UBC is once again the place to be this week with more and more players showing up to begin skating and working out for the 2010-11 season.
Fourteen players skated Monday, including 10 belonging to the Canucks, and for the first time this summer, the intensity of drills and scrimmages picked up drastically.
Mason Raymond, Darcy Hordichuk, Kevin Connauton, Alex Edler, Taylor Ellington, Chris Tanev, Eddie Lack, Alex Bolduc, Yann Sauve and Victor Oreskovich fine-tuned a few things in preparation for the Young Stars Tournament and Canucks Training Camp in a few weeks, while four local boys, free agent Brendan Morrison, Anaheim’s Brett Festerling, LA’s Martin Jones and Washington’s Shaone Morrisonn, took advantage of some early ice time as well.
The highlight of the 90-minute practice was a 5-on-5 scrimmage that had all the elements of a real game, without the hitting. One added bonus not seen during the regular season was the losing team being bag skated; the only thing worse than losing is having to grunt out the toughest skate of the day afterwards.
Raymond, Hordichuk, Connauton, Tanev, Oreskovich, Festerling and Lack took the first game 3-2 thanks to a wicked game-winner from Raymond, but game two was a 3-2 affair in favour of Bolduc, Sauve, Edler, Ellington, Morrison, Morrisonn and Jones. One would expect a third and deciding game, but Edler said that the second scrimmage was for all the marbles.
Most of the same players are expected to skate Tuesday.