Team White picks up 3-2 win in Heat intra-squad scrimmage
ABBOTSFORD, BC -- After 60 minutes of end-to-end action, Team White pulled away with a 3-2 victory over Team Red in the Abbotsford Heat intra-squad scrimmage.
The match-up was the final component of training camp, giving players their last opportunity to make a strong impression on the Heat coaching staff and management.
"I thought it was a good game," Dustin Sylvester said afterwards. "The guys were battling hard, causing scrums in front of the net. It's nice to see some intensity out there even though tomorrow we're all teammates."
Heat head coach Troy Ward was impressed with the overall team play on both sides and was pleased with the learning opportunities that the game provided as he prepares to get his team ready for the season opener next week.
"Each team ran a different forecheck in a different period so we experimented with some things today to create some video situations for us to teach this next week ... I thought we got a lot done."
Roster cuts will come on Saturday and with 45 players on the training camp roster, Ward, his coaching staff and management will have some tough decisions to make when it comes to releasing players.
"Tomorrow will be a full day for John (Weisbrod) and I," the bench boss said. "John and I will meet all night tonight with our staff and some of the Calgary brass and talk about players.
"Then, tomorrow not only do we have to make some cuts and decisions like that but we also have to have meetings. We have players in there we need to meet with."
Sylvester opened the scoring at 8:48 of the first period when he snapped a shot just underneath the crossbar, taking advantage of a Team Red turnover and catching netminder Leland Irving out of position.
Roman Horak evened things up for Team Red early in the second period off a great feed from Tyler Ruegsegger. Ruegsegger stole the puck from Mitch Wahl, skated into the corner and dished it off to Horak in the slot. The Czech forward clipped it off the post and into the back of the net at 6:54.
Team White regained the lead later on in the second frame with a power play marker. Krys Kolanos' point shot took a couple of bounces on route to the net and slipped past goaltender Alex Evin. Sylvester and Kael Mouillierat earned the assists on the tally.
Late in the third, defenceman Zach McKelvie and Gaelan Patterson dropped the gloves after pushing and shoving along the boards. The scrap ended quickly as McKelvie was able to take Patterson to ice after a couple of swings. After serving their time in the sin bin, the two fist-bumped on their way back to the bench.
"They're willing to take their helmets off and go at but at the same time, they're good people and they realize that they're fighting for the same cause," Ward said with smile when asked about the friendly gesture.
On their seventh power play of night, Team Red was finally able to connect with the man advantage late in the third stanza. Ruegsegger won the draw, snapped it back to Jamie Fritsch and the blueliner let a howitzer go from the point. Bryan Cameron proved the screen in front of the net, completely blocking Danny Taylor's view.