Bears Sign Goaltender Justin Kapelmaster To Professional Tryout Agreement (PTO)

Photo: RMU

The Hershey Bears announced on Sunday that they have signed goaltender Justin Kapelmaster to a professional tryout agreement (PTO).


The Hershey Bears announced today that the club has signed goaltender Justin Kapelmaster to a professional tryout agreement (PTO). The announcement was made by Hershey Bears vice president of hockey operations Bryan Helmer.

Kapelmaster, 27, has appeared in one game with the ECHL’s Reading Royals this season, making 23 saves in a 5-3 loss at Maine on Nov. 23. He has prior AHL experience with the Cleveland Monsters, playing two games in the 2020-21 season, going 2-0-0 with a 1.95 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage.

The 6’1″, 216-pound goaltender has appeared in 39 career ECHL games with Fort Wayne, Allen, Indy, Jacksonville, Worcester, and Reading, posting a 14-19-3 record, a 2.39 goals-against average, and a .907 save percentage to go along with five shutouts. He was a member of Fort Wayne’s 2021 Kelly Cup Championship team, earning one win in the postseason.

Kapelmaster will wear #1 for Hershey.

The move could signal that the Washington Capitals may have recalled Zach Fucale or Hunter Shepard due to an injury sustained by Darcy Kuemper in Saturday night’s game against the Calgary Flames. [More here.]

Shepard is 6-0-2 with a 1.83 GAA (1st in AHL) and a .932 save percentage (tied for first in AHL). Fucale is 8-4-0 with a 2.00 GAA and a .912 save percentage.

The Capitals have made no additional statements on Sunday regarding the status of Kuemper. The Capitals cancelled practice for today, however Peter Laviolette will meet with the media at 12P45MT.

The Bears play host to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins this afternoon at 3PM ET.

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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8 Responses to Bears Sign Goaltender Justin Kapelmaster To Professional Tryout Agreement (PTO)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Could be that Fucale or Shepard back up just for a game or two.

  2. Anonymous says:

    That’s not good.

  3. Jon Sorensen says:

  4. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like Shep Daddy got the call. Let him play!

  5. Jonathan says:

    Excited to see Shephard play.

    GMBM is expecting to much out of our stars if he expects them to ‘carry the team through this stretch’.

    As I mentioned earlier, Carlson’s spot o the PP needs to change or remove him completely from it.

  6. Jon Sorensen says:

    …..and got a partial shutout today in relief of Zach Fucale. Weird game today.

  7. Diane Doyle says:

    Wasn’t Fucale’s day. Or was it more the defense in front of him had an epic fail? They sure melted down early in second period.

  8. novafyre says:

    What was the result of the PTO? Since Clay was called up I am assuming that he didn’t wow the Bears but don’t want to malign him if not true.

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