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Coreau, Larkin, Mantha shine in Red-White Game

Tatar, Nielsen and Vanek advance to World Cup Finals with Team Europe

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji /

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. - The Red-White game couldn't have gone much better for Jared Coreau.

Red Wings fans were treated to a fast-paced, high-scoring scrimmage as the team concluded training camp.

Team White defeated Team Red, 6-5, on Monday afternoon at Centre I.C.E. Arena in the annual Red-White game.

As the Team White goaltender, Coreau turned away all 20 Team Red shots in the first half.

"I was watching the World Cup game, Canada-Russia, and one thing they touched on was it's sometimes easier to play with a lot of shots instead of maybe getting only like two or three a period," Coreau said. "I enjoy it, it's something that keeps me in the game, it's a good workout. Make a couple big saves and get the guys going."

Riley Sheahan kicked off the scoring at 3:40 of the first half, giving Team White a 1-0 lead. Gustav Nyquist assisted.

The only other scoring in the first came at 10:40 when Louis-Marc Aubry scored an unassisted goal for a 2-0 Team White lead.

Team White only had 10 shots on goal but emerged with the lead thanks to Coreau.

In 2013-14, Coreau played in five games with the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins, going 0-4 with a 4.39 goals-against average and .873 save percentage in five games. With the ECHL's Toledo Walleye, Coreau was 1-12-6 with a 4.03 goals-against average and .879 save percentage.

Current Red Wings coach and then-Griffins coach Jeff Blashill is a former goaltender and he spoke with Coreau at the end of the season.

"Him and I had a real hard conversation and he took some things and went in the summer and got way better and came back and he's been a different goalie ever since," Blashill said. "His focus needed to continue to get better and accountability and I said I'm not going to do this for you but if I were you I'd do a couple things this summer and he did them, He went and got eye training - fighter pilots have real specialized eye training, you see more and more goalies doing it, he went and did it on his own. That really helped train his eyes."

In the second half, Team White shot a little more and ended up with a 5-1 lead as Ben Street, Ryan Sproul and Eric Tangradi scored.

Only Dylan Sadowy's goal at 5:14 interrupted Team White's barrage.

A lot of people were excited to see how the line of Andreas Athanasiou-Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha would do.

At 13:17 of the second, Mantha scored on an assist from Larkin.

Just 26 seconds later, Larkin scored an unassisted goal to cut Team White's lead to 5-3.

"I like it a lot," Larkin said. "Obviously speed. They can shoot the puck and they can find you. I felt pretty comfortable playing center with those guys. They're always flying. I was pretty impressed with how we all controlled the puck. We were matched up against Helmer's (Darren Helm's) line, which is tough to do, so I was happy with the way we played."

Blashill seemed pleased and said he planned to play the line in one exhibition game, most likely Wednesday in Boston.

"I thought the Larkin line created lots," Blashill said. "I thought Larks was really skating. I thought Mantha did a good job with him as well, so I thought they had lots of opportunities. They didn't go in early, they went in as the game went along."

At 22:04, as the teams were playing 3-on-3, Matt Lorito scored for Team Red.

But Evgeny Svechnikov restored the two-goal lead just 12 seconds later, beating Jake Paterson with a nifty shot over Paterson's glove.

Lorito scored his second goal with 31 seconds left but Team Red ran out of time.

"Anytime you're new to a place you want to make a good first impression on the organization," Lorito said. "Five-on-5 I felt a little rusty but there was a lot of room 3-on-3 and that kind of suits my game a little more. Just trying to make some plays."

The Wings signed Lorito to a two-year, two-way contract on July 1.

Lorito was captain at Brown University and played for the AHL's Albany Devils last season, scoring 18 goals and 36 assists in 71 games.

NOSEK HURT: Tomas Nosek of Team White left the game early but Blashill didn't think it was too serious.

"Nosek, he won't be ready for (Tuesday) and then we'll take it day by day," Blashill said. "It shouldn't be any more than a day by day thing, but he won't be ready for (Tuesday)."

Blashill said Nosek hurt his knee.

WINGS ON TEAM EUROPE: The good news is Tomas Tatar's two goals, including the overtime winner, helped Team Europe advance to the finals against Team Canada in the World Cup.

However, it also means newcomers Frans Nielsen and Thomas Vanek will not be able to join the Wings and get acclimated for another week.

"For Tats to score is great, it's great for him," Blashill said. "That's the type of player he is, he finds his way to the net, finds a way to score goals. He's a competitive player and obviously they think of a lot of him to put him on that line with (Anze) Kopitar and (Marian) Hossa. In terms of Nielsen and Vanek integrating, sure we'd like to have them integrated but the other side is they get to play high, high level hockey, so I can only think that's going to help them a ton once they get back here."

BIG KID: Mantha was not small to begin with at 6-foot-5 but now that he's getting a little older, he's adding weight.

"He's bigger than he was," Blashill said. "As soon as I saw I thought he's really put the work in, so that's really a great thing and then I was curious to see what he looked like on the ice. Sometimes when you put more body mass on you're a little more clumsy, and he's not at all. I think he's as fluid as he was but he's got more body mass and he's just as quick and fast."

Mantha, 22, is listed at 214 pounds.

Although Mantha can be sent down to Grand Rapids, he has said his goal is to make the Wings.

Blashill plans to give him plenty of opportunity to make his case.

"He's had a good first four days, I thought he was good today," Blashill said, "I think he's been good every day in practice and now he gets a chance in exhibitions. We'd like to play him a minimum of five exhibitions and put your best foot forward."

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