The Hershey Bears announced on Tuesday that they have returned rookie netminder Mitchell Gibson to the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays. Gibson was recalled by the team ahead of their three-game road trip earlier this month as Clay Stevenson was up in the NHL playing understudy to the Capitals’ Darcy Kuemper.
Gibson’s reassignment means Hershey is now carrying just two goaltenders. That could indicate that the recent injury that Capitals backup Charlie Lindgren suffered at practice on Monday will not see him miss any time as the Bears do not seem to be preparing for another recall of starter Hunter Shepard.
— Hershey Bears (@TheHersheyBears) October 31, 2023
Gibson made his professional debut with the Bears on October 22 against the Bridgeport Islanders. The three-year, Harvard University number one goalie made 21 stops in a 3-2 overtime win. Gibson was drafted by the Capitals in the fourth round of the 2018 NHL Draft.
Hershey will next get on the ice on Wednesday at home against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Shepard and Stevenson are carrying the load there while Gibson returns to a Stingrays battery that includes fellow Capitals prospect Garin Bjorklund and once-NHL-backup-to-Kuemper Reid Cooper.
Both the Capitals and Stingrays play next on Thursday. The Capitals are at home against the New York Islanders and the Stingrays on the road against the Jacksonville Icemen.
Lindgren departed Monday’s Capitals practice early with what the team described as a new injury unrelated to the one he suffered earlier in the month that forced him onto injured reserve. However, head coach Spencer Carbery didn’t seem too concerned with the status of his backup after the skate.
“[Lindgren] should be all right, but had to leave,” Carbery said.
The 29-year-old Lindgren has made just one appearance this season, starting in the team’s Home Opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He gave up four goals on 35 shots in a losing effort.
Here’s the full Hershey release on Gibson’s move:
GOALTENDER MITCH GIBSON RE-ASSIGNED TO STINGRAYS
(Hershey, PA – October 31, 2023) – The Washington Capitals, the National Hockey League affiliate of the Hershey Bears, announced today that goaltender Mitch Gibson has been re-assigned to the South Carolina Stingrays (ECHL). The announcement was made by Washington’s president and general manager Brian MacLellan.
Gibson, 24, made his professional debut with the Bears on Oct. 22 at Bridgeport, stopping 21 shots in a 3-2 overtime win. He made 13 saves in the third period of that contest, and three more in overtime to secure his first professional win.
The netminder is in his rookie season after playing three years at Harvard University. The Pheonixville, Pennsylvania native owned a 18-7-2 record with a 2.25 goals-against average, a .919 save percentage, and three shutouts last year at Harvard, guiding the school to a NCAA Tournament appearance. He earned All-ECAC Hockey Second Team Honors.
In 80 career NCAA games at Harvard, Gibson went 45-25-6, with a 2.32 goals-against average, a .918 save percentage, and six shutouts.
The Bears host the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at GIANT Center on Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. for Highmark Blue Shield Trading Card Set Night; the first 10,000 fans in attendance will receive a Bears Calder Cup Champions trading card set, courtesy of Highmark Blue Shield.
Headline photo: Alan Dobbins/RMNB
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