Hunter Shepard could realize a personal dream this week.
Tuesday, the Washington Capitals called up the 2023 AHL Playoff MVP from the Hershey Bears as the team has back-to-back games against two Eastern Conference powers, the Toronto Maple Leafs and New Jersey Devils.
The 27-year-old goaltender could end up starting in one of the games and make his NHL debut.
Shepard replaces Clay Stevenson who has been serving as the Capitals’ backup with Charlie Lindgren hurt. Stevenson got the initial opportunity after Shepard missed the Bears’ opening weekend of the season due to illness.
Shepard has won both games he’s started, posting a 2.88 goals-against average and a .885 save percentage. In 47 career AHL games with Hershey, Shepard has been one of the league’s best, notching a record of 30-11-5-3 with a 2.11 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage.
Update: Spencer Carbery announced at the morning skate that Shepard will start against the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday.
Here’s the Capitals’ full press release:
Capitals Recall Hunter Shepard
Goaltender Clay Stevenson loaned to Hershey
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have recalled goaltender Hunter Shepard from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL) and have loaned goaltender Clay Stevenson to Hershey, president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Shepard, 27, has posted a record of 2-0-0 with a 2.88 goals-against average and a .885 save percentage in two games with Hershey this season. The 6’0”, 219-pound goaltender made his season debut on Oct. 20 at Providence and backed the Bears to a 5-4 shootout win on Oct. 21.
Shepard appeared in 33 games with Hershey last season, posting a record of 20-8-5 with a 2.18 goals-against average, a .916 save percentage and one shutout. The Cohasset, Minnesota native ranked second among AHL goaltenders in goals-against average and tied for sixth in save percentage. Shepard was named the AHL Goaltender of the Month in Nov. 2022 after registering a 6-0-0 record with a 1.63 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage. Shepard, who started all 20 Calder Cup Playoff games for the Bears, posted a 14-6 record with a 2.27 goals-against average, a .914 save percentage and three shutouts. The 6’0″, 222-pound goaltender won the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy, awarded to the MVP of the Calder Cup Playoffs. In 47 career AHL games with Hershey, Shepard has a record of 30-11-5-3 with a 2.11 goals-against average, a .920 save percentage and three shutouts.
Stevenson, 24, has started two games with Hershey this season, posting a record of 1-1-0 with a 2.01 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage.
The 6’4”, 185-pound goaltender appeared in 36 games for the South Carolina Stingrays (ECHL) last season, posting a record of 19-12-3-1 with a 2.54 goals-against average, a .916 save percentage and three shutouts. Stevenson ranked second among ECHL goaltenders in goals-against average, tied for fifth in shutouts and seventh in save percentage. In addition, Stevenson posted a 2-1-2 record with a 2.11 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage in five Kelly Cup Playoff games.
The Drayton Valley, Alberta native also posted a 3-0-0 record with a 1.96 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage in three games with Hershey in 2022-23. Stevenson made his AHL debut on Dec. 10, 2022, against the Cleveland Monsters, stopping 25 of 27 shots.
Headline photo: Katie Adler/RMNB
RMNB is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.