Photos: Tori Hartmann
One bright spot in the Washington Capitals organization was the recent performance of their AHL club in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The Bears won two of three games this past weekend, with both victories coming on their home ice. Following their win on Sunday, head coach Troy Mann spoke with reporters about the team’s current direction.
During Sunday’s game, Liam O’Brien got a huge goal in the third period which ultimately turned out to be the game-winner.
“When I talked to him (O’Brien) earlier about the last few weeks, I thought he was playing some real good hockey. I think he’s feeling really good about his game and I think he needs to get in that 10-15 goal range for us,” said Mann.
All four forward lines contributed to Sunday’s win and Mann was pleased with the team’s effort.
“Usually when you get all four lines contributing or at least getting chances, you have a good chance at maybe getting to four goals unless the (opposing) goalie is playing unbelievable,” said Mann. “I thought their goalie was fighting early. We talked during intermission after the first (period) that if we played well defensively we could get four or five off him. I just felt that if we were good offensively, that could happen. We got four (goals) and were able to shut them down and preserve the win.”
Adam Carlson stopped 33 of 36 shots Sunday evening to improve his record to 2-1 on the season.
“He’s been a real big surprise,” said Mann. “He played very well in that preseason game here. We gave him half a game. He wasn’t scheduled to play but Vitek (Vanacek) and (Pheonix) Copley’s injuries gave him a chance to play half a game. He didn’t get scored on until the overtime goal. He played real well and has worked hard with Alex (Westlund, associate goaltending coach).”
The Bears won the week, something they hadn’t done all season and securing two big wins in front of the fans is a great way to wrap up the first month of the season.
“That was our message to the guys this morning: ‘let’s win this week’,” said Mann. “We haven’t won a week yet. Now we get a day off and three good practices and our goaltender situation looks like it’s gonna be pretty positive next week. Once we get clearance from those guys tomorrow, that’s gonna be good news for us. I like our team. I think they’re getting better on a week-to-week basis.”
Mann’s complete post game media session:
By Michael Marzzacco