by Todd Anderson
The 2006 Ottawa Senators development camp concluded on Wednesday as Team Black walked away with the championship of the 3-on-3 tournament held at the Bell Sensplex.
Down 2-0 to Team White, Team Black stormed back with three goals in the second of three two-minute periods to win 3-2. For winning team members Tomas Kudelka, Jim McKenzie, Matthew McIlvane, Peter Regin and Phillippe Seydoux, as well as the rest of the 24 participants at the camp, it was a fun way to finish off an informative week on and off of the ice.
"This has been an opportunity of a lifetime," said Janne Kolehmainen, a left-winger who skated with SaiPa Lappeenranta in the SM-Liiga of the Finnish National League last season. "I've had a blast. We've learned a lot of things."
Colin Greening, a right-winger who played with the Nanaimo Clippers in the British Columbia Hockey League in 2005-06, admitted the camp was an eye-opener.
"You come here and you realize how much you have to put in off of the ice. Coming here has really helped me."
For Joe Cooper, who skated on the left wing with the Miami University RedHawks of the National Collegiate Athletic Association last season, the support from fellow prospects has been positive.
"It didn't feel like we were here battling for spots. It felt like we were a team. We're all here to just do our best and prove we're worthy to be invited to the main camp. That's when it's a little more cut throat."
Senators strength and conditioning coach and camp co-ordinator Randy Lee was impressed with the attitude from the participants.
"We noticed significant strides in the development of many of our prospects since our last camp," Lee says. "Obviously, it shows how committed they are to addressing their needs to improve. For the new guys, hopefully there's an appreciation of what type of effort and sacrifice it takes to get to the next level. I think the leadership demonstrated by Patrick Eaves and Andrej Meszaros inspired them immensely. We also hope we've given them an appreciation for the Senators organization and the city, and they want to be a part of it."