ST. LOUIS -- After a week of battling with one another with various drills and working on different aspects of their game, the Blues prospects camp culminated Friday night in front of an appreciative crowd at Scottrade Center.
And in a battle of bragging rights, it was the Blue Team’s defensive prowess that won out over the Gold Team.Chris Porter
, Michael Davies, Philip McRae
and David Perron
scored goals for the Blue and goaltenders Jean-Phillipe Lamoureux and Paul Karpowich
stopped 28 of 29 shots in a 4-1 Blue victory over the Gold before 4,557 spectators. The teams then went to a shootout at the conclusion of the game and each scored on two of five chances.
Defenseman Brian Connelly scored the lone goal for the Gold team, which out-shot the Blue 29-16 for the game.
The Blue team featured linemates Lars Eller and David Perron
along with McRae, who is the son of former Blue Basil McRae, while the Gold team featured first round picks T.J. Oshie
, Patrik Berglund
and defenseman Steve Wagner.
The Blue squad were able to get on top in the first minute of the game before breaking open a tight one-goal lead with two third period goals
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“We wanted to win this game and we did,” said Eller, who the Blues selected with the 13th overall pick of the 2007 NHL Draft.
The Blue wasted little time in grabbing a 1-0 lead, as Porter took in a pass from defenseman T.J. Fast and broke in along the right side and beat Reto Berra
with a snap shot from just inside the right circle 53 seconds in the game.
“That’s not really my game,” said Porter, out of the University of North Dakota who scored 12 goals for Peoria last year. “I was trying to concentrate on the defensive zone, but goals are always a bonus. Even though I’m a defensive player, it’s always nice to contribute on the offensive side as well.”
Connelly, who played at Colorado College last season, threw a harmless shot towards goal in the second period and the puck somehow found it’s way past Lamoureux at 7:53.
“I didn’t get a good look off the stick,” said Lamoureux, another North Dakota product. “That’s kind of my fault because on a screen shot, you’ve got to find a way to find the puck.”
Lamoureux did get the best of his collegiate teammate Oshie, who was stopped on a breakaway in the first period and then again in the shootout as Oshie tried the same move twice where he’d drag the puck to his forehand and try to stuff the puck inside the near post.
“Normally, I’m not that fortunate against Osh,” Lamoureux said. “He definitely knows how to put the puck in the net and he’s going to be a tremendous goal-scorer in the National Hockey League. I was just fortunate to get a couple toes on those two breakaways.
“Normally, he gets me on them because he’s so shifty. I was able to get a good read on them. If he had two again tomorrow, he might score those.”
Oshie, who was selected by the Blues in the first round in 2005, has used that very same move against Lamoureux many times during practices.
“He’s pretty good on breakaways,” Oshie said of Lamoureux. “I wasn’t actually going for it, but he started to stack the pads so it should have been a routine goal. But he ended up getting a pad on it again.”
Davies gave the Blue a 2-1 lead right after the Blue made a goalie change with Belleville native Charlie Effinger.
McRae scored an unassisted goal 6:49 into the third period to give the Blue a 3-1 lead, patiently waiting for Effinger to go down before lifting a wrister top shelf.
“Travis Turnbull made a great play, lifted the guy’s stick and it came right to me,” McRae said. “I just had to beat the goalie.”
Perron, who scored 13 goals and added 27 points in his rookie season with the Blues, salted the game away with a power play goal at 16:30 with a shot from the right circle.
McRae and Jonas Junlund scored shootout goals for the Blue, while Brett Sonne
and Aaron Palushaj netted Gold shootout goals.
At the end, the players offered their appreciation for the support by the crowd.
“It’s really cool that the fans come to watch us young players that are not even real Blues players yet,” Eller said. “That’s great. It’s nice to see.”