Greetings from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, where the rookies are warming up for tonight’s game between the Capitals’ and Flyers’ prospects.
Tonight’s tilt, set to start at 5 p.m., marks the conclusion of rookie camp and is the first opportunity of the fall for young players on both sides to make an impression on management while up against unfriendly foes.
While there will be plenty to watch, I’m looking forward to a window into the competition between Mattias Sjogren and Cody Eakin, now that both are facing the pressure of main training camp opening on Saturday.
I’ll be back with updates once the game is underway and you can check out the game online through the Flyers’ website. As always, share your observations on the game in the comment section below.
Final update Flyers 3, Caps 2: Despite a strong third period the Caps’ prospects couldn’t complete their comeback against the Flyers, who caputred this rookie game win.
Dmitry Orlov had two superb chances in the waning moments — one shot that rung off the post and Flyers goalie Michael Houser robbed him on another — in what was an overall strong outing for the Russian defenseman.
Update: Brandon Anderson, who is now being taunted by the Wells Fargo Center crowd, has made some nice stops to keep the score 3-2. But with just over three minutes remaining in regulation, the Caps are running out of time to even things up.
Update: Mattias Sjogren coughs the puck up and sends the Flyers the other way on an odd-man rush but one of the prospects in orange knocks the net off its moarings and negates the chance.
Update Caps 2, Flyers 3: Garrett Mitchell scored off a rebound from a point shot by Dustin Stevenson to cut the Caps’ deficit to one 4:05 into the third.
Update, second intermission: Update, second intermission: The Flyers lead 3-1 and have a 19-16 edge in shots through 40 minutes here. It was a much more rough and tumble second period and there’s little reason to believe that will change much as things head into the third. As time expired in the frame, Danick Paquette got into the action and won a lengthy bout with Tyler Hostetter in what is the best fight of the night so far.
Watching the prospects handle the physical play provides a different look than the drills and friendly scrimmages at KCI. Unfortunately Garrett Mitchell has been on the receiving end of a few big hits and appeared a little shaken up in the second, but finished the period. Meanwhile, despite the Flyers best efforts to line them both up repeatedly Sjogren and Dmitry Orlov have stood out as two unfazed by the physicality as opponents seem to bounce off of them rather than connect for a crushing check.
Update Caps 1, Flyers 3: Thomas Hyka beat Anderson to put the Flyers up by two with just 23.4 seconds remaining in the period.
Update: There’s probably no place that cheers a rookie game fight quite like Philadelphia and the crowd here just watched its second scuffle in less than five minutes. Reid Edmonson squared off with Derek Mathers, brining roars from the predominantly orange-clad hoard here at Wells Fargo Center.
Also, as it’s the mid-way point of the game, Brandon Anderson has replaced Grubauer in net for the Caps. Grubauer stopped 11 of the 13 shots he faced in 30 minutes of work.
Update Caps 1, Flyers 2: Philadelphia takes a 2-1 lead on a power play goal by Blake Kessel at 6:35. Immediately after the goal Dustin Stevenson, who was in the box for interference when Kessel scored, dropped the gloves with 6’4 Campbell Elynuik.
Update Caps 1, Flyers 1: Philadelphia prospect Tyler Brown makes a nice move around Caps defenseman Sam Carrier to tie the game up 1-1 just 4:06 into the second.
Update, start of second period: The earliest debate of the year has been settled as the Caps’ first goal has now been credited to Ross, from Galiev.
Update, first intermission: The Caps still lead 1-0 at the end of the first but things are growing increasingly chippy as this contest presses on. In the closing moments of the period, Garrett Mitchell was hit into the goal post by Tyler Hostetter and a scrum broke out behind Philipp Grubauer’s net.
So far the players you would expect to stand out — Eakin, Sjogren, Orlov and Galiev — are doing just that. Should be a fun second period.
Update: Caps get back-to-back chances on the power play late in the period. The first unit of Galiev, Eakin, Sjogren along with Orlov and Flemming on the points generated a few looks but didn’t fluster Flyers’ netminder Brad Phillips.
Update: The goal, which fooled most reporters here, has been credited to Cody Eakin, who followed up on the play to tap the puck in with assists to Ross and Galiev.
Update Caps 1, Flyers 0: Caps take a 1-0 lead 10:40 into the first after a shot from Garrett Ross hits the post and goes in. Stanislav Galiev sparked the play up ice and had a nice set-up pass for Ross.
Update 8:11 elapsed in the first: He’s only taken a few shifts but Sjogren is already showing why being 23 in a game like this has its advantages. The 6’2 Swede has been strong down low and able to protect the puck well, but he also just took the first penalty — tripping — of the game.
Update: Here are the Caps’ lines:
Philipp Grubauer will start the game and play the first 30 minutes. Brandon Anderson will be in net for the second half.