Next Day Notebook, 10/21Posted on January 14, 2013 by Mike Vogel
Some next day observations in the wake of Saturday night's Hershey Bears-Rochester Americans game, a contest in which the Amerks prevailed by an 8-7 score. Gordie Howe Hat Trick – Garrett Mitchell, a second-year pro who was Washington’s sixth-round (175th overall) choice in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, notched a Gordie Howe hat trick in Saturday’s game with a goal, an assist and a fight. Mitchell set up the Bears’ first goal of the night – a Jeff Taffe tally – and scored the second. Mitchell was assessed a game misconduct for his fight with Rochester’s Matt MacKenzie at 18:44 of the second period as the fight was a secondary altercation. Hershey’s Patrick Wellar and Rochester’s Joe Finley were already scrapping at the time. “I thought he was one of our better players in pre-season,” noted Bears coach Marck French of Mitchell. “And if you take a step back, [he was] one of our better players late last year. “He carried that over with a very good pre-season [this fall]. After the first game in Syracuse, he’s been moved up to play with [Ryan] Potulny and [Boyd] Kane. And obviously he showed very well for us [Saturday]. I think the biggest compliment I can give him is that it really hurt us when we lost him. Being a top six forward for us, he probably shouldn’t have engaged in that secondary altercation.” For Mitchell, Saturday night’s game represented his first Gordie Howe hat trick at the pro level and his third multiple-point game as a pro. He had a goal and an assist against Adirondack on March 16, 2012 and a pair of assists in an April 13, 2012 game at Portland. Mitchell totaled 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in his first full pro season in 2011-12, but he got better as the season wore on. He collected eight of those points (one goal, seven assists) in his last 16 games. Through the first three games of 2012-13, Mitchell has a pair of goals – including a shorthanded tally – and an assist. Night And Day – Bears goalie Dany Sabourin was brilliant in Friday night’s 3-2 win over the Senators in Binghamton. He made 42 saves, the most he has had in a Bears uniform and the most he has had in any regular season contest since April 2, 2010 when he made 48 saves for Providence in a game against Worcester. Sabourin started well on Saturday but gave up Rochester’s first two goals on consecutive shots, albeit nearly 11 minutes apart. He was nicked for four goals on six shots in one stretch and finished with 22 saves on 30 shots. In his defense, he didn’t have much defensive help and five of the eight goals he allowed came on the Rochester power play. “Dany was very good [Friday] night,” said French after the game. “I think it’s probably unfair for me to characterize his performance [on Saturday] without actually sitting down and really watching the goals. But I think it would be understandable if a little fatigue set in with the body of work he’s had over the last two nights.” Sabourin is expected to have Sunday off as Philipp Grubauer is slated to get his first career start at the AHL level. Grubauer – the Capitals’ fourth-round pick (110th overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft – had a stellar season with ECHL South Carolina as a first-year pro in 2011-12. He was 23-13-5 with a 2.22 GAA and a .918 save pct. In 43 games with the Stingrays last season. Making His Point – Bears winger Stanislav Galiev – the Capitals’ third-round pick (86th overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft – picked up his first point as a professional in Saturday’s 8-7 loss to the Rochester Americans at Giant Center. Galiev assisted on Mattias Sjogren’s third-period goal, a strike that gave the Bears a 6-5 lead. Galiev has played in each of the Bears’ first three games, recording four shots on goal, six penalty minutes and a minus-1 rating. O from the D – Hershey has scored a combined total of 13 goals in its first three games, and a defenseman has had a hand in 11 of those 13 tallies. The Bears defense has combined to rack up four goals and nine assists for 13 points in the team’s first three games. Powering Up – After getting three power-play goals in Saturday’s home opener against Rochester, Hershey is 5-for-17 (29.4%) with the extra man thus far in the young season. Four different Bears have scored on the power play with Jon DiSalvatore striking twice with the extra man. DiSalvatore averaged about 13 power-play goals per season over the last three campaigns with the Houston Aeros. Blockbuster Hit – Prior to puck drop of Saturday’s home opener, the Bears unveiled a compelling video presentation that highlighted the team’s 75 years of existence. It was an impressive piece, and it was made even more so by the inclusion of some great archival footage that dates back several decades. Too many pro sports teams have blithely ignored the importance of keeping and retaining such archival footage over the years. Saturday’s video opening showed the importance of maintaining a historical library of the past and what brilliance can come of it.
Some next day observations in the wake of Sunday night’s Hershey Bears-Binghamton Senators game, a contest in which the Sens skated off with a 2-1 overtime decision. Net Gains – Sunday was a good day for young netminders in the Washington Capitals organization. Philipp Grubauer made his debut at