Over 3,000 fans packed Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Saturday, packing the Arlington, Virginia practice rink to watch the final scrimmage of Washington’s 2011 Development Camp.
In a physical, fight-filled match (you can check out photos of the day’s fights here), Group B rolled past Group A, 5-2 lead by T.J. Syner’s two goals. Karl Stollery, Reid Edmonson, and Stanislav Galiev also tallied for the winners, while Andrew Cerniwchan and Luke Lockhart scored for the losers.
Dustin Stevenson and Aaron Schmit settle their differences with their fists. (Video via Suzanne K.)
On Saturday, during the third and final scrimmage of the Caps’ Development Camp, the prospects turned the physicality up notch in front of a capacity crowd at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. There were three fights, each of them featuring a different combatants.
In the first period, 2009 sixth-round draft pick Garrett Mitchell got in his third throw-down of the week, challenging Group B’s Mike Bovin after a rough run. The two traded a few punches before Mitchell lost his balance and were separated by officials.
In the second stanza, Dustin Stevenson — a 6’5” behemoth — got in his second fight of camp and did so with a bit of flair, bending over and chucking his helmet through his legs before engaging Aaron Schmit. Stevenson got the upper-hand of the altercation, despite absorbing several heavy shots from Schmit at center ice.
Garrett Mitchell attempts to headbutt Scott Wietecha into submission. (Photo credit: Chris Gordon)
After losing the first scrimmage game, Group A turned the tables on Group B on Thursday to take the second match of Development Camp, 4-3, in the shootout.
Garrett Mitchell, David Citviarese and Danick Paquette tallied Group A’s goals in regulation, while Travis Boyd scored twice along with Reid Edmondson in Group B’s losing effort. Mitchell also added the only shootout goal.
Danick Paquette dishes out a hit along the boards.
After participating in workouts for first two days of the Capitals’ annual Development Camp, 19 of the organization’s prospects and 25 free agent invites took to the ice for the first intra-squad scrimmage of the summer on Wednesday.
Group B — wearing the red sweaters — controlled the play throughout the game at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, taking it by a score of 4-2. Caleb Herbert, Stanislav Galiev, Travis Boyd and Aaron Schmit scored for the winning team while Andrew Cherniwchan and Garrett Mitchell tallied in the losing effort.
“The thoughts were is they played hard,” Caps head coach Bruce Boudreau told reporters after the game. “I think there was a lot more physical contact than the last two development camps, at least early on for the first game. … They’ve gotten better every day, I expect them to be even better tomorrow and by Saturday I’ll be a pretty good game.”
Forward Cody Eakin, a third-round draft pick in 2009 and a veteran of three camps, attributed the style of play to the players desire to make an impression on Washington’s brass.
“They’re some big guys out here and everyone is fighting for a job, a second chance and a second look so it was pretty physical. Guys are stepping up and there wasn’t a lot of room out there.”
In the third period of Wednesday’s Development Camp scrimmage, Capitals prospects Dustin Stevenson and Garrett Ross dropped the gloves. The fight, which lasted about 20 seconds, started after Aaron Schmit scored for Group B, giving them a 4-1 advantage. The 6′ 5″ Stevenson landed a majority of the punches, but Ross — a veteran of 24 OHL fights — landed the hardest punch, a sharp haymaker that elicited “oohs” and “aahs” from the crowd.
Now I’m sure some of you are wondering why the heck two players “technically” on the same team would fight each other. And that my friends, is the beauty of hockey. All of the players in camp are competing for jobs and specific roles within the organization come September. Ross certainly gave Group A an emotional lift, dropping the gloves with a player five inches and 50 pounds bigger than him and hanging tough, though they ended up losing, 4-2.
Below the jump, Chris Gordon shares his photos of the bout.
Dima participates in a drill during the first day of Development Camp.
Photos by Chris Gordon
When Metallurg Novokuznetsk’s season ended in early February without a playoff berth, Dmitry Orlov had two options. He could finish the year in Russia again with Metallurg’s MHL affiliate, the Novokuznetsk Bears, or begin his professional career in North America. After dominating the KHL’s junior circuit and winning the Davydov trophy as the MHL Playoff MVP in 2009-10, Dima needed a new challenge. So he negotiated an agreement with his KHL club and flew over to America to sign a contract with the Washington Capitals.
The Caps began their annual Development Camp on Monday, held at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Virginia for the fifth year in a row. The six day session features prospects signed in the organization, including Cody Eakin, Stanislav Galiev, Dimitri Orlov and Mattias Sjogren, as well free agent invitees and players selected at the Draft last month.
Day one was pretty exciting. Group A skated around a bunch of cones, Bruce blew his whistle a lot, Troy Brouwer addressed the DC media for the first time, George McPhee looked super dreamy, Olie the Goalie (coach) showed off his new sweatpants, Sjogren lost a chicklet, Group B skated around another bunch of cones, Bruce blew his whistle a lot more before the day was capped off with everyone’s favorite drill: wind sprints! And some trick shots of course.
Following today’s development camp activities, Dmitry Orlov (now and forever spelled with a y) and Stan Galiev spent a few minutes goofing around on the ice. Moving the net up the ice, they practiced point-blank distance trick shots before calling it a day.
Orlov and Galiev flipped the puck from around the back of the net, from halfway up the ice, and from extreme angles. Perhaps they’re working on one of those Granlund-style lacrosse goals, or maybe Stanislav Galiev’s header (13 seconds in) is the real future of the Capitals’ offense. Either way, we’re probably looking at the future of the Caps: fun, creative, and somewhat mischievous.