Kettler Capitals Iceplex was packed this morning for the final scrimmage of 2011 Caps Development Camp, which included FanFest. I would guess that at least 1,000 people filled the stands and stood three deep around the entire available circumference of the rink.
The Red team took the lead early in the first period when Karl Stollery wristed a shot through a screen past Philipp Grubauer after Mattias Sjogren won another faceoff cleanly from Cody Eakin. Red continued to carry the play and took a 2-0 lead when Reid Edmondson tapped in a low pass from Travis Boyd on the power play late in the frame. It ended with Red in the lead 2-0.
In the second period T.J. Snyer scored early to make it 3-0 on a breakaway off a nice lead pass from Cameron Burt. Slowly the White team began to claw back in the middle of the period and Andrew Cherniwichan made it 3-1 when he batted home a loose puck in front of the net; the goal was assisted by Garrett Haar and Garrett Mitchell. Despite a long 5 on 3 power play at the end of the period for the Red team, they were unable to score again and the period closed with them in the lead.
The White team struck first in the third period, with Luke Lockhart banging one home on a nice pace from tough guy Danick Paquette to bring the score within one. The Red team came back hard, but 2011 draftee goaltender Steffen Soberg made several great saves to keep his team within one. White was given a late power play but could not tie it up, and then Red put it out of reach when T.J. Snyer scored off a nice pass from Mattias Sjogren. The Red team took the final scrimmage, winning the series 2-1.
Danick Paquette wasn't kidding when he said he played like Matt Cooke - the dude might actually be dangerous. He is clearly an agitator, and could prove to be useful, but right now, he is just far too reckless to be playing with kids who are so much younger than him.
Cody Eakin is getting crushed in the faceoff circle, especially by Mattias Sjogren. It has to be a real concern at this point and it may hold back his ability to compete for a roster spot in DC this fall. Again, he needs time in the AHL in order to fully maximize his potential.
Garrett Mitchell looks good so far. He looks like he brings a little bit of everything to the table; he can skate, score, and certainly is fiesty; he was in two fights this camp. He's a long way off, but he will benefit alot from being in Hershey and could develop into a third or fourth line mainstay in the District.
Dmitry Orlov looked good again today after off days the last two. He was moving the puck well, particularly in open ice, made some nice passes, and laid out Pat Mullane with a huge open-ice hip check. Also of note on Orlov - he has a huge shot. If he fine-tunes it, it will be a real weapon at the NHL level, particularly on the power play. He made it clear after the scrimmage as well that he is fully invested in making the roster, and if he is sent to Hershey, will work to "prove them wrong for sending me down."
That's it for Development Camp coverage from me. Most of the Caps' brass is going on vacation next week, as well.