RECAP: Laughlin Gets Last Laugh (and Goal) in Alumni Game


One of the most anticipated events of Washington Capitals Fan Fest 2017 was the Alumni Game which took place Tuesday evening. Caps alumni were divided into two teams: Red and White. They played three 15-minute periods with 10-minute intermissions between.

The White Team was coached by Caps’ Hall of Fame defenseman, Rod Langway, and consisted of the following players – Nelson Burton, Alan May, Brian Sutherby, John Druce, Denis Maruk, Mike Knuble, Matt Herr, Paul Mulvey, Bryan Helmer, and Olie Kolzig, with Clint Malachuk in goal. The Red Team was coached by Yvon Labre, an alum from the team’s first year, and consisted of the following players – Ken Sabourin, Sylvain Cote, Errol Rausse, Yvon Labre, Kelly Miller, Matt Bradley, Alan Hangsleben, Peter Bondra, Craig Laughlin, Matt Pettinger, and Brad Johnson, with Dave Parro serving as goalie. Each team had one additional player, a fan who had won a contest from Monumental Entertainment. Alsahbra participated with the Red Team and Selby participated with the White Team.

The goal scoring started about two-and-a-half minutes into the contest when Bondra scored an unassisted goal for the Red Team. Laughlin then added another goal for the Red Team. Herr opened scoring for the White Team a little over a minute later to pull within a goal, but Miller had a quick response goal to regain the Red Team’s two-goal advantage. Miller was assisted by Bondra. With about two minutes to go in the period, Maruk scored the White Team’s second goal. He was assisted by Mulvey and Sutherby. The first period ended with the Red Team up 3-2.

In the second, Alsahbra got the first goal early in second period for the Red Team, getting assists from Hangsleben and Bondra. Helmer struck back for the White Team less than a minute later with an unassisted goal. Less than two minutes later, Bondra scored another goal, this time assisted by Bradley. Maruk scored again just over six minutes into the period, with assists from Knuble and Herr. The score was 5-4 going into second intermission.

In the third, the see-saw battle continued. Maruk opened the scoring in the period with a goal in the first minute, tying the game at 5-5 in the process. Selby got the assist. Bradley scored on a hard shot not quite three minutes later to regain the lead. Maruk scored again to tie, with Sutherby getting the assist this time. Once again, Bondra scored again, to give the Red Team the lead again, with Pettinger and Alsahbra getting the assists. Druce scored the tying goal with about five minutes to go, getting assists from Herr and Sutherby. With less than a minute left in the game, Laughlin scored the winning goal for the Red Team, getting an assist from Bondra. The final score was 8-7 in favor of the Red Team.

When the game was over, Bondra was given the “Player of the Game” award as he had scored three goals and had five assists, essentially contributing to every Red Team goal. Maruk had a great game for the White Team as he scored three goals.

All jerseys worn in the game were auctioned, with the proceeds donated to Monumental Sports and Entertainment Foundation, the charity arm of Monumental Sports. Each jersey was autographed with a Certificate of Authenticity included.


Period 1
2:38 Red Team – Peter Bondra Unassisted 1-0
6:41 Red Team – Craig Laughlin Assists: Peter Bondra 2-0
9:02 White Team – Matt Herr Assists: Nelson Burton 2-1
9:08 Red Team – Kelly Miller Assists: Peter Bondra 3-1
12:58 White Team – Dennis Maruk Assists: Paul Mulvey, Brian Sutherby 3-2

Period 2
1:31 Red Team – Alsahbra Assists: Alan Hangsleben, Peter Bondra 4-2
2:09 White Team – Bryan Helmer Unassisted 4-3
3:45 Red Team – Peter Bondra Assists: Matt Bradley 5-3
6:33 White Team – Dennis Maruk Assists: Mike Knuble, Matt Herr 5-4

Period 3
0:29 White Team – Dennis Maruk Assists: Selby 5-5
3:10 Red Team – Matt Bradley Assists: Peter Bondra 6-5
4:29 White Team – Dennis Maruk Assists: Brian Sutherby 6-6
7:01 Red Team – Peter Bondra Assists: Steve Pettinger, Alsahbra 7-6
10:29 White Team – John Druce Assists: Matt Herr, Brian Sutherby 7-7
14:43 Red Team – Craig Laughlin Assists: Peter Bondra 8-7

By Diane Doyle

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