JASPER, AB – Josh Melnick and Scott Allen led Team White in scoring with two goals each as they helped secure the Billy Moores Cup in a 6-2 victory over Team Blue at the fourth annual Orientation Camp event.
After addressing the crowd, Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan presented the Cup to Team White captain Caleb Jones.
“Both teams got off to a good start I thought, we were going back and forth, the pace was definitely high,” said Melnick. “We’ve been working hard the full week here so, just putting in a game situation you could really tell the pace elevated a little bit. It was an exciting experience you know. A lot of fans coming out, it’s good support.”
Though they ended up losing the game, it took Team Blue’s forward Drake Caggiula just three minutes into the first period to slip a shot past Team White’s goaltender, Zach Nagelvoort, for a 1-0 lead.
Intercepting on a pass before Team White’s blueline, Caggiula slid the puck to Jaedon Descheneau, who carried it into White's defensive zone. Descheneau, skating towards the net, dumped the puck back to Caggiula, who quickly whizzed it past Nagelvoort.
Just after the 10-minute mark, Brandon Biro was sent to the box for tripping, but after serving his penalty, he made up for lost time. Biro passed the puck up to Allen, who rocketed a shot to the back of Tomas Kral's net to score the equalizer for Team White.
After 30 minutes of play, the score was tied 1-1 as Team Blue led shots 15-11. But it would be the second period that would see Team White run away with the lead.
Less than four minutes into the frame, Aapeli Rasanen gave Team White a 2-1 lead, scoring off a cross-zone pass from Mark Auk for a one-timer.
“I’ve been playing my whole career in Finland and the pace here is much more high and of course players want to win every game they play,” said Rasanen. “The pace, it showed that everyone wants to win and compete.”
Team White then followed up with two more goals, a tip-in from Josh Melnick and another from Allen, for a 4-1 lead before Team Blue cut their lead to two when Shane Hanna one-timed a shot into the net off a pass from Nick DeSimone.
“I felt good,” said Melnick. “Definitely got adjusted to things as the game went on. I’m not used to playing with some of those guys but I think we found our chemistry a little bit, just good plays all over the ice from teammates and the other team as well.”
With less than two minutes to go in the middle frame, Melnick put a nifty shot top shelf for his second goal of the night. Team White capped off the third period on a goal from Vincent Desharnais after he crashed the net from the left wing for Biro’s rebound, securing the 6-2 victory.
As hundreds of fans flocked to Jasper Arena, they were met with a surprise as prospect Jesse Puljujarvi, who has been unable to participate in the on-ice drills due to a knee injury he is currently recovering from, signed autographs and took pictures with fans.
This is the second year in a row Team White has taken the Billy Moores Cup.
“[This week has] been a great experience,” said Rasanen. “New guys, new coaches, new things on and off ice. I’ve learned lots, great experience though it’s been a tough week.