Las Vegas–After practically three days of practice sessions, the Vegas Golden Knights prospects put what they learned to the test in their first of three scheduled scrimmages during this week’s development camp.
This was the moment that Vegas hockey fans have been waiting for a long time to see NHL prospects hit the ice for their first scrimmage.
Today’s scrimmage featured Team White vs Team Grey. The scrimmage also featured 3-20 minute periods with stop time just like fans will be able to see at T-Mobile Arena this September.
1st Period Action
In the game’s opening period, Team Grey had the shot’s on goal advantage 2-0.
At the game 3:12 mark Team Grey also opened the scoring when Jayden Halbgewachs went in on Team White’s end on the left side of the ice. His scoring attempt was stopped by Team Whites goaltender Jiri Patera.
Another scoring attempt roughly three minutes camp by Team Grey but it was lights out by Patera yet again.
With 7 minutes in the opening period, Team Grey’s shots on goal advantage were 5-1.
A wraparound try by Halbgewachs was denied by Patera in the games first ten minutes.
At the periods 9:55 mark Team Grey’s defenseman Nikolas Brouillard fired a blast shot from the point by Patera answered the call with a beautiful save.
When the 14:42 mark came along it was Wyatt Ege and Cody Glass who ended up connecting with Jake Slaker to put Team White ahead 1-0 when Slaker beat Thompson via the breakaway.
The star for Team White was netminder Patera who ended up stopping all 14 shots he faced in the opening frame.
2nd Period Action
In the middle stanza, Team Grey made a goalie swap with Griffen Outhouse between the pipes. The same went for Team White as they put in Dylan Ferguson in net.
For Team Grey they continued holding on to the shots on goal advantage 19-7 at 5:55 mark of the middle period.
Team White extended their lead in the 2nd period 2-0 by a goal from Alex Barre-Boulet who ended up ripping a wrister shot over Outhouse’s shoulder at the 7:30 mark.
At the 11:38 mark of the second, they changed things for both squads with some 4 on 4 action just like the old format in sudden death overtime.
18:57 mark Team White defenseman Erik Brannstrom added to his squads lead and made 3-0.
Reaction on Twitter on Brannstrom’s 2nd-period tally.
Just like what Patera did for Team White in the opening frame of the game, Ferguson also answered the call with turning away everything that was thrown at him in the middle period.
3rd Period Action
In the scrimmage 1’s final period both squads made their last goalie change with Maksim Zhukov between the pipes for Team White while for Team Grey went with Artur Pavliukov. The battle of the Russians in net.
The battle of the Russians in net.
Team Gray finally got on the board in the final period when Alex Tuch fired a bullet shot past Zhukov and made it 3-1 Team White with 14:40 remaining 3rd.
However, their celebration did not last long when Team White recaptured their 3 goal cushion and made it 4-1.
With less than 9 minutes left in the 3rd, they switched it up with 3 on 3 action.
Later in the period, it would be Team White adding to lead over Team Grey by Josh Melnick who was next man up for his squad and ended up putting the rubber past Pavliulkov at the 13:22 mark and made 5-1.
Nick Suzuki finally got himself on the scoresheet with his first goal of the game for Team Gray making it a 5-2 score. His first strike was sweet top-shelf shot over Zhukov.
His goal celebration was cut really short as Jack Dugan from Team White not even 10 seconds later. It’s 5-3 White.
Suzuki struck for the second time in the period, and it was once again just like his first tally was a beautiful top-shelf goal and brought the scrimmage to a 1 goal lead at 5-4 with at 38 seconds left.
Team White ended up holding back Team Grey’s 3rd-period rally and defeated their fellow prospects 5-4.
Post Scrimmage Reaction by Vegas Golden Knights Coaching Staff and Players
After the scrimmage, Chicago Wolves Head Coach Rocky Thompson came out and spoke to members of media on what he saw during today’s matchup.
“I thought it was great, I think the way the league has progressed for our guys out there has been good, it’s been nice a slow work on some development, some skill, skating.” Said Thompson.
“Ultimately when the game started it was good, guys felt good, they were fresh, little bit nervous at the beginning of course which is good but as the game went on the pace of play picked up and were able to see some nice goals and good skill and some tempo which great” Thompson added.
For me, I thought Suzuki’s and Brannstrom’s goals during the game was great to see. Two of 1st rounders by Vegas (13th and 15th overall selections).
For the teams 1st ever entry draft pick, Glass was bit critical on his overall play from todays scrimmage.
“I thought I didn’t have my best game today, I didn’t have my legs under me. Going into tomorrow I think I’m going to play a lot better, especially with the chemistry we didn’t have it in the first game and going into the second I think were going to have a lot of that.” Said Glass
Glass also talked about being on the same line and chemistry with now former WHL division rival in Keegan Kolesar.
“Kind of sloppy in the beginning, moving into the second and third period there I thought we had a little bit more chemistry, going into game 2 I think we’ll have a lot more.” Glass replied.
With the only multi-goal scorer of the 1st scrimmage, Suzuki paid compliment to his fellow teammates regarding the adjustments they made that led to their late push in the 3rd period.
“I think as the game went on guys were making better passes and better decisions.” Suzuki said.