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Siemens apologizes to Connolly; both look ahead

by Mike G. Morreale /
EDMONTON, Alta. -- Duncan Siemens never intended to hurt Brett Connolly when the two players skated into the left wing corner during the third period of a scrimmage on Thursday at the Canadian National Junior Team development camp.

When the players engaged in contact, Siemens' stick got caught between Connolly's skates and the Tampa Bay Lightning prospect fell hard into the end boards. Following a brief delay, Connolly was helped off the ice, in obvious pain, by two people.

After taking Friday off to rest the knee, Connolly was back on the ice Saturday morning, obviously gearing up for the big Red vs. White scrimmage scheduled for 9 p.m. (ET) at Rexall Place.

"I felt really good out there so I'm ready to go and look forward to the game (Saturday night)," Connolly told "It was good the injury wasn't as bad as I thought. It was a scary feeling on the ice since I obviously went into the boards hard and felt my leg right away; I was happy nothing was wrong."

Connolly said he holds no grudges against Siemens and wrote off the incident as a typical hockey play.

"It's something that happens and I'm not going to be mad at (Siemens)," Connolly said. "It was just an unlucky play, and I went into the boards hard. He came up after and said he was sorry so, it's all good. It happened and it's over with."

Siemens said players are doing everything they can to make an impression on the Canadian coaching staff. At the same time, no one wants to see another player get injured.

"I play a tough physical type game and, unfortunately, Connolly got hurt there," Siemens said. "Obviously, there were no intentions to go out there and hurt him. I spoke with him after and he seems to be doing OK and knows there are no hard feelings.

"I wasn't personally attacking him or anything," he continued. "It just happens in the course of a game. We're all out there and there are 47 guys competing for 22 spots, so everyone is going to do whatever it takes to get one of those spots and get that invite to December (selection) camp."

Siemens, chosen 11th overall by the Colorado Avalanche in June, finished second in scoring among defensemen for the Saskatoon Blades in the Western Hockey League with 43 points (38 assists) in 2010-11. The 6-foot-2 1/2, 192-pound defenseman, who models his game after Hockey Hall of Famer Scott Stevens, said he won't change the way he plays.

"I don't want to change my game just because it's an international event," he said. "Obviously, you have to change it a little bit with some of the different rules in place, but ultimately I'm going to go out there and be as physical and hard to play against as I would in the WHL. That's the style of game I play and that's when I'm at my best. So that's what I have to bring to the table."

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

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