Washington’s 2013 summer development camp came to a close on Saturday with an entertaining morning scrimmage in front of a capacity crowd at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. After dropping the first two of four scrimmages during the week, Team Red came back to win the final two tilts, taking a 6-4 decision in Saturday’s finale.
Andre Burakovsky – Washington’s first-round pick (23rd overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft – scored what would prove to be the game-winning tally midway through the third period. Burakovsky’s snap shot off the rush came from the right circle and eluded Team White netminder Clarke Saunders.
With 17.5 seconds remaining, Chandler Stephenson iced the contest with an empty-net tally to account for the final 6-4 score.
Team Red drew first blood at the 1:24 mark of the first period on a goal from Nolan LaPorte. The White crew evened the score on an opportunistic tally from Taylor Stefishen at 5:54 of the first. Stefishen stripped Red goaltender Brandon Anderson of the puck behind the red net, pulled it out front and tucked it into an empty net to make it a 1-1 game.
Exactly a minute later, White gained a 2-1 advantage when Dalton Young’s shot from the left point found its way through traffic and into the net.
With just under five minutes left in the first, Red committed a turnover in its own end. Stefishen made a sublime behind-the-back pass to set up Kyle Baun for a glorious scoring chance from the slot, but Anderson made the stop to keep Red within a goal.
Less than a minute later, Red pulled even on a pretty goal from Stephane Legault. Legault drove the left wing lane and gained the opposition line. Just then, White defenseman Connor Carrick blew a tire, and Legault took advantage of the mishap by carving toward the net and tucking a backhander behind White netminder Sergey Kostenko to make it a 2-2 contest with 3:09 remaining in the first frame.
Team White regained its lead just over a minute later when Sam Anas fired a shot from the left side off the rush. The puck caromed off the post, but White had numbers down low and it looked like Boston Leier tapped it home, although defenseman Michal Cajkovsky was also in the vicinity. In any case, the goal resulted in a 3-2 White lead.
Anderson made a key stop on a Baun breakaway bid in the waning seconds of the first to enable Red to get to the room with just a one-goal deficit.
At 3:23 of the second, Team Red made it a 3-3 game when Travis Boyd tucked a backhander through Kostenko off the rush.
With 10:54 remaining, goaltending changes were made on both sides. Louis-Phillippe Guindon took over for Anderson in the Team Red crease while Saunders spelled Kostenko for Team White.
Saunders was tested early, making a strong stop on a Boyd deflection of a Connor Kucera shot.
Team Red had the game’s first power play opportunity late in the second. Although the Carmines didn’t cash in during the two-minute man-advantage, they did a mere eight seconds after it expired. Tyler Lewington’s shot from the point made its way past Saunders, perhaps getting some deflection help from LaPorte along the way. The goal gave Red a 4-3 advantage with just 1:45 remaining in the middle period.
In the first minute of the third, Guindon enabled Red to maintain its one-goal advantage with a great stop on Justin Larson. Larson was trying to convert a solid feed from Riley Barber, who was consistently one of the best and most noticeable players on the ice throughout the week.
Team White evened the score on a goalmouth scramble at the 3:16 mark of the third period, making it a 4-4 game. That set the stage for Burakovsky’s game-winner and Stephenson’s insurance strike.
Although each team won two of the four scrimmages in four days, Team White held an 18-16 advantage in total goals.