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Training Camp: Rookie Game

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
John Bishop is the beat writer for He covers the Black & Gold hoping to offer a positive look at the team, not only from the stands and the press box, but also from inside the locker room.
5:22 p.m.

I'm still on the bus, but Media Relations intern Scott Janes checked in from Wilmington:

As the rookies prepared to take on their NY Islanders counterparts down in Shelton, some of the Bruins veterans used this morning to get in a light 20-30 minute skate.

Medical and fitness testing for the vets will be held tomorrow morning, so there was no more skating for the rest of Thursday as the players will rest up for tomorrow's activity and  the official start of training camp on Saturday.

Out on the Wilmington ice today were Andrew Alberts, Patrice Bergeron, Johnny Boychuk, Zdeno Chara, Mike Egener, Andrew Ference, Matt Hunwick, Chuck Kobasew, Milan Lucic, Adam McQuaid, Jeremy Reich, Martin St. Pierre, Marc Savard, Peter Schaefer, Mark Stuart, Nate Thompson, Aaron Ward, Dennis Wideman, and Manny Fernandez.

Thanks for the update, Scott. JB

4:54 p.m.

New B's Fall to Islanders Prospects, 8-4

Shelton, CT -- Just three days (and two practices) into their camp, the Boston Bruins youngest players faced off in a preseason tilt with the New York Islanders prospects and the B's rookie squad fell to the New York Islanders youngsters, 8-4, on Thursday afternoon in a game played the Rinks at Shelton -- the practice facility for the Islanders AHL farm club, the Bridgeport Soundtigers.

Jordan Knackstedt, Levi Nelson, Blake Wheeler and Maxime Sauve all scored for Boston, while Brad Marchand and South Boston’s Arthur Fritch each chipped in with two assists apiece. Sean Bentivoglio scored three goals to pace the New Yorkers.

Boston goalie Kevin Regan (15 saves) got the start for the B's, and he and his counterpart on the other side of the ice, Peter Mannino, each only let in two goals.

The Bruins Jordan Knackstedt opened the scoring at 1:18 of the first. The Isles Josh Bailey tied the score at one all with his marker at 11:37. Going into the first break, Levi Nelson put Boston up by one when he beat Mannino at 14:24.

The second period was colored orange and blue as the Isles youngsters put the heat on Regan, who was solid in his half of the game, and his young backup Michael Hutchinson (13 saves).

Despite the goals from Boston’s Wheeler and Sauve, the Bruins went to the dressing room down 6-4 at the end of 40 minutes as Tomas Marcinko beat Regan at 6:24 and then against Hutchinson, Trevor Smith scored and Bentivoglio added three more.

New York solidified their hold on the scoreboard with third period goals from Gratchev (empty net) and DiBenedetto.

Kevin Regan
4:11 p.m.
On the bus. Here is a quick and dirty summary as official NHL stats were not kept:
Team          1    2    3    F
Boston        2    2    0    4
NYI's            1    5    2    8

Bruins:  First Period -Knackstedt (Lehtonen) 1:18, Nelson (Marchand) 14:24. Second Period – Wheeler (Fritch) 11:02, Sauve (Marchand, Fritch) 12:36. Third Period – none.

Islanders: First Period – Bailey (Smith) 11:37. Second Period – Marcinko (Gratchev) 6:24, Bentivoglio (Henniger) 10:09 PP,  Smith (Bailey) 13:18, Bentivoglio (Nikiforov, Katic), Bentivoglio (Henniger) 19:23 SH. Third Period – Gratchev (Marcinko, DiBenedetto) 19:35 EN, DiBenedetto (Marcinko) 19:47.

Boston: Regan 15 saves, Hutchinson 13 saves (1 empty net goal)
New York: Mannino 18 saves, Poulin 16 Saves

Fighting Majors: Boston – Fletcher, 15:58, 1st. Marquardt, 15:07, 3rd
New York -  Rechlicz, 15:58, 1st. Haley, 15:07 3rd.

Regan gave way for Hutchinson at 9:57 of the second when the goalies switched at the halfway point (as per usual in these kind of games).

3:58 p.m.
Boston falls 8-4. Summary to follow.

2:21 p.m.
The Islanders had control of this period, and scored five goals to the B's two to make the score 6-4, New York, after two sessions.

Wheeler and Sauve had the two Bruins goals, while Sean Bentivoglio has a hat trick for New York.

As per usual, Regan gave way to Hutchinson with around 10-minutes to go in the second.

1:36 p.m.
Well, we've had two goals (Knackstedt, Nelson) and a fight (Fletcher vs. Rechlicz) and the B's are leading 2-1.

Boston's position in the lead has been solidified several times by some outstanding work by Kevin Regan who has helped out his teammates with a couple of terrific stops.

Both sides are feeling each other out, but it would not be a stretch to say that Boston has carried the play.

Fletcher acquited himself well in the bout and put a nice exclamation point on the first stanza.

12:53 p.m.
A decent crowd is on hand for what should be a pretty good show.

The coaching match up is Murray versus Gordon.

And seeing as I am in a tough spot internet wise, look for updates after each period.

12:32 p.m
Our Boys are on the ice and are warming up for the game as we speak.

Go here to take a look at the Islanders Lineup.

Go here for the Bruins Lineup.

11:43 a.m.
We have successfully navigated the trip and are getting read for a 1 p.m. game. The building is pretty quiet. And the guys are doing their best not to look too nervous.

I’m going to be honest here. I am going to attempt an in game blog – but I am not very optimistic, logistically. So, Bear with me True Believers.

10:50 a.m.
Waterbury! I think we are almost there.

10:16 a.m.
I see City Place I & II and the rest of Hartford’s skyline.

Right now, we’re passing through Manchester, where my dad (also Bish) works.

Funny how just being on a road can bring back memories.

9:54 a.m.
We’re in Willington. And I think one of my first newspaper stories was researched at a table in Willington Pizza 2 – about the closing of a supermarket.

Not sure if that piece of hard-hitting journalism made the paper – a shame.

9:32 a.m.
We’re about to get on I-84, which will take us through Hartford.

I guess I am estimating an hour to the rink – everywhere in CT takes about an hour and after we go through Sturbridge, we’ll be in Union, CT shortly thereafter.

Coming from this general area, I can tell you that there is a sort of unofficial dividing line at Hartford. The general consensus is that after you pass the Traveler’s Tower, you are in New York territory – that you are more likely to run into fans of the Rangers and Yankees more than the Bruins and Red Sox, etc.

I am not sure about that, because I feel like I get plenty of mail from this “neutral zone” of the sporting universe.

And I am not going to get into this, but I miss “The Mall” and Brass Bonanza.

9:05 a.m.
We are cooking now and the New England countryside, with its leaves that are just beginning to change colors, is flying by.

Our bus, which would usually be filled with the sounds of hockey players, is SILENT.

These guys are taking this trip very seriously…

8:47 a.m.
Okay, we are gathering speed and everyone is beginning to settle into what should be a beautiful drive to Southern Connecticut.

Did I tell you that I am from CT? I used to watch a lot of games at the Twin Rinks in Enfield. Great pretzels. They had lots of stick time and this terrific side lot that was perfect for touch football. Good times.

Anyway, on my drive to meet the bus this morning I had Toad The Wet Sprocket on.

Yes, that makes me at least a little old (and odd?), but I was struck by the lyrics to one of their lesser-known songs, “Crazy Life”:

In the air I’m sensing a change in the weather
In the end the path is clear
Does anyone remember here
Did you all think he’d just disappear
Crazy life

To me, those lyrics could really apply to the kids in the back of this bus, some of whom are on their third or fourth camp and are still considered rookies. All they want is to believe that the clouds will part at some point and someone in the Bruins locker room will hand them a game jersey.

So, today in what to some is a meaningless rookie game, played at 1 p.m. on a Thursday, they hope that they will so something that somebody remembers, so that they won’t suddenly disappear from the training camp roster.

It is truly a Crazy Life.

8:32 a.m.
I feel like am in an episode of the Slowskies – and it is not the Bussie’s fault. The traffic is brutal.

8:15 a.m.
Traffic on I-95 stinks. We haven’t even gone 10 miles. Ugh.

Funny sight this morning – Marquardt walking through the parking lot with wearing his Hamilton Mustangs cap. If you don’t remember, that was Dean Youngblood’s (nee Rob Lowe’s) team in the movie Youngblood.

He’s been wearing it around a lot and it kills me every time, but even without the hat Marquardt is a pretty funny guy.

7:59 a.m.
We are on our way. I made it to the rookies’ hotel and got to chat with Levi Nelson, who is really excited to play the game today.

“I haven’t played in a game (for Boston),” he said. “We didn’t have a rookie game when I was here the first year and last year I was injured.”

Last year, this game was really the coming out party for Milan Lucic, Tuukka Rask, and Vladimir Sobotka – all of whom had terrific games – and with the best moment being Luch’s tuning up one of the Devil’s youngsters.

As I turn around on the bus I think this is a much younger team, but I can’t be certain that the average age is that much lower.

I’ll be interested to see how the two goalies match up against the young Islanders – the age difference between Kevin Regan and Michael Hutchinson is significant, but both backstops have made some outstanding strides and saves since the beginning of the summer.
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