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Camp Concludes with Scrimmage

by Staff Writer / Washington Capitals
HERSHEY, Pa. -- The Washington Capitals’ annual summer development camp concluded at Giant Center here on Thursday night with a 60-minute, four-on-four scrimmage. Team Black prevailed over Team White by a 5-3 count.

National Hockey League referee Paul Devorski, a local resident, officiated the contest. All infractions resulted in penalty shots rather than two-minute minors, and the game was played in 30-minute halves with a semi-running clock.

 Luke Lynes
 Luke Lynes
Defenseman Sami Lepisto got White on the board first when he beat Black goaltender Daren Machesney on a penalty shot. Team Black knotted the score a few minutes later. Center Luke Lynes shot on goal and gathered his own rebound, then centered a pass for defenseman Ethan Graham. Graham fired netward through a screen, and the puck deflected in behind goaltender Tony Quesada.

Minutes later, Black took a lead it would not relinquish. Black blueliner Zach Miskovic gained the zone with speed and a step on his man. He cut to the net, then dropped a nifty pass to Joe Cucci, who fired it home to give Black a 2-1 lead.

Machesney stopped an Andrew Joudrey penalty shot bid, and then Black’s Patrick McNeill gave his team a 3-1 lead with a penalty shot tally. Lepisto was denied on a second penalty shot chance, and the two teams went to the locker room at “halftime” with Black holding a 3-1 lead.

Nathan Lawson took over in goal for Team White, and Michal Neuvirth replaced Machesney for Team Black as the second half got underway.

Team White closed the gap to 3-2 on what might have been the prettiest goal of the night. Travis Morin and Andrew Gordon – two of the WCHA’s top five returning scorers for 2006-07 – went in on a two-on-one break. Morin held the puck patiently, and picked the perfect moment to feed Gordon, whose quick one-timer beat Neuvirth.

Team Black restored its two-goal advantage when Stephen Werner collected a Team White turnover to Lawson’s left and beat him with an authoritative wrist shot.

White closed to within on a Morin wrist shot that was roofed high into the cage. Neuvirth made a pair of very good saves, one at each post, but was unable to corral the second rebound or to set himself for Morin’s shot. The Minnesota State winger patiently set, fired and scored to pull White within a goal at 4-3.

Neuvirth denied two more penalty shot bids to preserve the one-goal advantage.

Team White may have had the better of the scoring chances, but Black goaltenders Machesney and Neuvirth were both very sharp. Neuvirth made a dazzling glove save with just over a minute remaining to preserve the victory. Team White coach Bruce Boudreau called a time-out in an effort to diagram a play that would lead to the equalizer, but Team Black won the draw in its own zone and defenseman Patrick McNeill skated in for an easy empty-net tally, his second of the night, to seal the win for coach Bob Woods.

Notes – Defenseman Jeff Schultz and goaltender Maxime Daigneault sat out with minor injuries … The Capitals announced the re-signing of center Brooks Laich before the game … The Bears held a press conference to announce the re-signing of goaltender Freddie Cassivi to a two-year contract before the game. Cassivi, 31, played 83 games in 2005-06 and was instrumental in Hershey’s run to the Calder Cup championship. Cassivi won the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy, awarded annually to the Most Valuable Player of the Calder Cup playoffs.
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