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Camp Scrimmage Sets Tone for Coyotes Exhibition Games

Forty players tried to impress coaches and management during a practice game on Sunday

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content

GLENDALE - Forty of the players at Coyotes training camp donned game sweaters on Sunday afternoon and played a 45-minute scrimmage on the day before the preseason schedule is set to begin. 

Zach Boychuk, Brendan Perlini, Jalen Smereck (penalty shot) and Stefan Fournier scored goals for Team Red as it defeated Team White, 4-1, at Gila River Arena.

Most of the scrimmage participants were prospects looking to impress coaches and management. A few free agents looking for a job also played.

Boychuk, for instance, is an unsigned free agent hoping to earn another NHL contract. He last played in the League in 2014-15 as a member of the Carolina Hurricanes.

"I'm here to win a contract and a roster spot," said Boychuk, the 14th overall pick in the 2008 NHL Draft. "It's nice that they're able to give me an opportunity to continue my career in North America. I was in Carolina for almost eight years and it's time for a fresh start. The biggest thing for me is to try and make an impact. I need to use my speed and create energy and chip in a little offensively to get noticed. So far, so good."

Matia Marcantuoni scored the lone goal for Team White. 

Head Coach Dave Tippett liked what he saw during the scrimmage.

"Good intensity," Tippett said. "For a scrimmage game in a training camp I thought it was very good. Good pace, lots of hitting, it was good."

Team White forward Garret Ross suffered a lower-body injury in the scrimmage, but Tippett said the injury is not considered serious. 

Next up for the Coyotes are two split-squad games vs. the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night. One will be played at Gila River Arena at 7 p.m. The other game will be played at the Staples Center at 7:30 p.m.

Tippett and his staff will coach the home game, which can be heard on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. Mark Lamb, who is the head coach of Arizona's American Hockey League affiliate in Tucson, and his staff will coach the Coyotes road game on Monday.

Tippett said full rosters for both games would be announced on Monday morning. He did reveal that goalies Mike Smith and Louis Domingue would dress for Monday's home game and likely split time in net.

The Coyotes play at Anaheim on Tuesday night and Tippett said he and his staff would be behind the bench at the Honda Center for that game coaching many of the same players who will play Monday night at Los Angeles. 

After Sunday's scrimmage the Coyotes trimmed the camp roster by three. Goalie Austin Lotz and defensemen Olivier LeBlanc and MacKenzie Braid, who were in camp on amateur tryouts, were released.

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