After a rough start to his first professional season in North America, Capitals’ goaltender prospect Ilya Samsonov has rebounded brilliantly in the latter part of the season, with his play helping the Hershey Bears to an 11-game winning streak at the beginning of the year. After a jersey number change, Samsonov and the Bears recently released photos of his new goalie mask, painted by renowned artist Dave Gunnarsson, who NoVa Caps has featured previously and who has worked with countless NHL and professional hockey netminders over the years.
Titled “The Hershey Mask” the new bucket features Samsonov’s number 35 on the chin, with the word “Hershey” painted along the sides of the mask. A giant Bears logo dons the crown of the mask. Per Bears’ Radio Play-by-Play announcer Zack Fisch, the Samsonov is expected to don the mask with a new white face guard on Thursday.
Per Gunnarsson’s official Instagram post of the mask:
“It is with a great pleasure we unleash Ilya Samsonov’s latest Hershey Bears mask. It is created in a sweet mix of modern effects and old school layout. It is a so called DaveArt 2-in-1 design. On a distance it is a design with a strong profile and strong contrast, all built on the cool team logos. When you come closer or the TV cameras zooms the mask you will enter a new dimension of action packed detail work. Thanks Ilya! I am so happy and thankful to be your artist”
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It is with a great pleasure we unleash Ilya Samsonov’s latest Hershey Bears mask🐻👊🏻. It is created in a sweet mix of modern effects and old school layout. It is a so called DaveArt 2️⃣in1️⃣ design. On a distance it is a design with a strong profile and strong contrats, all built on the cool team logos🐻🎨. When you come closer or the TV cameras🎥 zooms the mask you will enter a new dimension of action packed detail work👀🔎. Thanks Ilya! I am so happy and thankful to be your artist🙏🏻! #ilyasamsonov @thehersheybears #DaveArt @theahl #DaveArtTheCradleOfCreativity #nhl #DaveArtTheStoryCreator @nhl #goaliemask #airbrush #thankful
Drafted by the Caps with the 22nd overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Samsonov has a record of 16-12-2, with a Goals-Against Average of 2.83 and Save Percentage of .893 with two shutouts. The Bears currently sit third in the Atlantic Division with a 34-22-2-4 record on the season, including a 5-3 win over the Springfield Thunderbirds on Wednesday night.
By Michael Fleetwood
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