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Area Sports Briefs: Aug. 5

FORMER BOBCAT SHEPARD SIGNS WITH CAPITALS

Former Bismarck Bobcats goaltender Hunter Shepard has signed a two-year, two-way contract with the Washington Capitals.

Shepard, 25, appeared in three games with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League last season, going 3-0 with one shutout, a 1.00 goals-against average and a .969 save percentage. He also played in 21 games with the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL, finishing 12-6-2 with one shutout, a 2.55 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage.

He was the ECHL goaltender of the week with South Carolina in May, going 3-0-0 with a shutout, a 1.33 GAA and a .952 save percentage.

Shepard signed an AHL contract with Hershey after a four-year career at Minnesota-Duluth. In 119 games with the Bulldogs, he went 76-37-5, rankings first in UMD history in wins, goals-against average (1.94), save percentage (.922) and shutouts (17). He won back-to-back NCAA titles in 2018 and 2019, was the NCHC goaltender of the year in 2019 and was twice an All-American. A three-time finalist for the Mike Richter Award, Shepard played an NCAA record 15 consecutive games from Oct. 21, 2017 to March 7, 2020.

The Colaraine, Minn., native played in 81 games with the Bobcats from 20-14-15 to 2015-16. He was the NAHL goaltender of the year in 2016, was named to the NAHL first all-star team and led the league in wins (34), games played (50) and shutouts (8) along with ranking second in goals-against average (1.90).

LARKS SWEPT IN LA CROSSE

LA CROSSE, Wis. – Lucas Braun pitched eight strong innings, shutting down the Bismarck Larks as the La Crosse Loggers posted a 3-1 Northwoods League victory on Wednesday night.

The University of San Diego freshman improved to 2-1, dropping his ERA to 3.76 as he combined with reliever Jared Freilich on a four-hitter.

Braun held the Larks to one run on four hits, walking two and striking out four over eight frames, a season high for La Crosse. He threw 104 pitches, 68 for strikes.

Freilich, a Penn State junior, struck out one in the ninth inning to pick up his fifth save.

Brandon Fields led off the bottom of the first with a solo homer for the Loggers, his sixth of the year. The Loggers added a run in the second and another in the fifth.

Cal James hit a solo homer in the fifth, his second round-tripper of the season. James went 2-for-4 for Bismarck.

Ronald Sweeny III had two of La Crosse’s six hits as the Loggers swept the two-game series.

The Larks open a series at home against Rochester on Thursday at 6:35 p.m. at Municipal Ballpark.

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