Connor and Lexi Tie the Knot

This is a love story with the sweetest ending!

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Connor Carrick (former Hershey Bear & current Maple Leaf) and his love Lexi Solofra were married in Chicago on Friday July 20. The couple was in preschool together, although their memories are a bit foggy about it. They grew up in Orland Park, Illinois and have been a couple for about five years. We’ve been waiting for the day to wish them a long happy life together!!

The couple became engaged in July 2017.

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Their wedding day began with a bit of rain but nothing would stop this wedding!

Lexi’s sister Alyssa was her maid of honor.

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And yes there was dancing!!

Many fans in Hershey gave a big shoutout to the couple who were well-known in Hershey and also in DC where Lexi worked as a much demanded hair stylist at Immortal Beloved in Washington DC.

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In attendance at the wedding were good friends from home and around the NHL and AHL including Miles Koules, and Bears roommates Liam O’Brien and Eric Burgdoerfer.

Guests joining the wedding party in Chicago received special baskets of goodies in their rooms.

Lexi, with her family and friends prepared for the wedding in late June with her wedding shower at the Crystal Tree Golf Club in Orland Park.

They will be off to Hawaii to celebrate their nuptials. Congrats you love birds!!!

Updates:

Hershey Spotlight: Riley Barber

By now you know that the guy in our spotlight today has just signed a brand spanking new one-year extension with the Caps/Bears. If he plays in the NHL his contract is worth $650,000.00 as opposed to the mere $115,000 as a Bear. This really gave us some perspective on how little AHL players make in comparison to the guys in the show.

But let’s focus on the spotlight at hand. Riley was drafted in 2012 along with notable Capitals prospects Filip Forsberg (Nashville Predators), Tom Wilson (you all know where he is), Connor Carrick (Maple Leafs), and last but not least, Christian Djoos (Hershey and Capitals- he’s next up in our Hershey Spotlight).

Even though they were drafted in the same year they have traveled very different paths. The guys that have made it to the NHL permanently have stepped up in ways that we haven’t seen from Barber yet.

Barber played three years for University of Miami (Ohio) and scored an average of 18 goals per season. The numbers are a little bit deceiving though due to the length of the college hockey season. The length of a regular season is about half that of the NHL- so just think how amazing those numbers would be if they had the full 82 games to play like the NHL.

Unfortunately due to a wrist injury and accompanying surgery in the 2016 season, the numbers for Barber are a bit inconsistent in the AHL. What we do know is that Barber was number one in goals for the Bears in the 2017-18 season, which most certainly solidified his new one-year extension.

Next up Djoos!

The Morning After: Caps Hockey Hangover

Thursday night the Caps played their first Stanley Cup Playoff game at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs. It was not always a pretty game, and it went into overtime, which means the early-working ladies of FiCP didn’t get a game recap out in time. So here are some of the highlights of the game, as captured by Mel.

Warm up were great. You could tell the players were jazzed to be there. The crowd was ‘lit’ with glow torches, and there was an air of winning throughout the phone booth. John Carlson was back and paired up with Karl Alzner again.

 

And then the first period happened…

Toronto surprised, and silenced, the crowd with a 2-0 lead. Leafs Mitchell Marner scored his first NHL playoff goal and Jake Gardiner came in behind him to give them the two-goal lead. The second goal was initially waved off but after a review prompted by a Coach Babcock challenge, the goal was reinstated.

Coming back to the second period it wasn’t clear if the Caps were ready for this playoff game or not. Fans were moaning a bit, just as three-time Cup winner Justin Williams scored the first Caps goal of the night. He came back with a second goal right though Leaf’s goalie Craig Anderson’s legs to tie it up. We can’t help but keep watching that one.

Meanwhile – Caps fans were getting a kick out of seeing former Hersey Bear Connor Carick taking on some of his old pals. Lots of love taps, and then a few scrums to show he was no longer one of us. Oh and Happy Birthday Connor, who turned 23 Thursday.

Back to the game and the third period.  Pretty much nothing happened there. The Caps out shot the Leafs. There were no penalties. By the end of the period we were off to overtime. And what an overtime it was!!

You may recall this statement earlier in the week…

We don’t expect to hear Babcock trash talk any more Caps players because it was Tom Wilson who brought it  home with his first (unassisted) goal in the NHL Playoffs, and he is the “first Capitals player to scored his first playoff goal in overtime.” (NHL) We couldn’t be more excited for Wilson!!

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For all the concerns expressed about Auston Matthews (34), he was relatively quite Thursday with one SOG.

So now we wait until Saturday at 7 pm EST to do it again. Caps have morning skae at 10:30 Saturday at Kettler.

Roster Recap- The Hershey Bears

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Connor Carrick now playing for the Marlies

The Hershey Bears have made a few roster adjustments since the last time we spoke of them. And since the Bears are currently in round three of the Calder Cup Playoffs facing off with the Toronto Marlies, we thought it would be an excellent time to do a roster update for you! Via the Hershey Bears site this is their roster through the playoffs.

Chris Brown and Connor Carrick were both traded away by the trade deadline this season. Ryan Bourque (brother of Chris Bourque) was acquired for Chris Brown, Daniel Winnik (playing in Washington) was acquired in exchange for Connor Carrick and Brooks Laich.

Any other names you don’t recognize are back-ups in case of injury in the playoffs.
2 TYLER LEWINGTON D R 6-1 197 Dec 5, 1994 Sherwood Park, AB
4 MADISON BOWEY D R 6-2 209 Apr 22, 1995 Winnipeg, MB
5 CHRISTIAN DJOOS D L 6-0 162 Aug 6, 1994 Gothenburg, Sweden
6 MIKE MOORE D L 6-1 206 Dec 12, 1984 Calgary, AB
7 RYAN STANTON D L 6-2 205 Jul 20, 1989 St. Albert, AB
10 DUSTIN GAZLEY RW R 5-9 161 Oct 3, 1988 Novi, MI
11 ZACH SILL C L 6-0 202 May 24, 1988 Brookfield, NS
12 NATHAN WALKER LW L 5-8 186 Feb 7, 1994 Cardiff, Wales
13 JAKUB VRANA LW L 5-11 190 Feb 28, 1996 Prague, Czech Rep.
14 RYAN BOURQUE LW L 5-9 178 Jan 3, 1991 Boxford, MA
15 TRAVIS BOYD C R 5-11 184 Sep 14, 1993 Hopkins, MN
17 CHRIS BOURQUE LW L 5-8 180 Jan 29, 1986 Boston, MA
18 CARTER CAMPER C R 5-9 173 Jul 6, 1988 Rocky River, OH
19 RILEY BARBER RW R 6-0 198 Feb 7, 1994 Pittsburgh, PA
20 LIAM O’BRIEN LW L 6-1 220 Jul 29, 1994 Halifax, NS
21 CHANDLER STEPHENSON C L 5-11 195 Apr 22, 1994 Saskatoon, SK
23 SEAN COLLINS C L 6-1 198 Dec 29, 1988 Saskatoon, SK
24 DOMENIC MONARDO LW R 5-10 187 Oct 6, 1988 Oakville, ON
25 COLBY WILLIAMS D R 6-0 195 Jan 25, 1996 Regina, SK
27 AARON NESS D L 5-10 192 May 18, 1990 Roseau, MN
28 PAUL CAREY LW L 6-1 190 Sep 24, 1988 Weymouth, MA
29 CONNOR HOBBS D R 6-1 196 Jan 4, 1997 Saskatoon, SK
31 DAN ELLIS G L 6-1 191 Jun 19, 1980 Saskatoon, SK
32 ERIK BURGDOERFER D R 6-2 210 Dec 11, 1988 East Setauket, NY
35 JUSTIN PETERS G R 6-1 210 Aug 30, 1986 Blyth, ON
36 GARRETT MITCHELL RW R 5-11 196 Sep 2, 1991 Regina, SK

NEXT GAME: Sunday May 29th @ 3:00pm (Game 5)

Caps Meet Leafs Tonight, With Added Emotion

Caps Moving Forward

By now everyone knows that the Caps traded Brooks Laich and that he, along with D-Man Connor Carrick will be in the Leafs’ line-up tonight. But it is time to move forward and tonight we should see just how this newly adjusted Caps team is doing. They still have the hurdle of the first period slump and the third period comeback to overcome. Coach continues the shifting of lines and though we have some projections, we aren’t really sure it matters much once the game starts. Here’s what to expect:

Caps Line Projections (But don’t hold us to it)

Forwards

Ovechkin  Backstrom  Oshie

Burakovsky  Kuznetsov  Williams

Chimera  Johansson  Wilson

Winnik  Richards  Beagle  (Galiev/Latta not likely)

Defensemen

Alzner  Niskanen

Orpik  Orlov

Schmidt Weber

Goalies

We expect Grubauer in tonight backed up by Holtby

What the Leafs Bring

They have a new roster which played together for the first time on Monday. Apparently there is a strange new alliance between Brooks and William Nylander stretching back to Nylander’s dad’s (Michael) time with the Caps. Prediction is that much of this game will be determined by who does better on the power play and power-play kill. The new players make this an unpredictable team.

Forwards

Soshnikov  Kadri  Komarov

Grabner  Nylander  Hyman

Boyes  Holland  Kapanen

Greening  Smith  Laich

Defensemen

Humwick  Rielly

Gardiner  Corrado

Marincin  Carrick

Goalies

Bernier expected in the net backed up by  Sparks

Don’t forget to check us out later for great game shots on Twitter (incoldplacedc) and  Instagram (friendsincoldplaces) AND tune in at 630 pm when we Periscope warmups live from Verizon Center.

Caps Trade Recap: Building Depth for Playoff Run

The Washington Capitals were looking to bolster their defensive depth and possibly look for an offensive minded forward before the trade deadline hit February 29. The Caps got going early when they acquired Buffalo defenseman Mike Weber February 23 for a third-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. This bolstered their depth on defense after the recent injury to John Carlson, who is out three to four weeks with a lower-body injury.

On February 28, the Capitals acquired Ryan Bourque from the New York Rangers for forward Chris Brown. Bourque has appeared in one game with the Rangers, making his NHL debut against Ottawa. Bourque has tallied 24 points (10 goals, 14 assists) in 55 games with the Wolf Pack (AHL) this season. Ryan has joined his brother Chris in Hershey with the AHL Bears.

Perhaps the biggest trade before the deadline came late Sunday night when the Caps said goodbye to longtime forward Brooks Laich, Hershey Bears defenseman Connor Carrick and a second-round selection in the 2016 NHL Draft in exchange for Toronto Leafs’ forward Daniel Winnik and a fifth-round selection in the 2016 NHL Draft. Laich was a fan favorite and has been with the team for 12 years, coming to the Caps when Peter Bondra was traded to Ottawa.

  • Laich’s contract is what made him expendable as Winnik has a slightly better skill set and a lower salary cap hit. Winnik has 198 points (62 goals, 136 assists) in 625 career NHL games between his time with Arizona, Colorado, San Jose, Anaheim, Pittsburgh and Toronto.

General Manager Brian MacLellan spoke with the media about the trades shortly after the deadline had passed. He said he felt the Caps had enough depth at defense after the Weber trade so no additional defensemen were necessary. They were exploring looking for another scoring forward but the offers were just not juicy enough to merit a trade. He then got emotional when speaking about Brooks Laich.

  • “He expressed that he really wanted to be part of it and win a Stanley Cup here,” said MacLellan. “It’s hard to do. You want him to be a part. He’s earned it, you know? But we had to do what was necessary to keep the organization and keep the team going forward.”

These moves should only help the best team in the NHL as they drive towards the playoffs.

Written by Chris Johnson