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Despite Slow Start, Bears Are Adjusting
Charlotte, N.C.— After Friday’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Checkers, the Hershey Bears are 1-5-1, and things aren’t looking so good. Despite that, coach Spencer Carbery feels things are starting to click a bit more as he helps some of the new players adjust not only to the team, but North American-style hockey.
“It’s challenging,” Carbery said. “There are so many different things that go into a European player coming over here for the first time and it’s not just the hockey. It’s the ice surface, it’s the league, the style of play is a lot different than they’re used to, the culture, the food, the language, the way we talk about the game, our practices. There is so much that they’re taking in for the very first time. It’s a process. Some of the guys pick it up quicker than others.”
One guy who has really stood out to Carbery is Axel Jonsson-Fjallby.
“Axel— I thought he has done a real solid job,” Carbery said. “With his speed, and something I just notice that I have worked with him on, and trying to help him with, he picks it up real quickly.”
“Hockey-wise, just the way the game is played,” Jonsson-Fjallby said about adjusting. “The rinks. How they want us to play. It’s different. Aside from hockey, it’s different too.” He also said things like going to the store are hard because he doesn’t know the brands.
While Carbery is new to the Bears, he is not new to the organization as he coached the South Carolina Stingrays. One player that was there with him then and is reunited with him now is Vitek Vanecek. Vanecek has been telling some of the new players what type of coach Carbery is.
“He’s a positive guy. He’s a great coach. He enjoy helping us,” Vanecek said.
Carbery was hired late in the summer and he is just part of a whole new staff in Hershey. While the team has struggled early on he sees things are getting better.
“I think we’re doing a good job. The last two games have been our best two games of the year. … Took a little bit for us. … I think it is only going to get better as guys get more comfortable. As guys understand what we’re trying to do as a hockey team.”
Carbery added that a lot of the things that were holding Hershey back were self inflicted wounds and that those have been addressed.
Hershey currently sits in last place in the Atlantic Division but with more than 60 games to play, they can easily climb out of the whole they have dug.