Hershey update: 6-2-2-0, 2nd in the Atlantic Division. Last week: 3-0-0-0
The Hershey Bears seem to be hitting their stride with five straight wins and a point streak of eight games.
Defenseman Colby Williams’ first professional goal was a memorable one as he scored the overtime winner Friday against Springfield.
Overtime is a great time to net your first pro goal. pic.twitter.com/FHwwz9Cada— AHL (@TheAHL) November 5, 2016
In addition, Williams added another goal and two assists in the team’s three games over the past week. His production this season is a really good sign considering the injury struggles he had last year. In his final WHL season, Williams was limited to only 19 games after he suffered a serious injury to his hand that affected his nerves and required two surgeries.
Vitek Vanecek earned his first AHL shutout on Saturday, turning aside all 29 shots he faced in a 4-0 win over Albany. Vanecek was strong in the game’s final period as Albany managed 14 shots in the third.
Check out the highlights of Saturday’s game here:
Vanecek seems to be making the transition to the AHL with ease with a phenomenal .949 save percentage and 1.51 goals-against percentage in four games this season.
Stanislav Galiev scored his first goal of the season on Saturday, just one week after being a healthy scratch. Head coach Troy Mann has not bee shy about scratching some of his stars in the early season to send a message. Jakub Vrana was scratched and responded with a big week last week. The tactic seems to have worked with Galiev as well.
Then again, you can’t bench Galiev too much considering he’s back in Hershey because he desperately needs playing time. Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post spoke with Galiev last week about his mindset while back in the AHL. You can read the article here.
It’s not all business for the Bears. When you’re on a five-game win streak you can afford to take some time out to have some fun. Hershey did just that with their version of the Mannequin Challenge.
Other prospect notes:
With a day off in Winnipeg, T.J. Oshie and Taylor Chorney decided to take a trip to the University of North Dakota where both players played in college. While there, they were able to watch practice and meet the players including Caps’ prospect Shane Gersich.
“I see him in the summer too, so I know him,” Chorney said of Gersich. “He's actually one of the few guys on the team that I know enough to say hi and shake his hand. He's good, he's got a ton of skill, you can tell. We only watched practice so it's tough to say for sure, but I think that he'll definitely have a chance to play. He looked good out there.”
“We met all of the guys,” Oshie said. “Didn’t really get to do too many one-on-one talks. But just watching them practice, these kids can play, and they can skate. I don’t remember being able to skate like they can when I was that age. It shows the direction that the game is going.”
Gersich tallied two assists in Friday’s tie with Minnesota.
Chase Priskie returned to action for Quinnipiac on Friday tallying an assist in the team’s win over Clarkson. Priskie missed one game after he was sent head first into the boards in a game against UConn Oct. 19.
“Priskie’s presence on the blue line, and on special teams, is essential to Quinnipiac’s game plan,” writes Chip Malafronte of the New Haven Register. “He thrived as a freshman last winter, when he scored 26 points while taking just two minutes in penalties over 43 games.”
Defenseman Connor Hobbs was named the WHL Player of the Week for the week of Oct. 31 through Nov. 6. During that stretch, Hobbs registered one goal and six assists in two games for the Regina Pats, including three assists in a crazy game against Saskatoon on Friday.
In addition to the three assists, Hobbs was also given a game misconduct as the game erupted into a line brawl late in the third period. You can watch the highlights here:
Through 15 games, Regina is the only team in the WHL without a regulation loss.
Hobbs also played for Team WHL as the CIBC Canada-Russia Series began. Hobbs played in Games 1 and 2 tallying one assist as the WHL earned a split with Team Russia with both teams winning one game. Fellow Caps prospect Dmitry Zaitsev earned an assist in each game for Russia, though John Griff of SportsNet did not seem all that impressed.
Goalie Ilya Samsonov also represented Russia last week in a different tournament. The Four Nations Tournament took place in Gothenburg, Sweden with U20 teams for Russia, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic all participating.
Samsonov made 28 saves in the team’s opener on Friday, a 2-1 loss to Finland. He did not dress for the team’s second game but was given the start for the finale against Sweden. After giving up two goals within 26 seconds apart in the second period, Samsonov was pulled. He finished with four goals allowed on 19 shots.
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