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.
The Washington Capitals are hosting their Halloween Party tonight — see all the costumes here — and Alex Ovechkin just posted something ridiculous on his Instagram page. It’s a video of Salem, Massachusetts native Zach Sanford singing, or maybe I should say butchering, the Neil Diamond classic Sweet Caroline.
I must note that Sanford is dressed up as Dog The Bounty Hunter. He also got support with the backing vocals from the other Capitals players.
Sunday night, Capitals players held their annual Halloween Party at the Mari Vanna restaurant in Washington DC. The costumes were fantastic.
Superstar Alex Ovechkin slicked back his hair and put on a prisoner costume. His wife Nastya, who I’m guessing was his captor, dressed up as a police officer, potentially giving us an inside look into who truly wears the pants in that relationship. Meanwhile #CapsNeighbors Tom Wilson and Andre Burakovsky dressed up as stepbrothers and TJ Oshie and his wife Lauren were Mr. and Mrs Smith… with a twist.
Check out all the costumes below.
The Washington Capitals hosted their 2016-17 regular season home opener in style Saturday with a special red carpet event. As cars provided by Lexus dropped players off on F Street, diehard Caps fans lined the entrance, hoping for a picture or an autograph with their favorite athlete.
The event started at 3:30 and was hosted by PA Announcer Wes Johnson, who served as the master of ceremonies. Johnson introduced players as they arrived while preselected fans walked the players down the red carpet. Many Caps, including Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Tom Wilson, Nate Schmidt, and Andre Burakovsky, posed for selfies with fans before going inside Verizon Center.
That afternoon, RMNB had two photographers at the event, myself and the talented Katie Snyder (who you can follow on Instagram and Facebook). Snyder is one of the Redskins’ home-game photographers and graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Snyder also does a lot of freelance work, including family-based portraits.
Most people didn’t expect Zach Sanford to make the Capitals roster out of training camp about one month ago, especially if they had not had the pleasure of seeing him play in development camp or the South Florida Rookie Tournament. I had Sanford ranked eighth among current Caps prospects before camp. Despite the long odds, Sanford had enough positive performances in the preseason to prove to the coaches that he not only deserved to make the roster, but he may also start the season on the Capitals’ revamped third line.
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