Following a tough 6-2 loss to Team White on Saturday at the second day of Training Camp, Team Black avenged yesterday’s defeat on Sunday morning at the Brandon Ice Sports Forum, beating the opposition 3-2 in a shootout. Much like the previous day, Team White climbed back into the contest after finding themselves behind in a 2-0 hole.
Last season’s Rocket Richard Trophy winner Steven Stamkos had a goal for Team Black, as did defensive prospect Mark Barberio. Recently acquired prospect Stefano Giliati scored for Team White and Simon Gagne also found the back of the net late in the game.
Former AHL teammates, goaltenders Mike Smith and Dan Ellis, manned the nets for their respective sides on Sunday, receiving their first dose of game-simulated action after sitting out of Saturday’s scrimmage.
Ellis wasted no time in showing why he proved to be such a prized acquisition during the free agent period of the offseason, as he made a spectacular glove save on a Vincent Lecavalier breakaway chance just 18 seconds into the opening period. The net minder would soon after get the best of the Lightning captain once again, as Lecavalier attempted to finish off an odd-man rush with Carter Ashton. As Lecavalier skated towards the inside of the left circle, he passed the puck through the slot directly onto the tape of Ashton’s stick, but the young prospect failed to lift the puck high over the goaltender and instead shot the puck right into Ellis’ pad for the save.
Both goaltenders continued to hold their ground in the opening minutes, as each made numerous saves while physical play took place mostly in the corners along the boards.
Just when it seemed that both sides would have to settle for a scoreless first half, Stamkos lit the scoreboard with 36 seconds remaining in the period to give Team Black a one-goal lead.
Following a brief intermission, Barberio doubled the margin as he scored unassisted off a turnover, wristing one past Smith just 40 seconds into the second half.
Team Black continued to fire on net as it controlled puck possession in its end, however Team White caught a break when Stefano Giliati put one past Ellis, thanks largely in part to a nice screen by Dominic Moore, which cut the deficit in half. The squad was just getting started though, as Johan Harju almost knotted the score even with a slap shot from the high slot that rattled off the crossbar. Fortunately, the missed opportunity was quickly redeemed when Simon Gagne found a rebound in front of the net and put it in from the top of the crease to make it 2-2 with approximately seven minutes remaining.
As the final horn sounded, head coach Guy Boucher allowed for a shootout to take place to determine the winner, much to the delight of the approximate 800 fans in attendance for a second consecutive day.
Following a series of unsuccessful attempts, Team Black’s third and final shooter, camp invitee and former Lightning Stanley Cup champion Eric Perrin, dazzled those watching from above the ice as he turned his back on Mike Smith before releasing the puck into the top left corner of the net for the game-deciding goal.
Smith ended the day with 20 saves on 22 shots, while Ellis earned the win by stopping 16 of 18 shots.