Evgeny Kuznetsov tossed a quick backhand over to the streaking Alexander Ovechkin....
Tom Wilson Goes Pro With Hershey Bears in 5-1 Loss
Tom Wilson starts his professional career off with a bang against the Providence Bruins in the AHL Playoffs (All Photos Credit: M. Richter).
It’s official – Caps prospect and Team Canada alumnus Tom Wilson is a professional hockey player. One with an impressed coach, if the post-game descriptions of “I liked him” and “as advertised” are anything to go by.
We’d heard he was on the way. We’d heard he was practicing with the Bears. Now he’s taking the ice on behalf of the chocolate and white, skating on the Bears’ fourth line as they attempted to close out their series against the best-in-conference Providence Bruins. Unfortunately, the P!Bruins managed to cling onto playoff hopes with a 5-1 win in regulation.
Update #1: As of mid-second period, Wilson has one shot on goal, one minor penalty (tripping), and a -1 rating due to a second-period Providence goal. The P!Bruins lead the Bears 2-1 at the halfway point of regulation.
Update #2: After two periods, the P!Bruins increased their lead to 3-1, with the third goal occurring while Wilson was in the box.
Final Update: At the end of the night, the Providence Bruins had beaten the Hershey Bears 5-1. In Wilson-related stats, he earned a second minor penalty in the third period, and got into several scrums. He ended the night with two shots on goal, four penalty minutes, and a -1 rating. It’s also worth noting that he saw ice time through the end of the game, as opposed to sitting out the later portions as many rookies do.
In speaking after the game, French also commented that “As the game went on, [Wilson] started to assert himself a little bit more physically. But even in the first, he generated some good chances by the net with his physical presence. I didn’t think it took him long to get into the flow of a pro hockey game.”
For those interested in the game beyond Wilson, you’ll find the list of statistics worth noting below.
Hershey Goals: Michael Latta (Deschamps, Schilling)
PBruins Goals: Chris Bourque (Cunningham, Exelby). Bobby Robins (Miller, Florek). Jamie Tardif (Bourque, Spooner – PP). C Bourque #2 (Spooner #2). Carter Camper (unassisted – PP).
Netminders: Fortuned favoured Providence’s Niklas Svedberg, tonight – he stopped 30 of 31 shots, several of them through sheer luck. Philipp Grubauer had a bit of an off night, in contrast, stopping only 22 of 27, though at least two of those goals were on deflections he physically couldn’t see coming.
Fisticuffs: In an elimination game, figurative fur is expected to fly – especially when players on the roster have regular season penalty minute collections as high as Bobby Robins does. While there was an altercation between Robins and Hershey’s Patrick Wellar, it was a singular event (despite the best efforts of players on both benches on more than one occasion).
Next Up: The Bears host the P!Bruins for Game Four tomorrow afternoon at 5PM. It will again be do-or-die for the Bruins, while the Bears simply need one win out of the next two games to advance.