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Team Victory Green Wins Scrimmage; Dillon Excited to be Back

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Team Victory Green was victorious in Saturday’s scrimmage, defeating Team White, 6-2, at Cedar Park Center.

Ales Hemsky registered one goal and one assist and Anders Lindback stopped 19 of 20 shots in two periods of play for Team Victory Green.

“The scrimmage had good pace to it,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “It wasn’t like we were going to run around and hit each other, but the playmaking and the pace of the shifts inside the game were good.”

Curtis McKenzie, Colton Sceviour, Jyrki Jokipakka and Erik Cole (empty net) and Vernon Fiddler (empty net) also scored for Team Victory Green. Antoine Roussel and Branden Troock scored for Team White.

“It was a good competitive game,” said center Jason Spezza, who had an assist for Team Victory Green. “When you have as much time between games, it is a good idea to have something like this. It’s a good way to cap off the end of camp.”

In a postgame shootout, Hemsky scored the only goal, and Jussi Rynnas stopped all five shooters he faced as Team Victory Green won by a 1-0 score.

Notes: Nichushkin sits out, Lehtonen struggles

*Stars forward Valeri Nichushkin did not skate in Saturday’s scrimmage. It was a combination of illness and another issue, according to coach Lindy Ruff.

“Val wasn’t feeling well, and he has a little bit of a slight muscle pull issue,” Ruff said.

*Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen had a rough game in net Saturday, allowing four goals on 21 shots. Ruff acknowledged that Lehtonen has been struggling lately. In his last two preseason appearances, Lehtonen allowed eight goals on 34 shots for a .765 save percentage.

“He is a little out of sorts right now,” said Ruff. “I think we saw that in the scrimmage. I don’t know quite what that is. He’s not letting the play come to him. We’ve got to help him find that.”

Dillon excited to be back

Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon arrived in Cedar Park at 11:45 p.m. Friday night and just before 10:00 a.m. Saturday morning he hit the ice at Cedar Park Center to skate with the Texas Stars.

“Good to be back,” he said as he went on the ice. “Ready to rock and roll.”

Dillon skated for a little less than 30 minutes and then talked with the media about joining the team after signing a one-year, $1.25 million contract on Thursday.

“It feels awesome,” Dillon said of his return. “I am just glad to have this stuff done and get back to doing what’s important, and that is playing hockey. It’s been a long summer, too long of a summer, and I am just eager to get things going and help this team out.”

Dillon, who skated in Saturday afternoon’s scrimmage, missed training camp and all six of the Stars’ preseason games while the deal was being negotiated.

“It’s tough but I feel I am in good shape. I have to get some rust off here in the first couple days,” he said. “I am in no ways in the shape these guys are, but I have done a good job of keeping in shape with the off-ice stuff. I am ready to be out in the team atmosphere now.”

The contract negotiations were tough and were played out in the media towards the end. The 23-year-old defenseman got a look at the business side of the game, but he said that is behind him now and that he wants to look ahead.

“The one thing I had to chime in on was to say there was no way I was missing games. I want to help this team, and I want this team to do well. Now that I am down here, I am just focusing on that,” Dillon said. “It’s been a big learning experience this offseason. You get to know there is a business side of hockey. At the end of the day, it is what it is. The negotiation is the negotiation and at the end of the day I am a Dallas Star and I am very happy.”

Scrimmage lineups

Team White

Jamie BennTyler SeguinBrett Ritchie
Shawn HorcoffVernon FiddlerColton Sceviour
Brendan RanfordRadek Faksa – Derek Hulak/Branden Troock
Derek Hulak –Taylor PetersBranden Troock

Alex GoligoskiTrevor Daley
Kevin ConnautonJohn Klingberg
Brenden DillonJulius Honka

Kari Lehtonen
Jack Campbell

Team Victory Green

Erik ColeJason SpezzaAles Hemsky
Antoine RousselCody EakinRyan Garbutt
Curtis McKenzieTravis MorinPatrick Eaves
Gemel SmithJustin DowlingMatej Stransky

Patrik NemethJordie Benn
Jyrki JokipakkaJamie Oleksiak
Cameron GaunceMaxime Fortunus

Anders Lindback
Jussi Rynnas

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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