Group A practiced today from 8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. with head coach Terry Murray
and assistant coach Mark Hardy
, whom combined for over 1,700 NHL games as defenseman, working with the blue-liners, while Jamie Kompon
worked closely with the forwards, a group which included Kings first-round draft pick, 17-year-old Brayden Schenn.
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At 9:30 a.m., the two groups were divided into two teams, Team Emerson in Black and Team O'Connell in White. Emerson of course being named after former King forward Nelson Emerson, who currently works in player development and Mike O'Connell, who also works in player development with the Kings after serving as Vice President and General Manager with the Boston Bruins, upon the conclusion of a stellar NHL career.
The teams would play two 25-minute scrimmages with a running clock and all penalties resulting in shootout attempts. In the first game, Jeff Zatkoff started in net for Team Emerson, opposing Jonathan Bernier while in the second game, fans were introduced to Jean-Francois Berube and last year's training camp surprise, Martin Jones, who earned a contract with the team after a stellar tryout in 2008.
In the first game, defenseman Andrew Campbell scored the game-winning goal at the 9:30 mark off an assist from Bud Holloway in Team Emerson's 2-0 win. Justin Azevedo added some insurance with a goal at 21:30 off an assist from Schenn.
Though shutout, Team O'Connell had some highlights, including a bone-crushing hit by Michael Pelech, Los Angeles' 6th round choice, 156th overall, in 2009, behind the net. Pelech would add a goal in Game No. 2, the lone tally for O'Connell in a 4-1 loss.
Los Angeles native Brandon Kozun, Los Angeles' 6th round choice, 179th overall, in 2009, put Team Emerson on the board with a pretty goal just 1:45 in the game. On a breakaway, Kozun carried the puck up the left side and scored unassisted on a nifty backhand that beat Berube, high to the stick side for a 1-0 lead.
"It's fun to be home," Kozun said. "It's been a little bit hard, but that is what you expect at a camp like this. It has been good for me to compare myself to other players and see where I am and where I need to get to."
Pelech then tied the score at one with his linemates, center Robbie Czarnik and Dwight King earning the helpers on the play at 4:15.
Holloway then put Emerson back on top with a rebound in front of the net after a one-timer attempt by one of the free agent invitees was stopped by Berube. Azevedo earned the second assist by creating the play with his centering pass.
Berube kept the score at 2-1, making a point-blank save with his left skate on Azevedo, who definitely had a productive first day of camp.
The first penalty of the two games were called at the 21:20 mark on a tripping penalty and one of the free agent camp invitees beat Berube to account for the scoring.
Following the scrimmage, Group B had a practice from 10:45 - 11:30 a.m. while Group A tended to their off-ice workouts.
Viatcheslav Voinov did not participate in the scrimmage as the young defenseman is still recovering from an injury at the end of last season. Voinov is participating in drills, however.
The camp will continue a similar schedule tomorrow with Group B on the Ice from 8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m., a scrimmage starting at 9:30 with Group A practicing from 10:45 a.m. - 11:30.