The large crowd that showed up to the final Capitals Development Camp Scrimmage to support the Capitals prospects in their final day in the DC area were given quite a treat. The scrimmage could not have been anymore entertaining for the Capitals fans that were in attendance. Seven total goals, hard hits, a fight and some big saves were all part of the day at Kettler.
The scrimmage festivities started with the adrenaline pumping and familiar voice of Capitals PA announcer Wes Johnson getting the crowd into the the action followed by a short speech by new head coach Adam Oates. The Capitals 2011-2012 entrance song soon followed as the Capitals prospects entered the ice and the atmosphere at Kettler quickly increased to the intensity of a game that would be normally seen at the Verizon Center (with a lot less people of course!). At the drop of the puck, all hell broke lose and the prospects duked it out for a full 60 minutes for one final time to make a statement.
2012 7th round draft pick Sergei Kostenko started in net for the red team and made some fantastic saves early on as his team jumped to a 1-0 lead 15:51 into the game. The opening goal was scored by Stanislav Galiev who I claimed needed to make a statement today infront of the large crowd. He was rather unimpressive in the previous scrimmages of the Development Camp. As soon as the Galiev goal was scored, the goaltender for the white team, Brandon Anderson, fell apart. Just 53 seconds later, Riley Barber increased the red teams lead to 2-0. Anderson was fighting off shots at this point and got a lot of help from his defenseman. At the end of the 1st period the Red team stayed ahead 2-1 with Tom Wilson leading the way in hits by a large margin.
Early on in the 2nd period, Brent Tate of the white team challenged Max Iafrate to a fight just to the left of Kostenko. Iafrate declined as the crowd's attention turned towards the scuffle that was beginning between Tate and Iafrate. As they skated down the ice the gloves were dropped and Tate landed a big punch and Iafrate quickly went down. This was Iafrate's 2nd fight of the week. He fought Chandler Stephenson at the conclusion of Thursday's scrimmage. Chandler Stephenson eventually tied the game at 2 for the white squad. Then with 11:31 left in the 2nd period, break out player David Vallorani gave the white team a 3-2 lead for his 4th goal of the week (also recorded 1 assist this week) and Kostenko started to crumble. The goalies were changed at the 10 minute mark (Brooks Ostergard for white and Scott Darling for red). The 2nd period ended a 3-2 lead for the boys in white.
Much of the 3rd period was a stalemate. A bunch of hooking penalties were called consecutively on both teams. Galiev made a thundering hit on Travis Boyd at center ice along the glass by the scorekeepers table with 2:40 left in the game. The littlest guy at the camp, TJ Syner, tied the game at 3 for the red team with 53.2 seconds left in the game. The crowd roared in appreciation for the beautiful passing sequence that occured to create the goal.
1:42 into OT the red team clinched the win thanks to Cornell's Greg Miller. Then both teams shook hands and exited the ice.
Todays scrimmage was about as thrilling of a hockey game as it gets! This exciting week of the Capitals Development Camp could not have ended with a better scrimmage than the one that took place today.
From what I saw, the most impressive players all week long at the camp were forwards Greg Miller, David Vallorani, Andreas Martinsen, Tom Wilson, and Barry Almeida. Defenseman Cameron Schilling, Jaynen Rissling, and Max Iafrate caught my eye. Goaltenders Scott Darling and Sergei Kostenko (reminds me a lot of Semyon Varlamov) were also impressive.
Thank you to all who adamately followed the blogs twitter account and our nightly posts with our updates from the camp all week long. I enjoyed being there covering the camp for our followers and fans! Make sure to follow me on twitter at @capsfanatic_wvu for more Capitals talk all offseason long, and, most importantly, during the upcoming Washington Capitals season!
Until We Meet Again,