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Youth To Be Served At Burgundy/White Game

The Avalanche will roster a mix of veterans and young players

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab /

DENVER--The Colorado Avalanche's 2017 training camp comes to a close Sunday morning as the club holds its annual Burgundy/White Game at Magness Arena on the University of Denver campus.

This year's intrasquad scrimmage returns to the home ice of the defending NCAA national champion Denver Pioneers for a fourth consecutive year and features an early puck drop of 10 a.m. MT. The game can be heard live on the Altitude Sports Radio Network, AM 950 in the Denver metro area.

Team White won last year's event, defeating Team Burgundy 1-0 after Mikhail Grigorenko scored with 28.8 seconds left.

The Burgundy/White Game is the initial look for fans at the 2017-18 Avalanche squad, and this year's contest will feature plenty of youth. The influx of young players donning the new adidas sweaters on Sunday is fitting with Colorado expected to have several spots in its opening-night lineup taken by rookies.

Two of the reasons why the "kids" will see more ice time in this game is because the Avs coaches and staff want to see how they compare to some of the veterans after a strong showing at the San Jose Prospect Showcase and from injuries starting to pile up.

"We'll have some of our veteran guys that won't play, but we're running out of bodies to make up two teams here, so you will see a mix of older guys and some of the younger guys we liked in San Jose," Colorado head coach Jared Bednar noted when discussing the scrimmage.

The Avs rookies didn't win any of the outings at the three-game exhibition last week in California, but they played their peers from the San Jose Sharks, Arizona Coyotes and Anaheim Ducks very closely and had a high compete level in each contest. They impressed the staff with their ability to play fast and execute Bednar's system with limited practice.

One of the veterans that will play is goaltender Semyon Varlamov. Bednar said the Avs keeper wanted to play in this game, which will be his first since Jan. 17 against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Varlamov missed the final 39 contests last year after having season-ending hip surgery to fix his injured groin.

The Avalanche's full burgundy and white rosters are expected to be released before the game on Sunday morning.

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