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Team White Earns Scrimmage Split

by Dan Myers / Minnesota Wild


After losing an early lead in Saturday's scrimmage against Team Green, Team White scored three goals in the second half and hung on to win 3-2 Sunday in front of 3,200 fans at Xcel Energy Center.

All five goals scored in the game were second half tallies as goaltenders Matt Hackett and Darcy Kuemper kept both squads off the board through the first 25 minutes. White's Kuemper made 14 saves while Hackett of the Green squad stopped 7 shots.

Team White got things going early in the second half as Joel Broda scored his second goal in as many days, firing a wrist just just under the crossbar just 3:01 into the frame.

Kyle Thomas extended the White lead to two just over a minute later when he capitalized on a penalty shot to make it 2-0. All penalties called on the ice resulted in a penalty shot with a chaser.

Green got on the board next as Mikael Granlund buried a pretty wrist shot from the left circle in the top right corner at 6:53. It was Granlund's first non-shootout goal of the weekend.

"I made a couple of pretty good plays, but I'm not at my best and I'm not where I want to be right now," Granlund said. I just need to keep focused and continue to work hard."

Another prospect Wild fans were eager to see was Charlie Coyle. Acquired from San Jose in the Devin Setoguchi-Brent Burns trade during the draft, Coyle is considered one of the top prospects in the National Hockey League. He scored on a penalty shot less than 30 seconds after Granlund's goal to reestablish the two-goal lead at 3-1.

For Coyle, this week has an opportunity to finally focus on hockey after a whirlwind couple of weeks.

"It was nice to come out here with all the guys. I enjoyed my week here," Coyle said. "It was a crazy weekend during the draft with the trade and all, but it was nice to settle down a little bit and I know where I'm at right now with Minnesota."

This week was also the first time in his life he had been to the State of Hockey. "I hope to be back soon," Coyle said.

But Granlund and the Greens weren't done yet as they made it 3-2 with plenty of hockey to play. Granlund centered a perfect pass from behind the net to Zack Phillips, who crashed the crease and one-timed the pass into the net for his third goal of the weekend to lead all scorers. With 16 minutes still left to play, there was plenty of time left for Green to even the contest, but Johan Gustafsson shut the door for Team White.

While White won the scrimmage, both teams still participated in a full squad shootout as a showcase for the fans in attendance. Green won the shootout 4-2, as Granlund again dazzled with an amazing shootout goal. Team White's Sam Lofquist -- a Somerset, Wis. native and former Golden Gopher -- also wowed the crowd with a shootout goal, dragging the puck between his legs and deking before poking the puck past Stephen Michalek.

"It was a good week," Granlund said. "I know I got better, we had good practices, and with yesterday and today, it was a lot of fun being here.

"It's always fun to play. It's the middle of summer, so it's not what it's like in the season, but it's still a good week."

Sunday's scrimmage marks the end of the 2011 Wild Prospect Camp. But with training camp set to begin in less than two months, hockey season is indeed just around the corner.
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