The Washington Capitals may have just done what the Bridgeport Sound Tigers could not – deal a death-blow to the Hershey Bears. I don’t mean to sound overly critical, but the timing of Chandler Stephenson’s recall couldn’t have been worse for Hershey.
And before I go any further, I should mention that I am a Capitals fan, a Bears fan, and a Stingrays fan (only in spirit because my teaching schedule and the distance haven’t afforded me the opportunity to catch a game in South Carolina).
Stephenson’s recall leaves the Hershey Bears, who open their Calder Cup Playoffs tonight in Lehigh Valley, with three true centers. Zach Sill, Travis Boyd, and Hampus Gustafsson will more than likely be joined by Nathan Walker at that position tonight.
Walker, a left-winger, filled in at the position before, but it definitely takes away from his offensive abilities. Along with an injury, Walker appeared in 58 games for Hershey this season, recording 11 goals and 12 assists, definitely not numbers the Aussie would have hoped for coming into the season.
Additionally, the late recall of Stephenson means that the Bears have been practicing with him at center all week and will not have a practice without him, but it doesn’t appear that Barry Trotz was overly concerned about Hershey.
Trotz said Alzner is getting closer. Said he just recalled Stephenson to have a second extra forward and no one is a question mark.
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) April 21, 2017
It’s just another “blow” to Bears fans who already have made it known this season they feel slighted by the parent organization.
According to Trotz someone from Hershey will be recalled but Hershey’s development so not overly worried about taking a 🔑 player
— Beids (@juliebeidler) March 21, 2017
The storied franchise will not back down though. Hershey fans can rest assured the Bears will come out and fight for all they’re worth, and that the Bears will greatly appreciate all of the support in Game 3 at Hershey next Wednesday.
By Julie Beidler
— Beids (@juliebeidler) April 16, 2017