The game itself was competitive, although the fact that these are kids who have not played with one another for long made things choppy and lacking in flow from time to time. Some youngsters did stand out though…
Simeon Varlamov – wearing the white colors today – looked a good deal sharper than we remember seeing him last year. Much quicker and much better at anticipating plays. He had many more chances to fend off than did his counterpart – Michal Neuvirth. He earned the round of applause he skated off to mid-way through the second period.
Oscar Osala had a difficult time keeping his footing. Maybe it was a skate problem, but he spent a lot of time picking himself up off the KCI surface. But pick himself up he did, not quitting on plays.
Francois Bouchard had a difficult time of his own, it seemed, for two periods (looking as if he just wasn’t quite in sync), but he was in the middle of things at the end of the contest and in the extra time/shootout. His spin-o-rama shootout move was rather…interesting.
The Blue squad had the best of things early, but it was the White squad that had the advantage in the end. And the physical edge to the play picked up as the minutes were winding down.
We’re rooting for Stefan Della Rovere to make this team some time down the road. He was quite the bundle of energy and grit out there. Even in an environment where one might not see quite the level or intensity of hitting one would see in real games, he was out there plugging away making his presence felt.
It really was amazing to see a crowd as large as this in the middle of July for hockey. Not only were the stands filled, but in the balcony the crowd was several deep along the railing, and the lobby and common areas of KCI were active, as well.
To all the participants and to the Caps…congratulations on a great camp. It was quite entertaining and a signal that things continue to look promising for this organization.