The morning got off to an early start with the annual equipment sale. When I arrived around 7:40 there was a line at the check-in table stretching back the length of Kettler Capitals IcePlex [Ed note: Do you people ever sleep?!?!]. Making my way into the stands that served as a waiting area until the sale officially started at 8am, I was shocked to see a section of the bleachers already filled. At 8am the crowd was led to the upper level of the rink where a vast panoply of new and used hockey equipment awaited their perusal. The crowd quickly, but orderly, made their way into the sale area, making a beeline for the player sticks and used practice jerseys. Patrons could be seen with armfuls of gear and frantically pawing through piles of clothing – clearly the event was a success for the Capitals.
The chairman of the newly-christened Momumental Sports and Entertainment, and majority owner of the Capitals, Mr. Ted Leonsis, made an appearance before the scrimmage started to address the assembled mass of fans. Ted spoke for a few minutes about the state of the franchise, acknowledging the early season exit and promising a better fan experience in the upcoming season, explaining that big changes were on the way. He got a warm reception from the crowd and the scrimmage began (a few minutes early even).
By the time the puck dropped on the final scrimmage of 2010 Development Camp, there was not a single empty seat in the stands or spot along the glass or railings. In fact, along most the boards, fans were standing four or five deep, craning their necks for a chance to see the new Capitals prospects. Saturday’s scrimmage was a much different affair than the previous two run-and-gun, high-scoring affairs. The Red and White teams were much more tentative, which might also have been a reflection of the fact that all the prospects were exhausted after an intense week of drills. The White team started the scoring, with Andy Miele (Jr, Miami) slotting home a pass from Wade MacLeod. Phil DeSimone answered for the Red team, burying a Chris Bond feed to even the score at 1-1. David deKastrozza (Sr, University of Maine) put the Red team back on top, 2-1, after he pick-pocketed Ryan Lowery (Jr, Colorado College) at center ice and skated into the offensive zone untouched. Eric Alexander (Fr, Ferris State) scored the last goal of regulation to even the score and send the game to overtime, where neither team scored. Goals from Stanislav Galiev and Andy Miele were enough to seal the shootout for the White team.
The crowd was also treated to two fights. In the first bout, Joe Finely squared off against Anthony Pisano for the second time during Development Camp, with Finley landing several solid punches before wrestling Pisano to the ice.
After the two heavyweights had been escorted to the sin bin, Stefan Della Rovere and Trevor Bruess took center stage for the main event of the night. The two middleweights exchanged punches, with Della Rovere landing three consecutive uppercuts that staggered Bruess and left his nose streaming blood.
Both Anton Gustafsson (leg) and Jake Hauswirth (concussion) left the game with injuries.
Bruce Boudreau Interview Highlights
“It is hard to imagine another place where three thousand people would come out for a summer scrimage.”
“It is quite a testament to the enthusiasm of the fan base.”
The Three Russians
We’d be remiss if we didn’t save the last section of our post for an update on Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmtri Orlov and Stanislav Galiev. Today after their scrimmage, Becca of Japers Rink notified us that they got autographs from the Red Rockers. Seriously. The absurdity of it all led Corey Massisak to ponder if they were after something else. In conclusion, this week we saw the guys teach Russian to a UMD class, eat an entire plate of cupcakes, buy a PS3, feed each other food in front of fans & team up and take out scores of other prospects in a Capitals paintball outing. These guys can’t return to D.C. soon enough!