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Hail to the Gru! Caps AHL Rookie Snags First Win With Hershey
Philipp Grubauer blocks a shot from CT Whale’s Chad Kolarik (All Photos Credit: M. Richter)
Philipp Grubauer summed up tonight’s result perfectly: “It was awesome!” It was a night of milestones tonight in Hershey. Goaltender Philipp Grubauer collected his first AHL win (4-3 against the Connecticut Whale in the shootout), Jon Kalinski earned his first goal as a Hershey Bear, rookie Stanislav Galiev earned his first goal as a Bear (the gamewinner in the shootout), and Captain Boyd Kane played his 900th career AHL game.
While this wasn’t Grubauer’s first start in Hershey (that was an OT loss October 21), it’s the first time he’s taking a turn in net for the Bears with a real chance of sticking around. Now that the NHL-recall is underway, the road to the Bears’ starting position is now open for the AHL rookie and second-year pro. Hopefully, the fact that all of his AHL games to date have gone past regulation will prove to be a quirk and not a theme as the season progresses.
Despite the five-round shootout required to determine tonight’s winner, Grubauer was quietly confident in the locker room after the win. “I’m pretty used to the overtime game…We played a lot of overtime and shootouts in Reading, down there. The guys did a really good job in front of me, didn’t give up a lot of shots in the overtime, so we found a way [to win tonight].”
Per Coach French, Grubauer is expected to start his time in Hershey sharing the load with veteran goaltender Dany Sabourin. “I think they make a very good tandem. It’s probably what we envisioned at the start of the year, and it will go on a performance basis. [We'll] see who will get hot…. We play our busiest schedule through the rest of this month and February, so there’s going to be the ability to use both of them.”
Credit Where It’s Due:
Goals For the Night:
WHALE – Kyle Jean (Andrew Yogan, Logan Pyett); Kelsey Tessier (Pyett, Tommy Grant); Chad Kolarik (Mike Vernace). Chad Kolarik also scored in the second round of the shootout.
BEARS – Garrett Mitchell (Barry Almeida, Jon Kalinski); Jon Kalinski (Almeida, Mitchell); Zach Hamill (Tomas Kundratek, Patrick McNeill). Garrett Stafford & Stanislav Galiev scored in the shootout.