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Training Camp Report: Day 2

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche continued its 2008 training camp Sunday with a pair of scrimmages and plenty of instruction, which came from both the players and the coaches.


One interesting aspect of training camp is to see how the veterans mesh with some of the organization’s younger players. Case in point, nine-year veteran Scott Hannan has been paired almost exclusively with Colorado’s top pick from the 2008 Entry Draft, Cameron Gaunce, during the first two days of scrimmages.

“I’ll tell you, he’s got a lot of poise for a young kid,” Hannan said of Gaunce. “He’s big and he moves the puck well. He’s played really well. It makes me think back to when I was in that position and playing with older guys.”

In a way, the established NHL players in camp, like Hannan, are serving as on-ice mentors to some of the youngsters this week.

“You try and help them out on the ice by talking to them, making them feel comfortable and just letting them play their games,” said Hannan. “If guys feel comfortable, it allows them to show what they have out there.”

Coach Granato’s Reaction to Day 2
“The first two days of camp have been successful, and I’m looking forward to seeing tomorrow’s game. It’s going to be a little more competitive, because now it’s more of a formal game even though you’re still playing against each other.”

Scrimmage Recaps
Because the players are broken up into three teams, each squad will take a turn playing two scrimmages in a single day at some point during camp. Today, it was Team Black that took on both opposing groups.

Black took the day’s first scrimmage by a 4-3 count on goals from David Jones, Codey Burki, Joe Sakic and Bryan Marshall. Blue received goals from Cody McCormick, Ryan Smyth and T.J. Hensick in the first half of the scrimmage, but Black netminder Jason Bacashihua kept Blue off the scoreboard in the second half after replacing Andrew Raycroft.

Team Gray came away with a 2-1 victory over Team Black in the second scrimmage. Gray netminders Peter Budaj and Trevor Cann combined to allow just one goal – a late penalty shot tally by Black’s Nathan Smith on Cann. Chris Stewart had a goal and one assist and Derek Peltier also scored for the victors.

Stastny to Skate Tomorrow
After Sunday’s session, Granato gave a brief update on Paul Stastny and a few other players who have been banged up during the first few days of camp.

Stastny was kept out of today’s scrimmage, but will skate tomorrow. Wojtek Wolski (foot) also didn’t scrimmage today and is listed as day-to-day.

Meanwhile, Granato said that Marek Svatos is essentially ready for game action, but is still being held out of scrimmages until he can build up his stamina.

“We’re trying to make sure his conditioning is good,” said Granato. “He looks good and I think he’s ready to play, but we just have to make sure his conditioning is up to speed, since he hasn’t played a game in a long time.”

Granato said that none of the three players will participate in tomorrow’s Burgundy/White Game.

Line Combinations
After skating with David Jones on nearly every shift yesterday, Avalanche captain Joe Sakic spent most of Sunday being flanked by Darcy Tucker. However, the three players did see a few shifts on the same line throughout today’s scrimmages.

Team Gray occasionally rolled out a line of Cody McLeod, Ben Guite and Milan Hejduk, while Team Blue often had Ryan Smyth playing on the wing alongside T.J. Hensick.

In addition, Brett Clark and Adam Foote were paired up almost exclusively on the blue line for Team Gray.

Burgundy/White Game Tomorrow
Tomorrow the Avalanche will play its annual Burgundy/White Game at Cadet Ice Arena on the grounds of Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs at 6:00 p.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.




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