The Washington Capitals closed out the 2015 Rookie Tournament with a 4-2 loss to the Nashville Predators’ rookies on Tuesday. The Predators entered the game with a 1-1 record in the tournament. Vitek Vanecek got the start in net for the Capitals prospects.
Offensive Lines: Vrana-Stephenson-Barber, O’Brien-Boyd-Koules, Walker-Herbet-Elgestal, Cox-McGauley-Deblois.
Defensive Pairings: Siegenthaler-Hobbs, Djoos-Bowey, Gibb-Basso. Vanecek in goal, Backup was Kozun. Scratches: Texeira, Lewington, Wilson.
Considering the 10 a.m. start, it was not surprising that both teams got off to a sluggish start. Stars of the game for the Washington Capitals included: Vitek Vanecek, Madison Bowey and Tim McGauley.
A bit of a sluggish start for both teams. Capitals goaltender Vitek Vancecek made several nice stops early in the first frame. The Capitals prospects had several chances, including point-blank shots by Miles Koules, Madison Bowey, Liam O’Brien and Chandler Stephenson. The pace of play picked up around the 15 minute mark. Riley Barber and Chandler Stephenson almost connected on an end-to-end play, but the shot was denied by the Preds goalie, Juuse Saros. Preds led SOG 9-8 at the 18 minute mark. Predators Robinson was called for a 4-minute double minor for high-sticking with 1:15 left in the first period. Caps were unable to score, but had 2:45 remaining on a PP to start the 2nd. SOG for the period were 10-9 in favor of the Preds. Scoreless after one period.
The Capitals started the second period on the power play, but were unable to generate much pressure. Alex Basso got off a decent shot, but Preds Saros made a nice save. Finally, Tim McGauley was able to punch it in on a nice tic-tac goal play at the 2:34 mark. Madison Bowey and Travis Boyd were credited with the assists. The Predators quickly tied it up on a power play goal, and took the lead a minute later, 2-1 on a weak defensive stand by the Capitals defense, at the 4:17 mark. Vanecek made several nice stops at the midway point in the period to keep the score 2-1, Preds. Action picked up in the latter half of the period, with SOG 18-18 at the 12 minute mark. The Capitals went on the power play at the 13 minute mark, but were unable to score, going 1-3 on power plays. Vrana had a nice break away chance but was denied by Preds goalie Juuse Saros. The second period ended, Preds still up 2-1. Capitals lead on SOG 24-20.
The Capitals top line was able to generate nice pressure at the start of the third period, but Caps Caleb Herbert was called for 4-minute minor for high-sticking. The Preds were able to score pretty quickly on the first half of the power play, taking a 3-1 lead at the 3:10 mark of the third period. The Capitals were able to kill the remainder of the penalty. The Capitals were not able to generate their first SOG of the period until the 10:11 mark. Madison Bowey came up with his second goal of the tournament, assisted by Miles Koules and Caleb Herbert at the 14:49 mark, closing the gap to 3-2. Nashville added an ENG to make the final score 4-2.