This guy put all Hershey Bears fans on a pretty cool, yet terrifying rollercoaster. With his return to Hershey in the Shattenkirk trade, the Bears got the #1 goalie they desperately needed, but in his first start Friday night, Pheonix Copley had to be helped off the ice. Oh, and before you ask – that’s how his first name is spelled. One of these days I won’t have to look it up just to be sure! Be sure to check out our gif of his hockey fight too!
Turned out to be dehydration, and Bears fans let out a huge sigh of relief. Even better, he was ready to go Saturday night in his return to Giant Center.
“I was just cramping, dehydration,” said Copley after Saturday’s win. “I think with all of the travel that I’ve been doing the past four or five days, my leg just went straight and I couldn’t bend it, the muscle just kind of seized up, so I just made sure I was eating lots of fruit and veggies and drinking lots so I was good to go today.”
And Hershey fans were ecstatic. Copley himself, was also pretty happy to return to Hershey.
“I was excited, obviously St. Louis treated me well and gave me opportunities that I’m very thankful for, but this is where I started my pro career and they treated me really well,” he said. “The staff here is unbelievable. I was really excited, but I was a little bit shocked. I wasn’t expecting to get traded, but I’m very excited to be back here.”
Due to how quickly the trade transpired, Copley currently dons his St. Louis Blues mask and pads.
“DaveArt did it (his current mask) and he did a great job,” said Copley. “I think with the matte finish it just makes it easier to see the design, it’s not so shiny in the light. There will be a Capitals mask coming. I’m not sure if there will be a Hershey mask, but there will be a Capitals mask coming.”
Ironically, his first game back at Giant Center was against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Copley’s pads looked as if they belonged to a goalie for the Penguins, but Hershey fans, who are pretty darned savvy and understand that these things take time, didn’t mind one bit.
“You couldn’t ask for a better crowd than that tonight,” said Copley of the sellout crowd. “Anytime you can beat those guys it’s exciting – it’s a rival, so it feels good to come out on top of that one.”
After earning first star honors in back-to-back games, one might expect a bit of arrogance from a goalie, but with not with Copley.
“The guys are unbelievable in front of me,” he said modestly with a laugh when asked how he planned to top the weekend’s performance. “The amount of shots that are getting blocked and the way they are playing in front so I can see the puck is making my job a lot easier. You can’t ask for anything more than that as a goalie, so they’re a big part of that.”
And since he hasn’t been gone long, there are still some familiar faces in the locker room, which helps.
Copley said, “It’s nice when you get traded to come in knowing some guys. In juniors I got traded and didn’t know anybody, so it took a few weeks to settle in, but knowing guys and the staff here made it a much easier transition.”
NoVa Caps Questions for Prospects
The best part of playing in Hershey – There’s a lot of good things, so that’s tough, but I mean the crowd support, the town. I mean the town really supports the Bears. It’s hard to describe, but there’s just the hockey feeling here. It’s a really special place to play.
Teammate in the locker room I’d never want to fight – I don’t know yet. Looks like there’s some pretty tough guys on this team. Gilbert, he looks like he would be a guy I wouldn’t want to mess with, so I’m going with Gilbert.
I try to model my game after – I try to watch all of the NHL goalies because all of them are there for a reason, so anytime I’m watching NHL goalies, I try to take away something that’s making them successful and try to implement it in my game.
I started playing hockey when I was – 4
Favorite sport other than hockey – Let’s see, is fishing a sport? I’ll go with fishing.
If I wasn’t playing hockey I would – I’m working on my mechanical engineering degree, so if I wasn’t involved in hockey in some way, I’d probably be doing something with that.
Worst road trip memory – When I was younger, it was the first tournament I won. I was in 15 and we were in California and my teammates decided they weren’t going to celebrate on the bench, I think we blew them out like 5-0 or 6-0 and so at the end of the game I throw my stuff off and my teammates didn’t. I mean it was the last game and we won the tournament, that’s what you’re supposed to do, so I threw my helmet and gloves and stick, and everyone just kind of kept everything on and skated over to me. It was kind of awkward picking up all of my stuff.
Just the Facts
Number: Hershey – 31 (current)
DOB: January 18, 1992
By Julie Beidler
— Beids (@juliebeidler) March 5, 2017