Green 6, Grey 3
Green goals: Stevie Bryant, Waltteri Hopponen 2, Patrick Bajkov, John Tesarek, Matt Sokol.
Grey goals: Matt Pufahl, Linden Penner, Duncan Long.
Green goalies: Quinton Reynolds (14-11), Mario Petit (10-10).
Grey goalies: Nik Amundrud (18-14), Josh Stone (11-9).
– This was a really good scrimmage, with a lot of back-and-forth play and a lot of scoring chances. It was also surprisingly physical for the first scrimmage of training camp — usually it takes a couple games before guys really get going with the physical play. Perhaps that’s a product of getting two good practices in ahead of time. Perhaps it’s a product of guys like Grey’s Nick White trying to make a name for themselves.
– Team Green contains both forwards Everett picked in this year’s import draft, Waltteri Hopponen and Ivan Nikolishin, and today they were playing on the same line. I’ve gotta say, they looked real good together, particularly when Nikolishin set up Hopponen for his second goal in transition. Tough decisions ahead for the Tips, provided Mirco Mueller returns from San Jose.
– Green’s Patrick Bajkov looks like a completely different player from last year. Last year as a 15-year-old the sixth-round bantam pick was pretty anonymous. But he wasn’t anonymous today as he had a goal, a really nice assist, and drew iron twice. He looks a lot faster and a lot more assertive than a year ago. He’s a late birthdate and not the biggest guy, so maybe he just needed that extra year of maturing physically to reach a comfort level for training camp.
– Grey’s Alec Mehr showed all day why the Tips are trying to get the 16-year-old forward signed. He was flashing the skills during this morning’s practice, then showed off his hands again during the scrimmage, though he didn’t hit the scoresheet.
Blue 4, Red 1
Blue goals: Mirco Mueller, Rylan Cratsenberg, Mitch Skapski, Tyler Sandhu (en).
Red goal: Josh Winquist.
Blue goalies: Logan Linklater (7-7), Solomon Burk (11-10), Austin Lotz (12-12).
Red goalies: Carter Hart (10-8), Nathan Cvar (7-7), Daniel Cotton (7-6).
– This scrimmage didn’t have quite the same level of intensity as the first one, at least from a hitting standpoint.
– Austin Lotz played the equivalent of one period, and he picked up right where he left off last season. Red poured on the pressure late in the game, but Lotz made several good scramble saves when the puck was in close, and he didn’t just get the first attempt, he got the second one, too. He particularly had Josh Winquist’s number as he denied Winquist on multiple occasions. Lotz is coming off some spectacular play during the second half of last season and the playoffs, and Everett will be looking for more of the same this season.
– Noah Juulsen looked ready. The 16-year-old defenseman seemed to be on the ice the entire game for the Blue team, and he was very effective. Physically he looks like he’s matured enough to handle the WHL, and his skating and decision making looked fine. Last year at training camp I thought he looked better than a fourth-round bantam pick, and so far this year that still holds true.
– Ty Mappin, who’s on Team Blue, sat out this afternoon’s scrimmage after tweaking a minor injury during practice Thursday. I’m told he thinks he’ll be ready for scrimmages later this weekend, so it doesn’t appear to be anything serious.