The second scrimmage of training camp on Friday was the Kyle Brodziak show with the centre-turned winger scoring a goal and adding two assists to help lift his Team Red to a 4-3 win over Team Grey.
Brodziak really got things going near the midway point of the opening period. With his team trailing 2-0 he picked up the puck in the corner of the Team Grey zone before skating in behind the net of Mathieu Garon. Brodziak then spotted Dick Tarnstrom alone at the point and fed him a pass. Tarnstrom made no mistake, whistling a low wrister behind Garon on the blocker side.
"I got a goal but it's nothing really, I didn't feel too good out there today," Tarnstrom said, downplaying his marker. "I was a little tired after all the testing. It was a tough game out there."
Brodizak agreed that with the players going through on-ice testing for about an hour before the scrimmages it was an exhausting day overall.
"Pretty tiring day out there, but it felt good. I think my legs started to feel better as the day went on. Linemates played great, too," Brodziak said of linemates Geoff Sanderson and Marty Reasoner. "They definitely helped open the ice a lot for me. That's where I had room to make a few passes."
After one period, Team Grey was up 2-1 on Team Red and outshooting their opposition 11-8.
Brodziak picked up where he left off at the end of the opening period with a goal 2:20 into period two. Brodziak took a feed from Reasoner and fired it past Garon to tie the game at 2-2. Although he normally plays centre, Brodziak looked very comfortable playing the right side."
"I told (Reasoner) at the beginning to help me a little on the wing. It's a position I've played a little bit but it's not the position I played my whole life," he said.
Team Grey took back the lead 9:15 into the 25-minute running time period. Robert Nilsson worked a give-and-go with Jarret Stoll before eventually wristing it short side on Bryan Pitton.
Pitton redeemed himself moments later as Stephane Goulet intercepted a cross-ice pass from Sanderson and came in on a two-on-one with Jean-Francois Jacques. Goulet spotted Jacques at the left side of the net but Pitton came across to deny Jacques on the redirection attempt.
It was then Sanderson's turn to make amends for his giveaway as Team Red rushed into the Team Grey zone. Reasoner, Brodziak and Sanderson worked a beautiful three-way passing play that concluded with Reasoner spotting Sanderson at the side of the net. The trio had Garon completely fooled and all Sanderson had to do was backhand the puck into the open cage.
"It was a good breakout play," said Sanderson. "I think all three of us moved the puck around. Brodie broke up the left wing and made a drop pass to me. It was a three-on-two. Over to Reasoner and he surprised me by throwing it back to me. I just kicked it off my skate and backhanded it into the net. It was a good play on a turnover - pretty good execution considering how the ice was."
Sanderson was excited to step onto the Rexall Place ice as an Edmonton Oiler for the first time.
"First couple of days are always tough in camp. I still get a lot of anxiety and excitement but you're always glad when the first day's over."
His line, with Brodziak and Reasoner was a big reason for the Team Red win as they owned the puck all game. Sanderson was impressed with the play of his linemates.
"They both really impressed me. Especially Brodziak, he played really well on the right wing. He made some nice plays and he's a big guy. He handles the puck and hangs on to the puck really well," said Sanderson. "I knew Reasoner just from playing against him for years so I knopw he's a solid centreman, two-way guy."
Sunday's Joey Moss Cup will be Sanderson's first chance to throw on an Oilers jersey in a game situation and the winger couldn't be more excited.
"It gives me a chance to play in front of family and friends late in my career. I consider it a blessing and a great opportunity."
Tim Sestito broke the 3-3 deadlock 1:20 later. David Rohlfs got the initial shot on Garon and the rebound went to Sestito in the slot. He then took the puck in the left circle and wristed it top left corner, making it 4-3 for Team Red.
Each team had 12 shots on the second period, making it 23-20 total in favour of Team Grey.
Jarret Stoll, 1:30 into the first period, and Stephane Goulet at the 6:55 mark scored the first two goals to give Team Grey a 2-0 lead.