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Vitek Vanecek made his AHL debut tonight with the Hersey Bears and he made his presence known as he made 25 saves to help the Bears win 2-1 in the shootout over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. It is Vanecek’s first win in the AHL, who continues to shine in the Capitals prospect pool.
Vanecek was solid early on in the first period where he made 10 saves and made 8 saves in the second period. Early in the third period Vanecek robbed forward Dustin Jeffrey on a shorthanded breakaway. The Penguins had four power play opportunities throughout the game but Vanecek remained strong in his crease preventing the Penguins from scoring.
However, with only four minutes left in the third the Penguins managed to put one past Vanecek with a goal by Dustin Jeffery. The game went to overtime but neither team scored so the game was decided with a shootout. Vanecek stopped all shootout attempts and Christian Djoos and Riley Barber scored the shootout winners.
According to Hersey Bears Head Coach Troy Mann, Vanecek will return to the Stingrays.
Vanecek was assigned to Hersey after spending time with the South Carolina Stingrays in the ECHL. This was the first promotion to the AHL for Vanecek, who finished his ECHL regular season with a 18-7-6 record while posting a 2.03 GAA and a 0.917 SVS%. He also won the ECHL’s Rookie of the Month for November, Goaltender of the Month for March, Goaltender of the Week for March 7-13 and was named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team for 2015-16.
By Andrei Poleshchuk