 6-1 rout of Rochester. Sanford’s four points were the most accumulated in a game by a Hershey Bears player this season.
The Bears went into the first intermission trailing the Americans 1-0. Then it was Sanny time.
Friday night, the Hershey Bears jumped all over their rival, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, to the tune of a 5-2 victory. The win extends Hershey’s point streak to ten games and pushes the Bears atop the AHL’s Atlantic Division.
Two quick first period tallies from Australian Nathan Walker and Chandler Stephenson set the tone and the Bears never really looked back from there.
Recently demoted Caps prospect, Zach Sanford got the game-winning goal later in the second period, his second AHL goal. Zach Sill and Garrett Mitchell added the remaining two tallies. Vitek Vanecek earned the win in goal for the Bears stopping 26 shots
On a night where a franchise record 20,662 stuffed animals were donated to charity, the Hershey Bears organization also saw a milestone achieved by one of its newest players.
22-year-old rookie Zach Sanford scored his first professional goal during Hershey’s 4-2 victory over Syracuse, Sunday night. After Nathan Walker forced a turnover, the Australian hit Sanford with a pass in front of the crease. Sanford then beat Crunch goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis with a pinpoint perfect shot over the blocker 23 seconds into the third period. The goal made it 2-0 Hershey.
After showing flashes of brilliance during the preseason, Zach Sanford was the surprise of training camp, earning a roster spot and a regular spot in the lineup with the Capitals. But after tallying a lone assist and a 48.88% corsi* in 19 NHL games, the former standout from Boston College was reassigned to the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears on Wednesday.
The corresponding roster move was significant. The Caps finally called up talented 2014 first-round pick Jakub Vrana as well as veteran forward Paul Carey.
So far this season, Vrana has nine goals in 18 games with the Bears. He ranks third on the team with 16 points, trailing only Chris Bourque and Travis Boyd (17).
Vrana will likely take Sanford’s place in the lineup while Carey serves as insurance with TJ Oshie out with a shoulder injury.
21-year-old Zach Sanford registered his first NHL point of his young career Sunday, tallying a secondary assist on Brett Connolly’s first goal as a Capital.
After the game Sanford posed with the milestone puck.
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