The Colorado Avalanche is gearing up for preseason with the annual Burgundy/White Game, which will take place at Magness Arena on the University of Denver campus on Sunday at 3:00 p.m.
The contest is an opportunity for coaches to evaluate players in a game scenario. Expectations going into the scrimmage include high-paced and competitive play mirroring that of the past two practices.
"I think we [broke] it down and kind of did a build up of our D-zone today," Avs head coach Jared Bednar said. "That was really important to us. It's something we'll touch on a lot during the season, but it was good to lay that foundation so we can go into our Burgundy/White Game tomorrow."
The first two periods will be played with the same rules and regulations as a real game, with penalties and stoppage time. After that, the third period will feature a running clock.
With six players away competing in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey--Nathan MacKinnon, Matt Duchene, Semyon Varlamov, Carl Soderberg, Erik Johnson and captain Gabriel Landeskog--the opportunity is there for other players to capitalize on crucial ice time. Preseason is one of the last chances for skaters to impress the new coaches before the puck drops on the 2016-17 season.
"We'll have a lot of young guys playing in that Burgundy/White Game, mixed in with some of our veteran guys. It gives us an opportunity to evaluate those young guys, some of the guys that were at training camp, against NHL talent," Bednar said. "And we have some veteran guys that aren't going to play tomorrow as well. It's should be an exciting, competitive game."
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Among players excited to play in the game are Patrick Wiercioch and Joe Colborne. Both are University of Denver Pioneers alums that can't wait to return to the ice in Magness Arena.
"It's going to be a lot of fun. I have a ton of good memories there," said Colborne. "There's going to be some reminiscing out there in warmup, then obviously [we'll] get going into the game. Each chance we get like this game and then the first exhibition game is just another step to get the regular season going, which I'm really looking forward to."
DU is hosting the event for the third consecutive time and seventh overall, topping previous hosts Air Force, the World Arena and 1STBANK Center. The intrasquad scrimmage marks the conclusion of training camp, as the Avs then start preparing for their first preseason game in Minnesota on Tuesday, Sept. 27.
Tickets are still available for fans to come and watch the friendly scrimmage, which offers an early preview of Avalanche prospects showcasing their talents. The puck drops at 3 p.m.