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Capitals Bring Goaltender Shepard Aboard Taxi Squad

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Capitals goalie Hunter Shepard

ARLINGTON, V.A. – The Washington Capitals are bringing another goaltender up to the taxi squad. Washington has re-assigned Hunter Shepard from the Hershey Bears to the taxi squad, general manager Brian MacLellan announced on Thursday.

The 26-year-old netminder played in three games for Hershey this season, going 2-1-0 with a 2.34 GAA and .901 save percentage. He also suited up for nine games with the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays, going 3-4-2 with a 3.43 GAA and .903 SV%.

Last season with the Bears, he won all three games he played in and boasted a 1.00 GAA and .969 SV%.

Shepard has an impressive resume that dates back to his NCAA days with the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. He won back-to-back championships with the team and set a Bulldogs record with the most wins (76), the best SV% (.922) and GAA (1.94) and most shutouts (22).

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With Shepard on the taxi squad, Washington now has three goaltenders in their arsenal. Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov remain as the Capitals’ main duo on the active roster. Vanecek has been on COVID-19 protocol since Dec. 24, but he is practicing. He will come off protocol when he dresses. Either way, having Shepard up gives them a reassuring option.

Previously, Washington had recalled Zach Fucale and Pheonix Copley to fill in for their injured goaltenders this season. Fucale posted a 21-save shutout in his NHL debut, becoming the first netminder in franchise history to do so. Meanwhile, Copley backed up with Vanecek out.

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