Red Wins Rubber MatchPosted on January 14, 2013 by Mike Vogel
A few thousand folks shoehorned themselves into the Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Saturday to witness the rubber match scrimmage finale of this week’s Capitals summer development camp. Team Red earned the camp championship by virtue of its 5-2 victory over Team White on Saturday. Brandon Anderson started in net for Red and Philipp Grubauer for White. Red blueliner Karl Stollery started the scoring early in the first. Mattias Sjogren won an offensive zone draw back to Brett Flemming at the right point. Flemming passed across to partner Stollery, who floated a sharp wrister through traffic and past Grubauer for a 1-0 Red lead. The first of three scraps took place at the 14:38 mark of the first when White’s Garrett Mitchell challenged Red’s Mike Boivin. Mitchell had gone hard to the net in anticipation of a possible rebound of a Cody Eakin shot, only to have Boivin launch him into the goalpost. With White’s Danick Paquette off for high-sticking Caleb Herbert late in the first, Red doubled its lead. Travis Boyd carried down the right side and pulled up at the half-wall. Rather than kicking the puck back out to the point, he threaded it to the far goalpost where Reid Edmondson was ready and waiting to tap it in easily. Red defenseman Dmitry Orlov also collected an assist on that tally. Red opened up a commanding 3-0 lead at 4:49 of the second when Cameron Burt sprung T.J. Syner on a breakaway. Syner skated in and beat Grubauer high to the stick side. The second – and best – bout of the day took place at 5:57 of the middle period when White’s Dustin Stevenson decisioned Red’s Aaron Schmit. White broke the shutout spell at 8:37, capitalizing on a poor line change by Team Red. After White had a period of sustained offensive zone presence, Red cleared the puck down the right wing wall and tried to make a wholesale change. White defenseman Garrett Haar quickly and alertly pushed the disc up the left wall to Garrett Mitchell, who broke into the zone on an odd-man break. Mitchell went to the net and shot, but Anderson denied him. Andrew Cherniwichan was on the spot to pot the rebound into a yawning cage. Jacob Gervais-Chouinard and Steffen Soberg replaced Anderson and Grubauer, respectively, in the nets at the 10:45 mark of the second. Haar and Cherniwichan nearly brought White within one right after the goalie switch. Haar drove down the left side and fed Cherniwichan perfectly in front, but the forward was robbed twice on the doorstep by Gervais-Choiunard at 12:51. Red had a chance to put the game away late in the second when it enjoyed a sustained stretch with the two-man advantage. But it was unable to solve Soberg, and it carried a two-goal lead into the third. Soberg kept the White deficit at two with a great glove save on Syner at 4:56, on a point blank shot from the slot. That save loomed larger minutes later when White’s Luke Lockhart shaved the lead to 3-2 at 7:05 with an assist from Paquette. Lockhart pounced on a puck in front and beat Gervais-Chouinard. Team White had a chance to draw even late in the game when Burt went to the box for high-sticking at 15:44, but it was not able to convert. Syner’s second goal of the game – with help from Sjogren – came at 18:18 and it put the game out of reach. Paquette and Stollery squared off in a short skirmish at 18:41, and Stan Galiev closed out the day’s scoring with an unassisted empty-netter at 19:46.
Just as the lockout that killed the 2004-05 NHL season was coming to an end in midsummer of 2005, I was in Hershey where the Caps were conducting their annual summer development camp. The Caps and Bears had just rekindled their affiliation together a couple months previously, and I was getting