Hershey update: 24-13-7-3, 5th in the Atlantic Division. Last week: 3-0-0-0
After a rough January, the Hershey Bears are rebounding with four straight wins including three last week.
Stanislav Galiev was on fire with four goals and one assist in three games, including a hat trick against Binghamton on Friday. It was Galiev’s first AHL over the weekend, Galiev has already matched his entire total for January.
The Bears should get a boost this week with the return of Riley Barber. Barber has been out of the lineup since November with an upper-body injury, but was cleared for contact last week. Hershey head coach Troy Mann told CSN that if there were no setbacks, he hoped to have Barber back in the lineup on Friday, Feb. 10. With three games this week, if Barber is not ready for Friday’s contest he still should be back at some point over the weekend.
The past week has seen Chandler Stephenson and Jakub Vrana recalled by the Caps and then sent back down to Hershey. Zach Sanford is now the latest callup and is currently with the Caps.
Washington has been carrying the minimum of 12 forwards on their roster and choosing to add players from Hershey for brief stretches. Barry Trotz has called these recalls a reward for good play.
Defenseman Christian Djoos spoke with Don Scott of the Lebanon Daily News about his time in the AHL and what is was like to get drafted by the Caps in 2012.
“I was very happy to be drafted by the Capitals because I grew up in the same town as Nicklas Backstrom so Washington was my favorite team for the same reason. This is my second full year here and I like this area, the community and the people here.”
Djoos tallied one goal and two assists in the Bears’ three games over the week.
Other prospect notes:
Damien Riat and Jonas Siegenthaler have gotten a promotion. After a successful showing in the World Junior Championship, both players were added to Switzerland’s senior national team for the upcoming Slovakia Cup. Siegenthaler, however, will not participate due to an injury. Switzerland plays Belarus on Friday.
Ilya Samsonov is also suiting up for his national team as Team Russia is competing in the Sweden Hockey Games tournament. Russia’s first game is on Thursday against Finland.
To prepare, Samsonov caught some fruit in a shopping cart at a grocery store. No, I’m not making this up.
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It was a tough week for Shane Gersich as North Dakota lost both of its games to St. Cloud State. Gersich tallied only one assist, but, as Brad Elliott Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald writes, he has established himself as one of the top offensive playmakers in the nation.
Gersich already has 18 goals this season after tallying just nine last year. Part of that improvement is the extra work he does in the morning. Twice a week, Gersich works on his game with an assistant coach on the ice for about half an hour before heading to class.
Interestingly enough, the coaches seem to believe his boost in offense is tied to what he does defensively.
"First and foremost, he isn't a guy who waits for the puck and says, 'Hey, give me the puck, I'm going to score,'" UND coach Brad Berry said. "He goes and gets it. He's a worker.
"If you watch him on the ice, he's one of the first guys tracking back through the neutral zone, trying to get the puck back. He plays with pace and tempo. He has a passion for the game. Those are a few of the things that have led into his success."
One player who did have a good week in the college ranks was Chase Priskie who scored two goals and one assist in a 5-2 win for Quinnipiac over Yale on Saturday.
Down in the WHL, it was a big week for several Caps prospects. Beck Malenstyn was named the third star on Friday with two assists against Vancouver. He had three assists in three games over the week. Garrett Pilon scored two goals and three assists in three games.
It was also yet another big week for Connor Hobbs who has made a habit of big games for Regina this season. He was named the second star for Wednesday’s game after scoring one goal and three assists. Hobbs currently leads all defensemen in the WHL in goals (23) and points (61).
Hobbs showed off his versatility on Saturday as he suited up at right wing. It should be noted that there are no plans to move him to forward full-time and that he was back to playing defenseman in the very next game. The move to offense on Saturday was made due to a shortage of forward options for Regina in that one game.
Despite his offensive success on the blue line, Hobbs says making the transition from defense to offense for a game is a difficult one.
“It’s just different; everything is different,” said Hobbs. “All I want to do is go get the puck like a D-man would. I have to kind of rein myself in, so to speak, and be more patient. It’s tough.”
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