Saturday, several thousand red-attired Capitals fans packed the chilly confines of Kettler Iceplex to get their mid-summer hockey fix and watch the concluding scrimmage of 2011 Prospect Development Camp and participate in the FanFest activities. Although some pundits claim that DC is not a true “hockey town,” the 3000 or so estimated attendees at the event would probably dispute that point.
In yet another savy marketing move, the Capitals organization parlayed a grass-roots fan interest into a real fan-centric event, the likes of which shocked some of the prospects who had likely never played in front of a crowd of that size. Fans filled the bleachers and packed several deep along the glass around the rink.
The high attendance even surprised Ted Leonsis, the Caps owner, who watched the scrimmage from his perch over the rink. The standing room only event featured an equipment sale, kids activities, and autograph sessions, but the centerpiece of the activities was the scrimmage, which, unlike previous years, was played in the full-game format. Group B beat Group A 5-2 in an exciting game filled with scoring and fights that Adam over at Kings of Leonsis recapped nicely.
Video highlights below, courtesy Washington Capitals: