The Capitals brought joy to patients at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital on...
Bears Week 23-24 Recap: Out of the Playoffs
Garrett Mitchell (Cory Lyons)
With four games remaining in the Hershey Bears 80th anniversary season, the players and coaches are left to wonder one question: now what?
Following their mathematical elimination from this year’s Calder Cup Playoffs on March 25, the Bears are in unfamiliar territory to nearly everyone on their roster. With Troy Mann as head coach, the Bears have made the playoffs in three of his previous four seasons, only missing the 2014 playoffs by two points.
In their 72 games played so far this season, Hershey is 10-15 in one goal games, including 2-4 in overtime and 2-5 in the shootout.
Hershey lost a number of key players to call-ups and injuries through the course of the season. Washington recalled Madison Bowey and Chandler Stephenson quickly, and mostly stuck around the big club. Liam O’Brien, Riley Barber, and Travis Boyd enjoyed a taste of the NHL limelight. Chris Bourque got the ultimate call-up: the Olympics.
Nathan Walker had his odyssey on the waiver wire eventually return him to Chocolate Town. Connor Hobbs fractured his wrist and missed significant time.
Only two players — Wayne Simpson and Zach Sill — have played in all 72 games.
Following their Tuesday loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the Bears have one more game left against their I-81 rivals. This season, the Bears won twice in eleven tries against the Penguins, both needing more than sixty minutes. They will end the season against each other, with WB/S secure in their playoff spot.
Bowey and Boyd are back in Washington with two games left to play in their regular season, followed by a playoff run to come. With the Bears out, Washington can make a lot of call-ups to serve as reserves once the AHL season ends in two weeks. With no salary cap or roster restriction in the playoffs, the Capitals can carry as many players as the team can afford.
For the final time, Hershey travels on the road this weekend. They will play the Charlotte Checkers, who will finish a stretch of six games in 11 days in the Sunday match up.
7th in Atlantic Division, 29-34-4-5 (W-L-OTL-SOL), .465 points percentage, 67 points