Saskatchewan Shines as the Bears Shut Out Binghamton!

Posted November 10, 2011

Saskatchewan is one of those Canadian provinces that few Americans ever think of, and even fewer can spell correctly (for the faint of heart, stick to SK – we’ll know what you’re talking about).  Tonight, however, it’s earned a few moments in the spotlight by way of a 3-0 Hershey Bears victory over the Binghamton Senators (B!Sens).

Saskatchewan: The borders are as flat as the horizon, but they love their hockey... (Credit: Public Domain)

Why SK, you ask?  Shouldn’t the glory go to Hershey?  In support of my claim, I direct you to tonight’s scoresheet.

On the Board: Two out of three Hershey goals tonight were scored by SK natives.

Garrett Mitchell, called up from Carolina on October 21, is making the most of his time in the AHL (All Photos Credit: M. Richter)

First was Garrett Mitchell (Mitchy1_0 on Twitter), who scored the second goal of the game (and his second career AHL goal) just after halfway through the first period.*  In case anyone’s forgotten, he was the Caps 6th round pick back in 2009.  Mitchy went on to be named the first star of the night for his efforts.

*For posterity, it should be noted that the first goal of the game is credited to Graham Mink (Vermont).

Captain Boyd Kane, during tonight's ceremonial puck drop (yes, that is a giant anthropomorphic chocolate bar).

The second SK tally of the night goes to the Bears captain Boyd Kane, of Swift Current, SK.  Fun fact of the night – he and Garrett Mitchell played on the same WHL team, the Regina Pats, exactly a decade apart.  For those who read Keith Aucoin’s birthday post the other day, Boyd is the only player on the team older than Keith.

Braden Holtby follows play during the first period of the Hershey Bears/Binghamton Senators game.

In the Net:Braden Holtby successfully blanked the B!Sens, stopping 15 shots including a potential momentum changer in the first period before his teammates managed to get Hershey on the board and start the ball rolling.  As his Hockey Diaries contributions remind us, he was born and raised in Lloydminster, SK.

D. J. King watches play from the players bench at his first game in Hershey. It's only the second regular season game (of any level) that the winger has seen this fall.

In the News: DJ King was sent down to Hershey on Monday, having seen action in only one of the twelve games the Capitals had played up until that point.  It’s his first visit to the minors since a stint with the Rivermen in January, 2010 while he was a part of the St. Louis Blues organization.  He’s already making a positive impression in Hershey, earning praise from coach Mark French following tonight’s game.  French cited King as being one of the players who was thin on the scoresheet but played a “very strong game” and provided “heavy contributions” to the team’s eventual victory.  In keeping with the Saskatchewan theme, D.J. King hails from Meadow Lake, SK.

In conclusion, did a grain-loving province step out onto the ice in Hershey tonight and walk away with two goals and a shutout performance in net?  Of course not.  But every once in a while, the province should be remembered for providing us Caps fans with something other than Brooks Laich.