Hershey update: 14-6-1-5, 2nd in the Atlantic Division. Last week: 1-2-0-0
Tom Wilson is not the only one in the Caps organization who is building a "reputation." Prospect Liam O'Brien is building a reputation of his own in Hershey after getting suspended twice in a just three days.
On Friday, O'Brien was issued a match penalty for hitting the head of Lehigh Valley forward Mark Alt. He was suspended for Hershey's game on Saturday and returned Sunday to face Syracuse. In that game, O'Brien earned a game misconduct for hitting Henri Ikonen into the boards.
You can see the hit here:
A lot of people may see that hit and think it was not worth a misconduct penalty, but it is a clear boarding call. The severity of a boarding penalty requires a lot of judgement from the referee. If you're just coming back from suspension, that's not a hit you can afford to make.
The AHL Issued a three-game suspension to the 21-year-old O'Brien who will now be out of action until the Bears' game on Dec. 31.
"It's kind of tough when it happens two games in a row," O'Brien said. "It looks really bad. [Sunday's incident] was stupid. I've got to control that situation a lot better than I did."
O'Brien currently leads the team with 53 penalty minutes.
In what was a difficult week for the Bears, a few of the Caps prospects really shined.
Travis Boyd's arrival in Hershey was a bit overshadowed by Jakub Vrana and Riley Barber, but he is proving to be a very talented player. Check out the stick work on his late goal against Lehigh Valley:
Very little went right for the Bears on Saturday night in a 6-2 loss to Toronto. Madison Bowey assisted on both goals, however, and made a tremendous play to setup Aaron Ness' goal in the first period:
A busy week has Connor Carrick back where he started in Hershey. After some terrific play with the Bears, Carrick earned himself a call-up to the Caps on Dec. 17. Carrick was a healthy scratch for three Caps' games and was then sent back down to Hershey on Tuesday.
The move leaves the Caps with six healthy defensemen, plus Brooks Orpik. That could signal that Orpik is nearing a return or that the Caps will soon make another recall.
Other prospect notes:
Defenseman Connor Hobbs had himself a game on Friday. He recorded two assists for the Regina Pats in their loss to Saskatoon. He also pulled off a brilliant hip check and was in a fight. A defenseman with offensive instincts capable of playing a physical style, think there could be room for someone like that in the NHL?
You can see the highlights of Friday's game here:
Vitek Vanecek started in net for the Czech Republic in a junior exhibition game against Canada. He allowed only one goal in the 1-0 loss.
The game was a tuneup for the IIHF World Junior Championship set to take place in Finland starting Saturday. Both Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov are expected to start for the Czech Republic and Russia respectively. Defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler will also be there representing Team Switzerland.
Vrana was expected to participate, but his wrist injury will prevent him from playing for team up with Vanecek on the Czech team.
The tournament begins on Saturday.