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Team Black Tops Team Gray, 8-6

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche wrapped up the on-ice portion of its 2008 Development Camp this morning at the Family Sports Center. The prospects hit the ice early to warm-up and then skated in an hour-long scrimmage, which Team Black won by an 8-6 count behind four goals from Kelsey Tessier.

Scrimmage Format
The contest was broken down into two 20-minute halves with running time. Instead of traditional “on-the-fly” line changes, a buzzer sounded approximately every 45 seconds to signal a change. Play was split between 4-on-4 and 3-on-3 action. Following each half, a shootout was staged – the winner of which was awarded one goal toward the contest’s final score.

1st Half
After a few quick words from Lake Erie Head Coach Joe Sacco, the teams took to the ice. Billy Sauer began the scrimmage in goal for Team Black, while Ian Keserich received the starting nod for Team Gray.

The game started out with 4-on-4 action. Team Black’s Tessier opened the scoring 7:20 into the first half after intercepting a Joel Chouinard pass at the far blue line and streaking in all alone before beating Keserich.

Team Gray’s Codey Burki tipped home the rebound of a Nigel Williams shot a minute later to even the game, but Jens Hellgren again grabbed the lead for Team Black at 10:20 as the action switched to 3-on-3. Shortly after, Peter Delmas replaced Keserich in the Team Gray net.

Team Black’s 2-1 advantage didn’t last long, as Team Gray went on to score the final three goals of the first half to take a 4-2 lead into the intermission. David Jones scored just 20 seconds after Hellgren’s goal, while Chris Stewart added a tally of his own after beating Sauer from the right faceoff circle at 14:30. Jones then notched his second of the game on a backhand attempt with two minutes remaining to round out the first-half scoring.

Team Gray got the better of Team Black in the intermission shootout (thanks to goals from Michael Carman and Kevin Shattenkirk) and received an additional goal for their efforts to give the squad a 5-3 lead.

2nd Half
At the start of the second half, Peter Delmas remained in goal for Team Gray while Kent Patterson took over netminding duties for Team Black.

Tessier was undoubtedly the star of the second half, notching three of Team Black’s five goals in the stanza. In fact, Team Black scored the first five goals of the frame to take a 7-5 lead late in the scrimmage.

Tessier opened the second-half scoring at the 1:00 mark and later – after his squad had knotted the game at 5-5 – beat new Team Gray netminder Trevor Cann twice (both off assists from T.J. Hensick)  to give Team Black a two-goal cushion.

Patterson nearly shut out Team Gray during his 20 minutes of work, but Mark McCutcheon notched a breakaway tally as time expired, making it a 7-6 score in favor of Team Black.

Team Gray could have tied the scrimmage in the shootout, but Team Black – bolstered by a pretty backhand tally by Kevin Montgomery – outscored its opponent to account for the 8-6 final.

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