Remember the goal against the Portland Pirates on November 20? The goal that won the game with just under 15 seconds left in regulation? The shorthanded goal?
The one scored by Connor Carrick?
How can we forget that excitement and the smile above?! He certainly didn’t. “I don’t know what happened,” Carrick said in the post-game, first-star interview with Jim Jones at ice level.
Since then, Connor Carrick has been absolutely outstanding. We know how good he is offensively but he has also been one of the top shut-down blueliners on the team.
And now he gets a well-deserved call to the NHL. For the first time since 2013-14, Carrick has been summoned to the Washington Capitals, with Brooks Orpik still on the sidelines nursing injury.
How awesome has Carrick been for the Bears? He has already tied his single-season career best in goals (eight). He is more than 1/3 of the way (8-7-15) to his single-season point total from last year (8-34-42). He ranks fourth in the AHL among defensemen in shots on goal (65). He ranks second among AHL defensemen in goals, and is tied for 12th in points. He has lit the lamp five times in his last six games, including the first-star, two-goal performance on Saturday against the Binghamton Senators.
I would think he deserves this chance, don’t you? Congrats, CC. Make us proud, however long this stay might be!
The Bears aren’t left high and dry without Carrick, either. Offensive defenseman Aaron Ness has been returned to Hershey. Look for him to slot into Carrick’s position in just about every situation. Although Ness didn’t get into a game, he had a chance to practice with the red-hot Capitals and make his impressions. Hopefully there will be a next chance for him too.
Austin Fyten has been reassigned to the South Carolina Stingrays today, completing the trifecta of roster moves on this Thursday. With Liam O’Brien back healthy and Caleb Herbert playing much better hockey in his last few games, Fyten has not seen the ice time and certainly deserves to. He will get that in rejoining a Stingrays team that has won two in a row and seven of their last ten. He is a great guy and will only help the Rays get better.
Check back tomorrow for the preview between the Bears and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, as the Bears get set for their final pre-Christmas-break three games in three nights.