Image: IG: MalibuMadsy
Washington Capitals goaltending prospect Garin Bjorklund recorded his first professional win in his pro hockey debut Saturday night for ECHL South Carolina. With the win, the Stingrays (45-22-4-1) clinch the South Division for the seventh time in franchise history.
The Stingrays beat the Jacksonville Icemen (43-23-4-1) by a final score of 5-4 in a shootout on Saturday evening. Bjorklund stopped 24 of 28, including this highlight reel series of saves.
GARIN BJORKLUND 🤯🤯 pic.twitter.com/c3UBu0WmE2
— XY – SC Stingrays (@SCStingrays) April 15, 2023
Bjorklund also shut the door for the Stingrays in the shootout, sealing the victory and the division title for South Carolina.
Garin Bjorklund’s celly game is on point. #ALLCAPS (🎥: IG: @malibumadsy) pic.twitter.com/Jm9RIelHxk
— Capitals Prospects (@jon_m_sorensen) April 16, 2023
The Stingrays open the 2023 Kelly Cup Playoffs next Saturday, April 22nd, at the North Charleston Coliseum for Game 1 of the Divisional Semifinal round against the Florida Everblades. Puck drop is set for 6:05 p.m.
By Jon Sorensen
Garin Bjorklund. Got hurt in preseason, may have had back surgery, was out for 71 games. In his first and only game this year (his first pro game), he survived regulation, OT, and a shootout from the #2 team in the South fighting for the #1 spot. Quite an impressive start. Somehow the ECHL says letting in 4 goals in your one and only game comes out to a 3.58 goals against average and 0.857 Save%. Whatever. For your first pro game I’m impressed. He had some great saves. If he didn’t damage his back, he’s recovered.
Good for Garin. The Capitals goaltending depth chart is overflowing. For next season we’re looking at Clay and Tyler Wall, or an FA, or maybe bring one of Zach or Hunter back, for Hershey, Bjorklund and Gibson in SC, Chase Clark starting in Quinnipiac, Darcy and Charlie for the big club. I really can’t recall that much depth, ever. Closest was Carey, Kolzig, Dafoe and Tabaracci in 94, and Neuvirth, Varlamov and Holtby in 2010. We got good NHL starters from both groups, and our AHL affiliates won the Calder Cup with both groups, Portland in 94, and Hershey in 2010.
I think we need to sign Shepherd. And washington will still be his fastest path to NHL as he is known. Only a quick injury away from being in the show.
Develop Clay and Gibson (with Gavin in SC and also an injury away from promotion.
Providence won big. So the Bears get 2nd in the division, and 2nd in the conference. I believe it’s impossible to tell who they’ll play though, due to the 1st round, and teams being reseeded after the 1st round. Awfully confusing. I believe this silly format is due to the league wanting more playoff teams.
Clay played in 36 games and won 19 of them. 2.54 GAA and 0.916 Save%. Had 3 shutouts. Three of his losses were OT. Played 1 shootout and lost, letting in 2 of 3 shots. Clay is under a Caps contract.
Tyler played in 35 games and won 22 of them. 2.58 GAA and 0.912 Save%. Had 3 shutouts. One loss was OT. Played in 2 shootouts and won both letting in only 1 shot. Tyler is under a Bears contract.
Michael Kim, defense, played in 53 games with 9 goals and 31 assists for 40 points. 161 SOG. PIM of 31. He had no PP goals but 16 PP assists. One short handed goal but no SH assists. One OT goal but no shootout goals. No empty netters. Michael also got 2 assists in 2 games with the Hershey Bears. The Stingrays traded for Kim at the beginning of the year and then Hershey signed him to a contract.
Martin Has, defense, played in 50 games with 3 goals and 9 assists for 12 points. 49 SOG. PIM of 19. He had no PP goals or assists and same for shorthanded. No OT goals, no shootout goals, no empty netters. I do not know what contract he is on.
Benton Maass, defense, played in 55 games with 4 goals and 7 assists for 11 points. 92 SOG. PIM of 44. He had 0 PP goals, 1 PP assist, but nothing shorthanded. No OT, shootout, or empty net goals. I believe he still has a Bears contract. They originally signed him in April last year.