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Prospect report: Tough decisions for Hershey in net

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Prospect report: Tough decisions for Hershey in net

Hershey playoff update: Bears lead Worcester Sharks 2-0 in Eastern Conference Quarterfinals


Playoff schedule:
Game 3 - Wed. Apr. 29 at Hershey 7:00 pm
Game 4 (if necessary) - Fri. May 1 at Hershey 7:00 pm
Game 5 (if necessary) - Sun. May 3 at Hershey 5:00 pm


The Hershey Bears started their playoff quest last week against the Worcester Sharks and they did so without their starting goalie. Philipp Grubauer was recalled by the Washington Capitals on April 16 leaving Pheonix Copley to take the reins in net.


Despite the change, the Bears jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the series with two roads wins in Worcester. A five-minute major against the Sharks was the turning point in Game 1 as Hershey scored three times on the power play en route to the 4-1 win. In Game 2, all four goals came in the second period with the Bears earning the 3-1 victory.


Hershey has really spread around the scoring with all seven goals scored by different players. Three players leas the team with two points apiece.


RELATED: Projected lineups for Caps and Rangers series opener


The real star in the first two games, however, was Copley. Thrust into the starting role by Grubauer’s recall, Copley turned aside 74 out of 76 shots, allowing only two goals for a save percentage of .974. With Tuesday's news that Grubauer had been re-assigned to Hershey, who will head coach Troy Mann turn to in net? Does he stay with the hot hand or turn back to the goalie who has been his top netminder for the entire season?


Captain Steve Oleksy remains day to day with an upper body injury he suffered in Game 1. The hit that gave the Bears their five-minute power play also sent Oleksy to the training room and he has not returned to the lineup since.


As the series shifts to Hershey for the remaining three games, the Bears sit just one win away of advancing.


Other prospect notes:


Two Caps prospects faceoff in the WHL playoffs as Madison Bowey’s Kelowna Rockets and Blake Heinrich’s Portland Winterhawks are locked in a battle for the Western Conference Finals.


After breezing through the first two rounds with only one loss, Kelowna is down 2-1 in the series and very easily could be down 3-0 if not for a shorthanded goal by Bowey in Game 1 that sparked a comeback.


Bowey has one goal and one assist in the series, adding to his 14 postseason points. Heinrich, as a stay at home defenseman, has not yet registered a point in the series.


StarsandSticks.com goes in depth on Caps prospect Brian Pinho who recently won a national championship with Providence College. Looks like there’s a lot of upside for the young forward who just wrapped up his freshman season.


MORE CAPITALS: Rangers take subtle jab at Caps on Twitter

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: On to Vegas!

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USA TODAY Sports

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: On to Vegas!

The Capitals are the Eastern Conference Champions!

After dispatching Tampa Bay in Game 7, the Caps claimed the conference crown for just the second time in franchise history. But they're not done yet. Now it's on to Vegas to face the Golden Knights for the Stanley Cup.

JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir break down the Caps' win over the Lightning and look ahead to the matchup with the Knights.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.

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Believe it or not, this isn't the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup

Believe it or not, this isn't the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup

In what is perhaps the most unexpected Stanley Cup Final pairing in recent memory, the Washington Capitals and the Las Vegas Golden Knights are going to make history this year.

Either it is going to be the first expansion team to win a title in their first season, or it will be a team looking to end a 27-year title drought for one of the biggest cities in the United States.

But what it will not be is the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup.

Going even farther back than the Capitals last Stanley Cup appearance (1998), the Georgetown Hoyas and UNLV Rebels met in the 1991 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Sin City took the first, and up until now, the only postseason bout between these two cities. The Larry Johnson-led University of Las Vegas squad powered right past the Hoyas in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament.

[D.C. sports and Second Rounds, I know right?]

Coming fresh off the NCAA title in 1990, UNLV waltzed right to the Final Four before meeting their demise against Duke. It also ended up being the last game for Dikembe Mutombo in a Georgetown uniform.

While in all likely-hood this will not be the final game/ series for Alex Ovechkin rocking the red, it may be his last and only chance for him to play this far into a postseason.

In the past two seasons, Vegas has gone from zero professional teams to having a Stanley Cup contender, a WNBA franchise, and lined up to take over the Oakland Raiders in 2020. 

Now time for the Golden Knights' Cinderella story to come up a little bit short. 

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