Hershey update: 18-11-1-5, 4th in the Atlantic Division. Last week: 2-0-0-0
The Hershey Bears snapped a three-game losing skid in dramatic fashion on Saturday as they battled back from a 5-1 deficit to beat Binghamton 6-5 in overtime.
Madison Bowey had three assists, Christian Djoos had two, but the player who really impressed was Nathan Walker who scored two goals and one assist.
With Zach Sill up with the Caps and Chandler Stephenson day-to-day with an upper-body injury, Walker was moved from wing to center for both of Hershey's games last week. It's a move Walker and head coach Troy Mann have discussed before, but was never tried until now.
Walker added an assist in Sunday's win over Bridgeport Sound for four points in his first two games at center. Not a bad debut. Whether he continues playing center or if this is strictly temporary is definitely something to keep an eye on.
While everyone was paying attention to the NHL All-Star rosters, the AHL announced their teams as well and two Bears made the cut. Connor Carrick will join Chris Bourque as an Atlantic Division All-Star for the AHL All-Star Classic. In 28 games this season, Carrick has eight goals and seven assists.
Jakub Vrana appears to be inching closer to a return. According to Pat Welter of ABC 27, Vrana visited a doctor Wednesday and "is close to being cleared for full contact."
Other prospect notes:
Ilya Samsonov earned silver in this year's IIHF World Junior Championship as Russia fell to Finland in the finals. Though he was expected to start heading into the tournament, Alexander Georgiev took the bulk of the starts and Samsonov only played in one game in the round robin.
Georgiev was shaky in the quarterfinals, allowing three goals on 21 shots, and head coach Valeri Braglin decided to start Samsonov in the semifinals against the United States. Samsonov stopped 26 of 27 shots in a 2-1 Russia win, but Bragin surprisingly went back to Georgiev in the finals. The move did not pay off as Russia lost in overtime.
In two games, Samsonov posted a .956 save percentage with a 1.00 GAA. As a comparison, Georgiev had a .898 save percentage and 2.52 GAA.
Samsonov was also wearing a pretty awesome Assassins Creed goalie mask.
Goalie Vitek Vanecek started in all five of the Czech Republic's games, but was pulled in the quarterfinals after the U.S. jumped out to a 2-0 lead. This article offers a pretty thorough breakdown of what went wrong in the quarterfinal loss and whether Vanecek was really to blame.
For the tournament, Vanecek went 2-3 with a .881 save percentage, 2.73 GAA and one shutout.
Despite entering the tournament with high hopes, Jonas Siegenthaler's Swiss team only narrowly avoided relegation thanks to two wins over Belarus. The young defenseman had only one assist for the entire tournament, but he led all Swiss defensemen in shots (11).
Some troubling news out of Regina where defenseman Colby Williams will undergo wrist surgery. Williams suffered an arm injury over the summer which, according to Greg Hrader of the Regina Leader-Post, "caused significant nerve damage." He missed the first 16 games of the season, only returning on Nov. 13. As he is still missing strength in his hand and wrist, it was decided that he needed a followup procedure.
Williams is expected to return before the end of the season.
Tim McGauley continues his remarkable resurgence for the Brandon Wheat Kings with another goal this week. After missing much of the start of the season due to injury, McGauley now has 19 points in 19 games.
In the college ranks, Steven Spinner recorded three assist in Nebrakas-Omaha's 6-0 win over Trinity Western. As the game was an exhibition, however, none of those points will count towards his stats for the season.
Thomas DiPauli scored the shootout winner for Notre Dame over Denver on New Year's Day. You can watch it here. He also tallied another goal in the rematch the next day.
The top team in the nation was dethroned this week as Brown upset Providence 4-3 despite Brian Pinho's effort. Pinho showed very good hands in this game with a goal and an assist for the Friars.
Check out the highlights. Pinho assisted on Providence's first goal and he scored their third:
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