Photo Credit: Norm Hall
On Saturday morning, the Phoenix Coyotes hosted an Open Practice/Open House event at Glendale Arena.
The Coyotes skated on the ice from 9:00 A.M. until 11:00 A.M. prior to their departure for Winnipeg for their first preseason game, which is scheduled Sunday, September 17 vs. Edmonton.
Fans were invited to watch Coyotes players practice while choosing their favorite seats for Season Tickets, Partial Packages, Mini plans and single game seats for the 2006-2007 season.
Howler, the Coyotes mascot, was also on hand to greet fans and join the festivities.
TEAM B IMPROVES TO 2-0
In the only scrimmage of the day, Team B faced Team C, in what would wind up being a competitive and close game.
Team C would begin the game with Curtis Joseph in goal, while Philippe Sauve started between the pipes for Team B.
Forward Joel Perrault would get Team B on the board first when he fired a wrist shot from the slot, over the shoulder of Joseph for a 1-0 lead.
The lead wouldn't last long as rookie camper Peter Mueller tied the contest at 1-1 minutes later. Team C forward Georges Laraque started the play by gaining control of the puck deep in the offensive zone, before sending a pass to Mueller, who put a wrist shot over the shoulder of Sauve for the goal.
Team C woul take the lead shortly after Mueller's goal when defenseman Joe Callahan's wrist shot from the blue line, somehow made its way through heavy traffic in front of the goal and into the net for a 2-1 lead.
Randall Gelech would even the score at 2-2 when Joseph stopped a Team B shot from the right side, but an errant rebound found its way onto Gelech's stick at the side of the net. Form there, the Coyotes prospect flip the puck into the top of the net for his first goal of training camp.
Just before the end of the first half, Team B took back the lead when Mike Comrie broke loose on a breakaway. As Comrie approached the goal, he faked a slap shot, causing "Cujo" to go down early and allowing Comrie to rifle a shot top-shelf, giving Team B a 3-2 lead.
Team B would hold the one-goal lead for most of the second half of play, but with four minutes left in regulation, Team C was finally able to tie the game at 3-3. Mike Zigomanis even the score when raced down the right-hand boards and snapped a shot from the face-off circle that squeaked past goaltender Pier-Olivier Pelletier, who had replaced Joseph, for his first goal of the camp.
The clock would run out with both clubs tied at 3-3, forcing the second shootout in as many days.
Neither Team B (Shane Doan, Ed Jovanovski & Derek Morris) nor Team C (Donald MacLean, Enver Lisin # Martin Latal) would be able to manage a goal with their first three shooters. The in the first round of sudden death, Team B defenseman Nick Boynton secured victory when he blasted a shot past netminder David LeNeveu for the 4-3 OT win.
ROENICK TO STAY IN PHOENIX
Near the end of Saturday's scrimmage, Coyotes forward Jeremy Roenick sustained minor groin discomfort. Though not serious, Roenick, who was originally scheduled to travel to Winnipeg for Sunday's pre-season opener, will now stay behind in Phoenix.
"Unfortunately, JR's got a bit of a sore groin, so were not going to play him tomorrow," said Coyotes Head Coach Wayne Gretzky.
NOLAN EAGER TO PLAY FIRST GAME
Sunday's game in Winnipeg will be the first NHL game for Coyotes Right Wing Owen Nolan in two years.
After sustaining a knee injury during the 2003-04 season, Nolan has had to endure a long rehabilitation process and is now poised to once again, be known as one of the game's premier power forwards.
"I am sure that anyone can relate that has ever had an injury and had to do rehab," said Nolan. "Just imagine doing a year and a half of rehab. It's just a long, repetitive thing and there's nothing you can do (except) just take the time to make sure that its 100%. I got frustrated a lot, but I've paid the price and I'm ready to get going again."