Lost in the Wash: Bears & Stingrays Snag Individual Honors

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Posted December 6, 2011

The last week has been a busy one.  New coach for the Caps.  New assistant coach for the Caps.  Boudreau landed a new NHL gig in record time.  There was the first Caps win under Hunter, followed by last night’s version of PantherGate.  Realignment.  The list goes on.

(Signpost image credit: Eamon Curry. Team logos are property of their respective leagues)

In all of the excitement, it’s easy to overlook the rest of the goings-on in the Caps family.  Luckily, that’s why Capitals Outsider has me.  Because our AHL and ECHL affiliates deserve some love, too, and damn, have they been earning it lately.

THEY WOKE THE BEAR:

To start with the “Big League” of the minors, the Hershey Bears are currently leading the East Division.  This weekend, they had a three game sweep, and their fans tossed over 10,000 teddy bears on Saturday.  Despite the loss of two players to the Caps (Dmitry Orlov and Cody Eakin), the team is settling down and slowly returning to full health.  That being said, the biggest accolades of the past month have been awarded to individuals within the organization rather than the team itself.

PERSONAL HONORS:

Keith Aucoin, who wears the #11 in Hershey. (Photo Credit: Bridget Samuels)

Best & Brightest: Keith Aucoin was named the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week.  He’s currently making a strong case for a second run at league MVP, leading the league in both points (36) and assists (30).

Chris Bourque, the second half of Hershey's league-leading duo. (Photo credit: M. Richter)

Tiny Terrors: Keith Aucoin (5′ 9″) & Chris Bourque (5′ 8″) currently lead the league in scoring, with 36 and 30 points respectively.  Keep in mind that roster heights tend to be assessed while a player is wearing skates.

Birthday Boys: Keith Aucoin, Kyle Greentree, Mattias Sjogren (now returned to Sweden, where he’s played one game and earned himself a -1 for his troubles), Patrick Wellar, and Julien Brouillette all celebrated birthdays within the past month.

REMEMBER THE RAYS:

While their stats have dropped a shade over the past weekend, the South Carolina Stingrays spent much of November as the shining beacon of hope in the Capitals collective.  Over the course of the month, they earned a winning record of 7-4-0-1.  During that same period, the Caps were 5-8-0-1 and the Bears were 3-4-1-2.

Caps Prospect Philipp Grubauer at the 2011 Development Camp. (Photo Credit: Bridget Samuels)

Rockin’ Rookie: Philipp Grubauer, drafted by the Capitals in 2010 (4th round), was named ECHL Goalie of the Month in his first season with the Stingrays.

Venerable Vets: Former Stingray Dave Seitz was one of five players named to the 2012 class of the ECHL Hall of Fame.  Stick Tap to former Hershey Bears blueliner, former Capitals Assistant Coach, and current Ducks Assistant Coach Bob Woods, who was among the other 4 to get the nod.

Birthday Boy: The above-mentioned Philipp Grubauer celebrated his 20th birthday on Black Friday, and to cap it off secured an OT win for his team the next night.  We here at Capitals Outsider wish him all the best, and sincerely apologize for the fact that these wishes are belated.

Honorable (Junior) Mention: While no Capitals prospects are on the list, congratulations to all of the boys who made the preliminary Team USA roster for the World Junior Championships.

M. Richter

M. Richter

Associate Editor at Capitals Outsider
Em is a fan of hockey first and individual teams second, with geographical ties that cross the NHL. She was born in the Midwest, raised along the East Coast, and graduated from a university in Western Canada. A firm believer in context above all else, and a card-carrying on-ice official with USA Hockey, she splits her time between the big picture and the details. When not covering the AHL and ECHL for Caps Outsider, her photography can be found on Behance and Flickr. She also occasionally chimes in about the Hershey Bears on the Power Play Post Show.
M. Richter
M. Richter

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