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White wins high-scoring scrimmage

by Eric Marin / New Jersey Devils
Lombardi races past defenseman Eric Gelinas.
Jeremie Malouin scored twice in the third period to lift the White team to a 7-6 victory over Red in Thursday’s rookie camp scrimmage. Ryan Hayes also tallied twice for White, while Matt Lombardi did the same for Red.


Malouin broke a 5-5 tie at 8:57 of the third period. After Tyler Eckford’s blast from the point evened the score for Red, Malouin snapped the 6-6 stalemate with 3:17 left in the contest.

Lombardi’s pair staked Red to a 4-1 lead early in the second period. White battled back in the last 4:08 of the frame on tallies by Hayes, Darcy Zajac and Michael Swift to tie the game at 4-4.

David McIntyre’s cross-slot pass found Hayes all alone for the tap-in past Jeff Frazee, making it 4-2 with 4:08 to go. Eric Gelinas knocked a puck out of the air in the neutral zone, then carried down the right side to set up Zajac’s one-timer with 1:52 remaining. Swift completed the comeback by jamming home a rebound with 50.5 seconds on the clock.

Palmieri put Red ahead 1:52 into the third before Hayes got his second to even it up for White, 5-5, at 7:24. The Syracuse, N.Y., native has collected five goals in the camp’s three scrimmages.

Lombardi, who also had two goals in Wednesday’s scrimmage – including the game-winner – said he came to rookie camp looking to make a good impression. Never drafted, the 5-11, 185-lb., right wing has done just that, and has been signed to a minor league contract with the Devils.

“I think you want to improve each day,” he said. “You don’t want to peak in the middle or peak on the first day. You want to keep getting better and better each day. You reflect on how the day went you get back to the hotel room and think about certain areas where you could’ve done a little bit better and focus on that the next day.”

Lombardi has completed his senior year at Boston College where he served as an alternate captain. In four years with the Eagles, Lombardi made three appearances in the Frozen Four final, winning it twice. He posted a career-high 14 points on seven goals, seven assists in 42 games last season, and collected 11 goals, 22 assists in 145 career appearances with BC.

“Being lucky to be in a great organization like BC and be a part of all that is definitely something special and definitely helps prepare you to move on,” said the Weston, Mass., product. “Something that maybe the common hockey fan might not notice is just the similarities between Boston College and the Devils organization, just the discipline and how the organization is run. Just being here this week, I found that an easy adjustment for me. Being with Coach [Jerry] York, you know, clean-shaven, short hair, it’s sort of the same thing with Mr. Lamoriello.”

York, who has coached Boston College since 1994, taught Lombardi about more than just hockey.

“About doing the right thing,” Lombardi said. “How you represent yourself; that kind of goes along with it.”

Alexander Vasyunov gave Red a 1-0 lead by controlling a rebound from the point and tucking it inside the left post behind Jeff Lerg at 2:36 of the first period. Tyler Miller answered for White with a shot from the slot that redirected off the catching glove of goaltender Maxime Clermont at 6:26. Kory Nagy restored the Red lead with a wrister from the left circle that beat Lerg over his left shoulder at 12:27.

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