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Four Players, Coaching Staff to Represent Hershey in AHL All-Star Game

by Staff Writer / Washington Capitals
ARLINGTON, Va. – The American Hockey League (AHL) has announced that centers Keith Aucoin and Alexandre Giroux, left wing Chris Bourque, defenseman Bryan Helmer, head coach Bob Woods and assistant coach Mark French will represent the Hershey Bears in the AHL All-Star Game on Monday, Jan. 26 at the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass.

Aucoin and Bourque will represent PlanetUSA, while Giroux and Helmer will represent Team Canada, which will be coached by Woods and French. Aucoin and Giroux will be starters for their respective teams, while Helmer will wear the “C” on his sweater for Team Canada.

Aucoin, 30, a Waltham, Mass., native currently leads the AHL in points (49), assists (35) and is tied for second with a +19 rating. He was selected as the CCM/AHL Player of the Month for October after picking up 18 points to lead the league in scoring. His October run also included an eight-game point scoring streak from Oct. 8-26, where he accumulated 17 points with five goals and 12 assists. Aucoin has made three appearances with the Capitals this season.

This will be Aucoin’s fourth All-Star game and first as a Hershey Bear. He also made the roster in 2006, 2007 and 2008, and has a combined five assists and a +1 rating.

Bourque, 22, a Boston, Mass., native will start for the PlanetUSA team in his first AHL All-Star game. He is currently in the middle of a six-game assist streak, dating back to Dec. 27 and ranks third on Hershey with 32 points and second in assists with 24. Bourque has appeared in six games this season with the Capitals and recorded his first NHL goal on Dec. 30 at Buffalo.

Giroux, 27, a Quebec City, Quebec native is second in the AHL with 24 goals and tied for fifth with 40 points. He leads Hershey in goals and is second in points. He currently holds a 12-game point streak dating back to Nov. 15 and has accumulated 15 goals and 12 assists in that span. Included in that streak is an eight-game goal streak dating back to Nov. 26, the longest in the AHL. He also had a five-game goal streak from Oct. 17-26 and a five-game assist streak from Nov. 15-26. Giroux has made 11 appearances with the Capitals this season, recording a goal and an assist.

This will be Giroux’s second AHL All-Star appearance, and first as a starter. He was a part of the 2007 Team Canada, where he netted two goals. 

Helmer, 36, a Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, native leads all Hershey defenseman with 17 assists and 17 points. It will be his first AHL All-Star appearance, and he will also serve as captain for Team Canada. Helmer has appeared in eight games for the Capitals this season and has three points on three assists.

Woods is in his first full season as Hershey’s head coach, and has led the team to a 27-9-0-1 record and first place in the East Division this season. He has a career record of 61-34-7 in 102 games. This will be his second AHL All-Star appearance as a coach, as he was an assistant coach in 2007.

French joined the Bears as an assistant coach on Jan. 2, 2008. He came to Hershey from the Wichita Thunder (CHL) where he served as head coach and director of hockey operations from 2005-07.
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