After day one of training camp on Monday consisted of practices, it was time to drop the puck on Tuesday. Each of the three teams played twice throughout the day and the players put on quite the show.
The first game was between Team Yellow and Team Blue in the morning. Yellow went up 4-0 after two periods of play and were able to stave off a late Blue comeback led by Mario Puskarich with a 6-4 victory in the end. Yellow’s attack was driven by Trevor Cope and Jakob Reichert who had good chemistry playing with one another. Cope fired in a couple of goals, which were set up off the stick of Reichert. Rivermen fans should start getting excited about the hometown boy Reichert, who looked like a man out on the ice today. His combination of size and skill will be impossible for opposing teams and college scouts to ignore.
Team Yellow had just a 15 minute rest between games before taking on team Grey in game two on the day. Yellow showed no signs of fatigue as they jumped out to another big lead. For a second straight game Reichert and Cope were terrific along with Evan Campbell who led the offense. Grey started to get it going in the third period, but fell short to a final score of 5-3. Rivermen starting goaltender James Barr mended the net for Team Yellow and looked terrific.
The last game of the day was between Team Grey and Team Blue. Grey got off to a quick 4-0 start, which was led by Calgary Edge captain James Robinson who fired in a pair of goals in the first period. Returnees Bo Pellah and Scott Moyer also recorded a goal each for the Grey team. Once again Team Blue did not go away quietly as they stormed back and made it a game, but unfortunately for them lost 6-4.
All in all the Rivermen brass were impressed with what they saw on the ice at the Langley Sportsplex today. Their returning players and new recruits looked in fine form and will make some of their decisions tough by the time it is all said and done. It looks like we will see a much different looking team this season compared to a year ago. On the blue line, the coaching staff has brought in some quick, puck moving defenseman that have a combination of size and skill that can also shoot the puck. Up front it was evident that there was a lot of speed and skill on the ice today. Expect this year’s forward core to be a lot faster.
In my opinion here are some of the players that stood out :
Team Blue: F- Mario Puskarich(Rivermen), F- Ben Butcher(POE), F- Chris Tracy(Rivermen), F- Derek Sutliffe(Rivermen), D- Thomas Nitsche(Rivermen), D- Matt Carr(Fernie)
Team Yellow: F- Jakob Reichert(Merritt), F- Trevor Cope(Victory Honda), F- Evan Campbell(Rivermen), D- Dominic Nitti(Cretin-Derham Hall), D- Victor Dombrovskiy(NE Chiefs), G- James Barr(Rivermen)
Team Grey: F- Mitch McLain(Brainderd High), F- Matt Ustaski(Lake Forest), F- Scott Moyer(Rivermen), F-Austin Azurdia(Dallas Ice Jets), F- Ben Greiner(Rivermen), D- Bo Pellah(Rivermen), D-Aaron Dolby(Osseo High)
Here is the schedule of day three of camp on Wednesday:
9:00-10:30 AM: Team 1(Yellow) VS. Team 2(Grey)
10:45-12:15 PM: Team 1(Yellow) VS. Team 3(Blue)
1:30-3:00 PM: Team 2(Grey) VS. Team 3(Blue)
All games are at the Langley Sportsplex and will be the last chance for these players to crack a spot on the all-star intrasquad game on Thursday morning.