Following two on-ice practice days this week, the Sabres completed their first phase of training camp with the Blue and Gold Scrimmage in front of fans at KeyBank Center on Saturday.

Tage Thompson and Jiri Kulich each scored after two 25-minute periods of play to lift Team Blue to a 2-0 win over Team Gold. Team Gold held a 3-2 advantage in the shootout portion of the afternoon with goals from Isak Rosen, Aleksandr Kisakov, and Tyson Kozak.

Devon Levi, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, Eric Comrie, and Dustin Tokarski all made appearances in net.

The scrimmage allowed players to become more comfortable with one another ahead of the team’s first preseason game in Washington on Sunday, in what coach Don Granato recognizes as the next phase of camp.

“I think this next phase is to try to get as many younger players and guys that we need further looks at in the lineup,” Granato said.

While becoming more familiar with newer faces, Granato will also be keeping a close eye on each returning prospect’s growth since last season, including Rosen’s and Kulich’s.

“At this point, they’ve all looked good,” he said.

The Sabres will now play five preseason games in seven nights and will rotate the lineup each night in order to give the veterans a rest and the younger players a chance to show what they can add to the team.

For the goalies, Granato plans to have the starting goaltender play the first two periods while the backup will take the net in the third. Comrie, Levi, and Luukkonen are each expected to get a start in the first three games.

Don Granato addresses the media

Here are more notes from Saturday's scrimmage.

The lines

Here’s how the two teams lined up:

Team Gold


JJ Peterka – Dylan Cozens – Isak Rosen

Jordan Greenway – Tyson Jost – Victor Olofsson

Zemgus Girgensons – Tyson Kozak – Linus Weissbach

Aleksandr Kisakov – Mason Jobst – Ethan Miedema


Owen Power – Henri Jokiharju

Riley Stillman – Jacob Bryson

Norwin Panocha – Zach Metsa

Chris Jandric – Ethan Prow


Devon Levi

Dustin Tokarski

Team Blue


Jeff Skinner – Tage Thompson – Zach Benson

Jiri Kulich – Casey Mittelstadt – Brandon Biro

Brett Murray – Peyton Krebs – Lukas Rousek

Olivier Nadeau – Justin Richards – Filip Cederqvist


Rasmus Dahlin – Connor Clifton

Ryan Johnson – Kale Clague

Mats Lindgren – Joseph Cecconi

Nikita Novikov – Jeremy Davies


Eric Comrie

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen

Getting game ready

Thompson used the scrimmage as an opportunity to get back into the swing of things after a summer focused on his skating and shot.

“I think that’s what you use it for, just getting back into game shape. I think no matter what you do in the offseason, no matter how hard you work, it’s nothing like playing your first few games back,” he said.

The team is ready to take the next steps with greater expectations inside the locker room this season.

“I think we all have the same mindset,” Thompson said. “I think last year, the way the season ended, none of us were happy about that. I think it showed everyone how close we were and how good we are, and I think that just leaves us hungry for this season.”

Tage Thompson addresses the media

A look at Benson

Zach Benson skated alongside Thompson and Jeff Skinner for the third day in a row and did not look out of place as an 18-year-old. The trio connected on numerous scoring chances throughout the scrimmage.

Thompson has been impressed with Benson so far in training camp.

“He’s a good player. A lot of skill,” Thompson said. “Competing at a high level, very tenacious on the puck, causes a lot of turnovers. So, we had some fun playing together today. I thought he looked good and excited to see what he continues to do throughout camp and preseason.”

Roster updates

Following the scrimmage, forward Ethan Miedema and goaltender Scott Ratzlaff were returned to their respective Junior clubs, bringing the total number of players at camp down to 62.