The 2018 Capitals Alumni Classic took place at 6:30 PM on June 26, and unlike the previous year, was not on the same day as the Capitals’ Fan Fest. In this piece, Diane Doyle recaps this year’s event.
A reasonably large crowd attended this year’s alumni game, but fans could still navigate to and from the Kettler Capitals Iceplex bleachers without issue. The game’s participants were divided into two teams: Team Red and Team White. The plan was for the game to consist of three, 12-minute periods, with two, 15-minute intermissions.
The White Team was coached by Yvon Labre, a member of the inaugural Capitals team, and consisted of the following players: Sylvain Côté, Paul Mulvey, Bryan Helmer, Matt Pettinger, Dmitri Khristich, Kelly Miller, Alan May, Bryan Helmer and Dave Parro in goal. The Red Team was coached by former Capitals goalie, Olaf Kolzig, and consisted of the following players: Brent Johnson, Ken Sabourin, Errol Rausse, Alan Hangsleben, Peter Bondra, Mike Knuble, John Druce, and Frederic Cassivi in goal. Each team had three additional players, including fans who won auctions from Monumental Sports and Entertainment for a position on the team. The caveat was that the winning bidders had to be competent skaters.
The scoring began 1:58 into the first period when Druce scored for the Red Team, with an assist from Mike Knuble, putting the Red Team up 1-0. They added to that advantage when Knuble scored at the 10:07 mark, with an assist from Druce. With one minute left to go in the period, Knuble took a penalty on a White Team player who failed to convert on the resulting penalty shot. Team Red led 2-0 after the first period.
Knuble Goal for Red Team:
The second period was another show by Team Red. Bondra scored at the 1:36 mark of the second period, assisted by Alan Hangsleben and Errol Rausse. Just over three minutes later, at the 4:46 mark, Bondra helped set up another Red Team goal by Moretti. Brent Johnson, playing defense, was credited with the secondary assist. Near the end of the period, Druce scored another goal with Bondra recording yet another assist. Through two periods, the Red Team led 5-0. There was one penalty shot for the period, when Team White took a Too Many Men penalty, but the Red Team was unable to convert. The White Team’s goalie, Dave Parro, was unable to play the second period and was replaced. As the substitute goalie was dressed in a red jersey, it was confusing for fans.
Bondra’s Setup for Red Team Goal #4:
It was decided to only have a three-minute intermission between the final periods, rather than the originally-planned 15-minute one. The White team broke the shutout when Matt Pettinger scored at the 2:54 mark, with assists from Alan May and Kelly Miller. The Red Team scored the final goal of the contest at the 7:48 as Rausse scored, with an assist from Bondra.
After the game was the typical hockey handshake line and a group photograph of all participants. While there was no formal “Player of the Game” award, the most deserving player would have been Peter Bondra. After that, fans stood in line to get autographs and photo opportunities from the participants.
1:58 Red Team – John Druce Assist: Mike Knuble 1-0
10:07 Red Team – Mike Knuble Assists: John Druce, Moretti 2-0
2:38 Red Team – Peter Bondra Assists: Alan Hangsleben, Errol Rausse 3-0
4:46 Red Team – Moretti Assists: Peter Bondra, Brent Johnson 4-0
11:04 Red Team – John Druce Assist: Peter Bondra 5-0
2:54 White Team – Matt Pettinger Assist: Alan May 5-1
7:48 Red Team – Moretti Assist: Peter Bondra 6-1
— Peter Bondra (@PeterBondra12) June 27, 2018
See all of NoVa Caps’ Alumni Profiles here.
By Diane Doyle