In a game that wasn’t decided until the closing seconds, Team Burgundy pulled out a 7-5 victory over Team White today during the Colorado Avalanche’s annual “Burgundy/White Game” at Cadet Ice Arena on the grounds of the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.
T.J. Hensick recorded two goals and two assists to lead Team Burgundy to victory, while teammates Ken Roche (2g) and Ian Laperriere (1g/2a) also had big days on the offensive end. Milan Hejduk and Brent Kelly led the way for Team White with two goals apiece.
“I saw a lot of speed, a lot of skill and some good hits today,” said Avalanche Head Coach Joel Quenneville. “I thought everybody played well and overall it was a good game. It looked like everyone belonged on the ice, and I thought the best line today was Hensick’s group.”
Team Burgundy held a 2-1 lead after one period thanks to goals by Mark Rycroft and Cody McLeod sandwiched around a Team White tally. Rycroft opened the scoring at the 11:53 mark with a marker from the goalmouth, while Kurt Sauer evened the game for Team White at 13:02 with a blast from the high slot that beat Burgundy netminder Peter Budaj.
McLeod then made it a 2-1 contest off a feed from Hensick with 24 seconds left in the stanza. After gathering the puck in the neutral zone, Hensick streaked along the right wing and spun around one defender before slipping a pass to McLeod, who tapped the feed past Team White goaltender Michael Wall.
Team White came out on the attack in the middle frame, ringing a pair of shots off the post before Brent Kelly buried a shot 1:46 into the period. Roche then potted a rebound goal for Burgundy at the 8:11 point, followed by a Laperriere tally at the 9:40 mark
Milan Hedjuk cut Team White’s deficit in half with 53 seconds remaining in the period on an unassisted tally, but Hensick answered back for Team Burgundy 17 seconds later to give his team a 5-3 lead and close out the second period scoring.
At the beginning of the third period, Tyler Weiman took over netminding duties for Team White, while Andrew Penner replaced Budaj in the Burgundy goal.
A flurry of goals in the final three minutes of the game kept the fans on their toes. Kelly struck again for Team White to make it a 5-4 contest at 17:35, followed by another Hensick marker for Team Burgundy at 18:24.
With Weiman pulled for the extra attacker, Hejduk notched his second tally of the night to again make it a one-goal game with 20 seconds remaining. However, Roche ended any hopes of a last-second comeback by Team White with an empty-net goal at 19:49 to account for the 7-5 final score.
“It was exciting being on the ice for the first time in an NHL environment with players like [Joe] Sakic, [Ryan] Smyth and Laperriere,” said Hensick. “Hopefully that can continue and I can put myself in a position to fight for a job.”
Notes: Proceeds from this year’s game will benefit military families and initiatives of the Colorado Avalanche Youth Hockey program…Fans were treated to a shootout following the contest. Team White came out on top by a 2-1 count courtesy of goals from Marek Svatos and Wojtek Wolski. Hensick scored the lone shootout goal for Team Burgundy.