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Team White Prevails Again

by Dan Myers / Minnesota Wild

Team White overcame an early deficit for the second time in four days, beating Team Green 6-5 in front of 7,500 fans in the second and final scrimmage of 2012 Minnesota Wild Development Camp Sunday morning at Xcel Energy Center.

Like they did on Thursday night, Green jumped ahead early, taking advantage of a White penalty, giving Green's Mikael Granlund a penalty shot (penalty shots were awarded on all penalties instead of power plays) just one minute into the scrimmage. He deked and slipped the puck the the 5-hole of Colorado College goaltender and camp invitee Joe Howe to make it 1-0.

The scrimmage settled into a defensive back-and-forth for about 20 minutes until a penalty on Green gave Joel Broda a penalty shot. His wrist shot beat Green goaltender Stephen Michalek 5-hole, tying the score at one with 10 minutes left in the first half.

The goal opened the offensive game for both teams, as White grabbed its first lead on a goal by Johan Larsson two minutes later, powering a rebound of a shot by Charlie Coyle past Michalek to make it 2-1.

White pushed its lead to 3-1 on a nifty goal by invitee Will Merchant. Merchant, who graduated from Eagan High School last month and will head to Maine this fall to play collegiately, scooped up a loose puck in the right corner, dashed for the circle and rifled a wrist shot upper corner past Michalek's glove.

But Granlund struck again with just over a minute remaining in the first, taking a nice feed from Jason Zucker and put home his own rebound to pull Green back within one at 3-2.

Despite the first half deficit, perhaps the two biggest highlights came from Green defenseman Matt Dumba, who laid out a pair of Team White players with monstrous center ice checks.

"You definitely have to wait for it, you can't always be running around looking for it," Dumba said of his physical play. "You have to find the right opportunity. If it happens, it happens."

Three minutes into the second, White reestablished the two goal lead on Broda's second of the game, making a nice move to get to the front of the net and sliding a shot past Johan Gustafsson to make it 4-2.

Broda was all over the ice Sunday, reminding fans why the 2012 prospect camp was perhaps the deepest in the franchise's history.

"Whenever you have guys like Granlund and Zucker on one team and the other team beats us two nights, it just speaks to how much talent there is in this organization," said Team Green's Zack Phillips.

Team Green took advantage of another penalty shot with just over 24 minutes to play as Daniel Gunnarsson, a fifth round pick in last month's NHL Entry Draft, beat Matt Hackett with a wrister to make it 4-3.

Neither team scored in regulation the rest of the way, as tired legs from a week's worth of activities seemed to slow the pace. Green pulled Gustafsson with 43 seconds remaining, but could not find the equalizer.

"It's a long week for sure," Dumba said. "But I know everyone was going hard and it made for a high-tempo game. Everyone was pushing and working hard and that's why we looked gassed -- everyone was putting it all out there."

Only four goals total were scored in the full-team shootout as both Gustafsson and Hackett were stellar.

Invitee Brett Olson from Michigan Tech bagged the first goal for Team White, extending their lead to 5-3. But another paid of invitees for Team Green, St. Cloud State's Drew LeBlanc and Corbin Baldwin knotted the game at five with consecutive goals late in the shootout.

With shooters running low, Burnsville native and 2006 draft pick Kyle Medvec blasted a slap shot past Gustafsson to score the knock out blow for Team White in the victory.

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