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Training Camp Report: Day 2

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche

Team Black vs. Team Gray

On the heels of a 5-4 Team Black victory on Friday, Team Gray came back in impressive fashion on Saturday, winning the scrimmage by a 7-2 count.

Marek Svatos and Eric Healey each recorded a pair of goals for Team Gray, while Paul Stastny, John-Michael Liles and Tyler Arnason chipped in with a goal apiece.

Nigel Williams and Karlis Skrastins scored for Team Black.

Michael Wall received the starting nod in goal for Team Gray, while Peter Budaj began the game for Team Black.

Coach Quenneville’s Thoughts on the Young Players at Camp
“I think of the guys that graduated from rookie camp, there have been four, five or six that have been impressive. [T.J.] Hensick had a really nice rookie camp. Stewy [Chris Stewart] was solid and had a good first day too. [David Jones] has looked really good. Kyle Cumiskey has a little bit of experience, but always catches your attention.

“Across the board we have more depth and more decisions. I think these guys have faired pretty well with graduating to that next step. When you’re out there against the pros the pace is a little bit quicker and you’re going against stronger guys.”

Line Combinations
Don’t mess with success was the motto of training camp today. After a highly competitive opening day, the starting lineups and the majority of the line combinations were very similar to Friday. Joe Sakic and Ryan Smyth spent most of the game side-by-side, while the Stastny-Milan Hejduk-Wojtek Wolski line also remained intact.

For the second consecutive day, Scott Hannan was often paired with Jordan Leopold, however, Jeff Finger also found himself on the blue line with Hannan on multiple occasions.

Change is Good
One change that was made – and turned out to be a great success – was the combination of Healey, Svatos and Jaroslav Hlinka for Team Gray. After playing on the wing yesterday, Hlinka moved back to his natural position, centering a line that accounted for four tallies.

“I thought Hlinka had an outstanding day, Svats had that magic touch on two great shots and Eric complimented them very well,” said Quenneville. “That was probably the most noticeable line out there today.”

“I think we played very well together. We supported each other and created chances,” said Svatos. “It was a good game for our line. We lost yesterday, so it was a bit of payback today.”

Penalty Shot Excitement
Two penalty shots were attempted during the scrimmage, with neither being successful.

Matt Hussey received a chance in the 1st period after a whistle against Dale Purinton. Hussey’s low shot was tipped by Wall up and over his own shoulder. But before it could cross the line, Wall dove back and covered the puck to keep Hussey off the scoresheet.

Purinton was again involved in a whistle that resulted in a penalty shot during the third period, but was the beneficiary on this occasion. Both teams broke out in good-natured laughter as the defenseman - who has totaled four goals in 181 career NHL games -prepared to make his attempt. Unfortunately for Purinton, his shot was stopped by Andrew Penner.

Sunday marks the Avalanche’s annual Burgundy/White Game at Cadet Ice Arena on the grounds of the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs at 11:00 a.m.

The Burgundy/White Game features Avalanche players in a three-period, intra-squad scrimmage. Fans in attendance will also have the opportunity to watch a shootout at the end of regulation regardless of the score.

“It’s going to be the first real game and I’m looking forward to it,” said Svatos. “I’m also really looking forward to the beginning of the season. We have a great bunch of guys here and should be in good shape this year.”

Quick Hits: The physical style of play in today’s scrimmage culminated late in the game with a pair of scuffles. First, Ryan Smyth and defenseman Mitch Love were involved in a brief altercation. Minutes later, veteran forward Ian Laperriere also scrapped with Love…Wall and Tyler Weiman, who both tended net for Team Black, each surrendered only one goal during the scrimmage.

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