Eric Majeski's (aka Netwolf) Camp Reports for LetsGoPens.com
Camp 2002, Day 6
September 17, 2002
I didn't spend much time studying players during the practice session. I opted to shoot pictures instead. On some advice I received, I did watch Johan Hedberg a little and he's looking pretty good .He looks as quick, agile, and sharp as ever. I also saw him practicing his puck handling skills. One of the coaches would throw a puck down the boards and he'd rush out of the crease to stop it. Then he attempted to clear it or make an outlet pass. He looks to have improved that part of his game.
Kent Manderville practiced with the Gold team this morning, but did not play in the game. Michel Ouellet also did not play in the game. Wearing his #17 for White was Aleksey Morozov.
As for the game, there was one kid that stood out from anyone and that was Dwight LaBrosse. He was drafted in the 9th round this past summer I think, and is from McMurray, PA, which is about 10-15 minutes from this rink. He was very, very good. He only gave about 1 goal in 30 minutes of work, and I don't think anyone could have stopped it. On the other hand, he made several outstanding saves. He absolutely robbed Matt Murley from the slot, stopped Tom Kostopolous on a breakaway, and made a terrific glove save on a Dan Lacouture slapshot that was ticketed for the far post. He was usually in good position too. I didn't see him making too many lucky saves, although there was one time when someone hit the pipe and Michal Sivek missed an open net too. He was leaving a few rebounds out there, but his teammates (both forwards and defensemen) did a good job of keeping the White squad away from them. He played a great game.
He played the first half and David Chant started for White. Both played in the OHL last year and surprisingly, the undrafted Chant had better numbers. I think he led the league in playoff goals-against average too. LaBrosse outplayed him today though. Pens management likely left today's scrimmage feeling pretty good about that pick.
Andrew Ference played a strong offensive game today, scoring two goals. He opened the scoring by jumping into the play and coming right down the slot. Eric Meloche (who also played well, more on him later) centered the puck from the right wing boards. Ference got his stick out and chipped the puck over Chant. Josef Melichar was upset with himself , although I'm not sure if he had coverage on Meloche or Ference. He usually plays the left side, so I'm guessing Meloche was his man, but I'm not sure. Ference would later score his second on a backhander that beat Sebastien Caron low.
Tom Kostopolous as the only guy to beat LaBrosse today. He was able to get open 3-5 feet front of LaBrosse and Alex Daigle found him. Kostopolous easily roofed it with no one near him. Maxime Talbot, who despite his small stature (5'11", 165) is always near the front of the opponents' net, got the second assist.
Ross Lupaschuk interfered with Jacques LaRiviere, who was stopped on the penalty shot by Chant. Lupaschuk must be leading the tournament in penalties.
Surprise #1: Steve McKenna scored a goal from in close to put Black up 2-1. Wayne Primeau threw a backhand pass in front. Ville Niemenen got the other assist.
Bobby Russell put Black up 3-1. Matt Hussey set him up with a drop pass as the two crossed. Vladimir Vujtek flipped a saucer pass to Hussey to spring them on the break.
Shortly after LaBrosse made the big glove save on Lacouture, Meloche scored to put Black up 4-1. Rick Berry and Vujtek got assists. Berry cleared the puck up ice and Meloche caught up to it and beat Chant up high. That was the end of scoring for the first half. Again, LaBrosse was the main reason it wasn't closer at this point.
Back to Meloche for a brief moment: if you remember anything about his stint with the big club last year, it was likely that he was all hustle. He looks to be hustling even more than then, if that's possible. He was very impressive today. Bob Errey said on Pensnet.com that he's in competition with Shean Donovan for a roster spot.
To start the 3rd quarter, Caron (White) and J-S Aubin got in the nets for their respective squads. Aubin would have a tough time of it today.
Lupaschuk scored a hard slapshot from the point after Sivek won a face off back to him. Konopka would later be credited with an assist as well. There was some traffic in front; I'm not sure if Aubin saw it. Black still led 4-2.
Jacques LaRiviere beat Caron on a penalty shot to White back up by 3 at 5-2. Pierre Morvan got caught for holding.
Surprise #2: Frankie Leroux scored on a point shot. He ripped a slapshot in through a maze of people. I'm not sure what part of the net it hit because I was too busy laughing about it. Leroux and McKenna in the same game? What were the odds of that? Hussey and Meloche get assists, Black is up 6-2.
White scored to get back to 6-3. Janne Laukkanen ripped a slapshot from the right point. The goal was announced at Sivek's, so I'm guessing he got a piece of it.
Kris Beech got to the front of the net and poked in a rebound to get White back to 6-4. Melichar gets the lone assist. Beech played a decent game today. A few more excellent passes, and he continued to play responsible defense. The only thing I saw him doing "bad" was holding on to the puck a little long in the neutral zone. For example, Murley and another forward were rushing the zone while Beech had the puck. If he moved it to Murley, they might have had a chance at a 2 on 1, as Murley had a step on the defenseman.
Ference countered a little later to put Black back up 7-4. He came down the right wing and threw a backhander at the net, which Caron should have stopped. Vujtek and Russell got assists.
Kostopolous scored again on a penalty shot to get White back to 7-5. Darcy Robinson committed the penalty, but I'm not sure what the call was. Kostopolous faked backhand, shot forehand and beat Aubin stick side.
Vujtek got a penalty shot after a very blatant trip by Lupaschuk. His stick broke as he tripped Vujtek., who went to the backhand, but Caron got the glove out to stop him. Black still leads 7-5.
Murley got White to within 1 at 7-6 after grabbing a loose puck and going forehand-backhand on Aubin. Morozov and Talbot got the assists.
Alex Rouleau got a chance to tie it for White after being tripped by McKenna. He missed wide. Black still led 7-6.
Kostopolous completed the hat trick and tied the game at 7. Rozsival and Daigle get assists. Kostopolous drove the slot again and out-muscled Ference to the front of the net.
Laukkanen ripped a slapper by Aubin from the right side. Beech beat Erik Christensen clean off the draw to set it up. They also announced an assist to Donovan. That put White up 8-7 and that's how it ended.
There was some questionable play on Aubin's part, but White just wanted it more. They were buzzing LaBrosse pretty good early, but he was able to hold them off.
Black won the shootout, 6-4. Primeau, Vujtek, Russell, Leroux, Ference, and Jonsson scored for Black. White got goals from Beech, Murley, Morozov, and Laukkanen.
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