Main camp impressions

The morning scrimmage ended with GRAY (yes, they continue to transform WHITE into GRAY for some reason) beating GREEN 4-3 thanks to a late tipped goal by Markus McCrea. Shane Harper, Zack Dailey and D.Jay McGrath also scored for GRAY. Kellan Tochkin, Cameron Abney and Kyle Beach tallied for GREEN.

GRAY prevailed again this evening, winning 4-2. Harper scored twice, once on a two-on-one penalty shot and once into an empty net, to lead GRAY. Manraj Hayer had the highlight goal of the day when angled in on the rush and deked around Kent Simpson to score, and Mike Alexander also scored for GRAY, blowing a slap shot through Ryan Cadieux. For GREEN, Cameron Gibson one-timed a shot in after a nice feed from Cameron Abney, and Ty Skauge snuck a shot under Trevor Gutierrez.

Here’s some observations:

– Goaltending is going to be key for the Tips this season, and goalies Shayne Barrie and Simpson were fine. The rebound control isn’t all the way there yet, but they stopped everything they should.

– Jordan Mistelbacher and Matt Ius were on a line together both scrimmages and just dominated physically. However, they still haven’t quite found that finish in order to turn domination of puck possession into goals.

– Kyle Beach was once again Kyle Beach. He was involved in a recurring physical confrontation in each scrimmage — in the morning it was with Jeff Regier and the evening it was Brenden Stephen — during which big hits were thrown both ways.

– The 91-born forwards are going to be the bulk of the rookies this year. Of that crop I’d have to say Abney was the standout today. He was a major physical presence, which was expected. But he also showed flashes of offensive ability, which maybe wasn’t. Also, Tyler Maxwell has wheels.

– The transformation of Campbell Elynuik continues at an astounding rate. To be honest, based on last year’s performance at rookie camp, I didn’t really expect him to be back this year. Not only is he back, but it looks like he’s improved significantly just in the week he’s been here. He’s developed into a physical presence, and now he’s creating things offensively, too. Doubt he’ll make the team this year, but he’s added his name to Everett’s lengthy list of 92-born prospects.

I won’t be able to attend tomorrow’s scrimmage as I’ll be on AquaSox duty the next two nights, so I won’t be able to post any observations. If anyone else attends feel free to post your impressions under the comments here, if for no other reason then to tell ME what happened.

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