One of the main events from yesterday’s Washington Capitals Fan Fest 2016 was the aways popular Capitals Alumni Game. The puck dropped at Kettler Ice Plex at 7:30pm and our alumni players were divided into two teams: Team Red and Team White.
The game consisted of two 20 minute periods, with a 20-minute intermission. The Red Team was coached by Caps’ Hall of Fame defenseman, Rod Langway, and consisted of the following players: Craig Laughlin, Alan Hangsleben, John Druce, Kevin Kaminski, Paul Mulvey, Matt Bradley, with Dave Parro serving as goalie.
The White Team was coached by Yvon Labre, an alum from the team’s first year (1974), and consisted of the following players: Olie Kolzig, Alan May, Ken Sabourin, Denis Maruk, Errol Rausee, and Brian Willsie. The game was played in a 4 on 4 format, as opposed to the typical 5 on 5, which enhanced offensive production.
The initial portion of the game featured many good chances, but nobody scored for the first four minutes. Alan Hangsleben of the Red Team opened up the scoring at 4:22. Alan May countered for the White Team over two minutes later to even up the score. Soon after that, Brian Sutherby added another goal for the White Team to give them the lead. Hangsleben scored again to even up the score for the Red Team. There was more scoring for both teams, with Kevin Kaminski adding another goal for the Red Team and Brian Willsie scoring for the White Team. Matt Bradley and Craig Laughlin added two more goals for the Red team as they went into Intermission with a 5-3 lead.
When the game resumed, John Druce scored a goal for the Red team giving them a 6-3 lead. After that, the teams kept trading goals, with Willsie scoring his second goal of the game for the White, followed by a Paul Mulvey goal for the red, followed by Willsie completing the hat trick (although no hats were thrown), followed by Matt Bradley scoring for the Red as the lead for the Red Team was now 8-5. However, the White Team scored three unanswered goals by Sutherby, Maruk, and Willsie to tie up the score, with the last goal scored with less than 2 minutes to go.
The contest proceeded to a shootout where the first three rounds were scoreless. In all rounds, the White Team started. In Round 5, Sutherby scored for the White Team so it was all up to Kevin Kaminski. As he missed, the White Team won the Alumni game 9-8.
All jerseys worn in the game were auctioned, with the proceeds donated to Pedal For Hope and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s National Capital Area chapter. Each jersey was autographed by its wearer, as well, with a Certificate of Authenticity included. Prior to the game, a check was presented to John Druce whose daughter, Courtney was diagnosed with leukemia when she was 15 years old. Courtney was later diagnosed with a rare form of cervical cancer and she recently passed away on April 27, 2016. She was only 27 years old. Pedal For Hope, is an organization that supports children with pediatric cancer, and it is a charity that is very special to the Druce family.
|1||Red||Alan Hangsleben||John Druce, Craig Laughlin||1-0 Red|
|1||White||Alan May||Olaf Kolzig||1-1|
|1||White||Brian Sutherby||Dennis Maruk||1-2 White|
|1||Red||Alan Hangsleben||Kevin Kaminski, Matt Bradley||2-2|
|1||Red||Kevin Kaminsky||Unassisted||3-2 Red|
|1||White||Brian Willsie||Alan May||3-3|
|1||Red||Matt Bradley||Unassisted||4-3 Red|
|1||Red||Craig Laughlin||John Druce||5-3 Red|
|2||Red||John Druce||Craig Laughlin, Matt Bradley||6-3 Red|
|2||White||Brian Willsie||Brian Sutherby||6-4 Red|
|2||Red||Paul Mulvey||Craig Laughlin, John Druce||7-4 Red|
|2||White||Brian Willsie||Unassisted||7-5 Red|
|2||Red||Matt Bradley||Kevin Kaminski||8-5 Red|
|2||White||Brian Sutherby||Brian Willsie, Ken Sabourin||8-6 Red|
|2||White||Dennis Maruk||Brian Willsie||8-7 Red|
|2||White||Brian Willsie||Brian Sutherby||8-8|
By Diane Doyle