The 2019 Armed Forces Hockey Classic

Don’t have much going on over Memorial Weekend? Feel like watching hockey being played for a good cause for FREE?

“The Armed Forces Hockey Classic (AFHC) is a tournament where military veterans the Army, Air Force, Marines and Navy come together to compete against one another while raising money for the United Heroes League (UHL). The UHL wants to ensure that all 5 million military kids are able to develop critical life skills through sports. This intense focus on youth development and serving the families of our military service members motivates the UHL to keep programs focused. This focus has inspired 115 professional athletes and over 30 professional sports franchises to lend their name and support to the UHL.”

The Washington Capitals have supported the UHL since their start in 2009 along with many other franchises, like the Minnesota Vikings and the Los Angeles Kings. Players/coaches who have contributed to this cause have been Nicklas Backstrom, Karl Alzner, Bruce Boudreau, Taylor Chorney, Matt Hendricks, Nate Schmidt, and many others!

This event is being held just outside of Dallas, Texas in North Richland Hills. Veterans, local and country-wide, are gathering there to play the greatest sport for an excellent cause. Coordinators have stated that they have received donations and incoming participants from places like Alaska, Colorado and even the DMV! The winning team of the tournament will get to hoist the James “Maggie” Megellas Championship Trophy. Who knows, you may see someone you’ll recognize!

2010 AFHC Champions – Team Navy/Marine Corp.

The tournament will begin May 25 @ 10:00 am EDT, first puck drop @ 10:15 am. All games will be live-streamed via Facebook here. For more information on the AFHC and the UHL, click here. Have a wonderful weekend!

Bring Out the Bird! Evgeny Kuznetsov Delivers in Overtime, Caps Top Avs 4-3

This was a game full of de ja vus. In the end, an Alex Ovechkin feed to Evgeny Kuznetsov for the breakaway that was shades of Game 6 of the Caps second round series in Pittsburgh last year that would be the difference. Kuznetsov came through with the overtime goal as the Washington Capitals defeated the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 in overtime at Capital One Arena in D.C. In the midst of a season-long six game homestand following the all-star break and bye week, the Capitals have now won three of their last four games after a season-long seven game winless drought entering the break.

Continue reading “Bring Out the Bird! Evgeny Kuznetsov Delivers in Overtime, Caps Top Avs 4-3”

Bye Bye Losing! Evgeny Kuznetsov Comes Through with Clutch Goal to End Caps Seven-Game Winless Drought

On Friday night, Washington Capitals hockey returned to the District of Columbia after an All-Star break complemented by a bye week. The lengthy break did the defending Stanley Cup champions a great favor, for they entered the period of rest losers of seven straight, although a few counted as OT in the standings. They came close the last time they were at home but got robbed by the Sharks with a last second game tying goal. This time, they wouldn’t need overtime.  Continue reading “Bye Bye Losing! Evgeny Kuznetsov Comes Through with Clutch Goal to End Caps Seven-Game Winless Drought”

Caps Fall to Stars in Overtime to Begin Homestand

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michael banner 2CAPITAL ONE ARENA – The Washington Capitals returned home on Saturday night to take on the Dallas Stars. After dropping a heartbreaker in Montreal where they allowed two late goals (not including the empty net), the Caps were hoping some home cooking and a normal hockey schedule would do the trick. They did get a point out of this one but they still fell in overtime 4-3 on a goal by Jason Dickinson. Something about the Stars having the Caps number, which defies logic. Since the 1996-97 season, the Stars are 23-2-6 against the Caps. Imagine how much torture that would be if that was the Cowboys record against the Redskins. At least the Skins won that game a few weeks ago! Okay back to hockey. Continue reading “Caps Fall to Stars in Overtime to Begin Homestand”

Jay Beagle Gets His Ring and We Couldn’t Be Happier

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Photo credit: NBC Sports Washington

On Monday night, the Washington Capitals took on the Vancouver Canucks to begin a four-game road trip. Prior to the game, one of our favorite Capitals players finally got to receive his Stanley Cup ring. Jay Beagle had been a longtime fixture with the Capitals almost as long as Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom had. A key component on the fourth line and face-offs on the ice and a personable guy among the fans off the ice, it was great to see Beagle finally get his ring.  Continue reading “Jay Beagle Gets His Ring and We Couldn’t Be Happier”

Hershey Bears Spotlight: Aaron Ness

Aaron Ness recently signed a brand new one-year two-way contract with the Caps/Bears worth $425,000 in the AHL and $625,000 should he be brought up to the Caps.

Aaron started his hockey career playing at USHS-MN system from 2005 through 2008. He joined the US National U18 team in 2008, alongside Cam Fowler, Nick Leddy, and Ryan Bourque. Aaron was also drafted in 2008 by the New York Islanders in the second round #40.

After being drafted, Aaron Ness went on to play for the University of Minnesota for three seasons.  His teammates in his final season included the likes of Nate Schmidt and Erik Haula (both who have now signed with the new kids on the block, the Vegas Golden Knights).

Once Ness completed his seasons in the NCAA league it came time to visit the AHL; the Bridgeport Sound Tigers where he donned both the “A” and the “C” for a time. During his five seasons with the Sound Tigers his cumulative 23 goals were that of a beginning defenseman. Bears 2016 ness peters Ellis goalie

As a free agent, Ness signed with the Hershey Bears in 2015. Since joining the Bears his numbers have remained on the same level as in previous seasons. We have not seen a huge improvement in his scoring but he has been a consistent player for the Bears. We see Ness as a good backup when needed for the Caps but he lacks that extra skill that the John Carlsons of the world posses. We need to see more fiNESSe in his offensive play and the ability to put it in the back of the net.

Read our Hershey Bear reports to meet the players.

Djoos

Bourque

Barber

Johansen

Boyd

Hobbs

Vrana

Copley

O’Brien

Hershey Spotlight: Christian Djoos

Swedish-born D-Man Christian Djoos is certainly one of the guys we didn’t expect to see play for the Caps the majority of the season and through the Stanley Cup Playoffs. But he did and his name WILL be on the Stanley Cup with Alexander Ovechkin and one of the best, if not THE best scoring D-men in the league, John Carlson.

When we first saw Christian Djoos at Capitals Development Camp 2012, fresh off the draft, we weren’t sure he would make it. He was looking a little smaller than other defenseman but seemed to be quick on his feet. Over the years we have seen him grow both physically and technically. His feet are just as fast now if not faster than before; however, now there are some sweet moves to back up those quick strides.

Prior to the beginning of his American hockey career he played in the Swedish Hockey League for Brynas IF Gavle. This season Djoos scored only three goals with 11 assists over the course of his 63 game stretch in the NHL. In his last season with AHL Hershey he played nearly the same amount of games but produced 13 goals and a whopping 45 assists. We think these numbers are pretty great for a guy his age (23 going on 24) at this point in his career and we expect to see much more from him this season. Just because your name is on the cup doesn’t mean you’re safe (Jay Beagle, Brooks Orpik we miss you already…).

Show us whatcha got Djoos we’re ready!!!

Just a cool little tidbit of information for you before we go- Christian’s father; Par Djoos also played for Brynas IF Gavle before and after being drafted in the seventh round in 1986 by the Detroit Red Wings. His father was up and down in the AHL and NHL system for about five seasons before heading to the Swiss league for one season and finishing the last nine seasons of his playing career in the Swedish League where he began.

Martin Fehervary, a Defenseman with Offensive Presence

Martin Fehervary, drafted as the 46th overall pick in the second round during the 2018 NHL Draft, has been signed by the Capitals to a three-year entry-level contract. The 18-year old defenseman from Bratislava, Slovakia seems to be a good addition to the offensive zone. Continue reading “Martin Fehervary, a Defenseman with Offensive Presence”

Hershey Spotlight: Connor Hobbs

Today begins our daily Hershey Bears Spotlight, the newest addition to the blog. We know you all are already going through withdrawals after yesterday’s final day of Caps Dev Camp so we decided to give you some more information on the guys from camp that will be heading to Hershey for the first time this season as well as those returning from the previous season.

First up we have one of our personal favorites here at FiCP; Connor Hobbs who played defense wearing #7 for the Bears since last season. Connor was drafted in the fifth round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft #143 overall and continued to play for the Regina Pats in Canada for two more seasons following the draft.

In total Connor played for the Pats for three seasons before coming to the Bears; breaking multiple records during his time there including goals in a single season by a Pats defenseman and points in a single season by a defenseman in the WHL.

Connor is a hard hitting guy who throws his body around in all the right ways and has the speed to get him where he needs to be. To us he is the Tom Wilson of defenseman. Last season he posted 61 minutes in penalties, accompanied by three goals and 13 assists Impressive for a defenseman in his first season with the AHL. These numbers do not truly reflect his abilities though due to a wrist injury that sidelined Hobbs for seven weeks.

We expect to see Connor again for training camp in September as he demonstrates his abilities with the full Caps team.

Capitals Development Camp Ends With Scrimmage And Hopes

Photos by Brittney Marcum Click Here

The Capitals concluded this year’s development camp with a high-paced game in which some players really stood out. Kettler Capitals Ice Plex was packed for the game, although some fans braved the heat for a chance with the Stanley Cup – more from our team later.

Scrimmage

The group was divided into Team Red and Team White. Out of play today were Lucas Johansen and Kristofers Bindulis.dsc_0496

The goalies were also split between the two teams with Mitchell Gibson, Peyton Jones, and Frank Marotte in the net for White while Ilya Samsanov and Logan Thompson protecting the net for Team Red.

Scrimmages are short bursts of play and the prospects have a limited time to show their skills to coaches as management. Watching from rafters were the new Caps coach Todd Reirden, Olie Kolzig (professional development coach and former goalie goalie mentor), Blaine Forsythe, Mitch Korn, as well as GM Brian MacLellen. Not that that added any pressure to the guys hoping to get to the show soon.

The game was full of lots (we mean LOTS) of hits between the guys. And some decent scoring too!!!

Goal makers today included:

Eric Florchuk (Red)

Mark Simpson (White)

Sebastian Walfridsson (White)

Shane Gerish (Red)

Chase Priskie (White)

Final score 4 – 2 Team White!

We had a few favorite standouts today and we will dive deeper into their play and potential in a few features later this summer. For now, let’s take a look at some of them:

Connor Hobbs is our number one player from camp and the scrimmage. He is everywhere on the ice, reading where the puck goes and getting there quickly. Everyone we spoke with today mentioned him. And there is something different in his play. A definite level of confidence we haven’t seen in previous camps.

Cooper Zech, a defenseman who at 5’9″ and 161 pounds was a real powerhouse. We liked him from day one and he confines to impress us in the scrimmage.watermarked24(2018-06-30-1552)

Shane Gerish is the real deal. He has fast feet, good hands control, great in the corners, and lots of control. Oh and he can score too! He had a goal and an assist today. We can’t wait to see him at training camp!watermarked28(2018-06-30-1552)

Jonas Siegenthaler had full control today. He has a new maturity in the ice. Today we saw a nice move forward and a backhand pass that looked effortless for him. Like Hobbs, he seems to have a new-found confidence in his performance.watermarked19(2018-06-30-1551)

Chase Priskie was outstanding- including that sweet goal late in the second period. There is something about his style we like. You know he is there, and yet he can skate under the radar and make a play like he did today. He is one to keep an eye on.

And we just have to mention Patrick Giles. He was one of the three youngest players at camp this year. He is a local guy and his family and fellow teammates came out today to watch him. It was fun seeing their excitement for their buddy! Giles wasn’t drafted but he was invited to camp. He will be off to Boston College and we hope we get to see him back at camp again.

We will cover more of the players, especially those heading to Hershey and those drafted by the Capitals. It can take a while for the dream to come true, but this crew has a lot of potential.

Next up for the Caps? Capitals Training Camp in September.