Internets rookie Jason Gregor is out on assignment upon the Imperial Command of Viceroy Wanye Von Gretz IV MD. Gregor is at the Rookie Camp Game in Camrose and is posting live(ish) from the game. He is sending me stuff “at the end of every period or if something cool happens.”
I think Oiler fans are as rabid as NFL fans when it comes to wanting to know everything about their team. Down south mini-camps are followed closely months before the season starts, and as I look at the sold out crowd here in Camrose, there’s no questioning the fanatical loyalty and desire of Oiler fans. You must care when you are willing to follow a game that involves no players who will start the season in Edmonton this year.
And what a great rink they’ve built here in Camrose. Seating capacity of close to 2,200 and with standing room I could see many AJHL playoff games housing close to 3000.
In case you missed it, here is the Oilers’ lineup for this rookie battle of Alberta.
LW Slava Trukno 4th, 2005
C Ryan O’Marra 1st, 2005
RW Jordan Eberle NYI (1st round, 2008)
LW Philippe Cornet 3rd, 2008
C Bryan Lerg F.A
RW Colin MacDonald 2nd, 2003
LW Stepahne Goulet 7th, 2004?
C Geoff Paukovich 2nd, 2004
RW David Rohlfs 5th, 2003
LW Hans Benson F.A
C Ryan Huddy F.A (Charlie’s son)
RW Ryan McMurchy F.A
Taylor Chorney 2nd, 2005 – Theo Peckham 2nd, 2006
Cody Wild 5th, 2006 – Sebastion Bisaillon F.A
Josef Hrabel 8th, 2003 – Jesse Dudas 6th, 2006 CBJ
Devan Dubynk 1st, 2004 – Glenn Fisher 5th, 2002
The only Flame rookie dressed tonight who might crack the big team is Mikael Backlund. The Flames’ first round pick in 2007 has great offensive instincts, and considering the lack of offence in Calgary, look for Backlund to get a long look throughout rookie camp and into the preseason.
Gregor Note: I’m posting in Olympic time format because I am lazy. This means that a time of 18:22 is really 1:38 into the period.
Wanye Note: Gregor you so lazy
18:22… The biggest cheer in the first went to the maintenance crew. After 15 minutes of losing the battle, they finally got the pane of glass figured out…
17:12… The first powerplay goes to the Oilers. The bad news is they didn’t register a shot and looked unorganized. O’Marra’s line played most of the PP.
14:00… Best save of the period. Matt Keetley stones Eberle on the doorstep with a great pad save.
13:24… Theo Peckham and J.D Watt drop the mitts. After a few seconds of grappling both guys get each other’s helmet off and start throwing. Both try to land some uppercuts. Watt lands a good one, and then Peckham switches hands and lands a solid left. They dance around a bit trying unsuccessfully to land anything. Refs jump in. Solid tilt and I’ll give a slight edge to Peckham for landing the left. I should mention that all the players had to wear visors. They are playing AJHL rules.
9:25… Oilers go on their second PP. Matt Pelech takes a needless interference penalty behind the play tripping up Paukovich. Huddy’s line gets the first 45 seconds and they generate a decent chance. O’Marra’s line comes out and actually give up a goal.
8:00…Brett Sutter opens the scoring shorthanded. Jesse Dudas can’t keep it in at the blueline, Sutter breaks down the right wing and puts it top shelf over Dubnyk’s glove.
7:12… Peckham back in the box for 2. Flames PP looks likes the Oilers’ first one as they accomplish nothing. Oilers control the play and it leads to the following…
6:22… McMurchy with a great hit for the Oilers as he crushes Wilson at the Oilers’ blueline and it leads to a 2 on 1. Berg brings it on the left side, but waits to long to make the pass and it rolls harmlessly in Keetley.
5:12… Colin McDonald creates a turnover at the Oilers blueline and heads in all alone…He makes a nice move, goes to the backhand, but Keetley with a great glove save stones him just as the penalty expires.
3:42… Cody Wild takes a tripping penalty and the Flames send out their top line of Backland, Nemicz and Greentree with Brodie and Jonsson on the back end. Another unproductive PP, with the best chance going to Eberle as he tries a wrap around late in the penalty.
1:36… Colin Mcdonald streaks down the right side, blows by Aulie but once again can’t beat Keetley. McDonald was the best Oiler in the first period.
First Period Summary
I didn’t notice Chorney once in the first period. Geoff Paukovich was the most physical Oiler mixing it up every time he was on the ice. Overall a decent first period as the intensity picked up in the later stages.
Shots on goal after 20 minutes, nine apiece. Keetley made three huge saves, while Dubnyk wasn’t really tested and got beat once on a great shot from Sutter.
After watching the maintenance crew struggle with the glass, it got me thinking once again that the Oilers need Ice Girls. Trust me; the 15 minute wait wouldn’t have been half as long if there were Ice Girls skating around in Lulu Lemon pants…just a thought.
I polled nine fans sitting in the section next to me, and they unanimously agreed that Ice Girls would have been much better than watching farmer Dave hammer in the glass. I’m not saying farmer’s are all bad looking, just that Ice Girls would be hotter).
The Zamboni driver ripped around the ice in nine minutes to flood the ice. Impressive.
18:12… Bisaillon with a great stick to break up a two-on-one. I still don’t think he will ever play another game for the Oilers. Too small to be defensive and not enough offensive upside to be a powerplay guy in the Show.
17:42… Cody Wild pinches in and rips one off the post. Keetley’s blocker might have got a piece of it. Wild has impressed me with his awareness and smooth stride.
13:51… More scrums…Either fight or stop the pointless face washes. Somehow the Flames get the extra penalty and the Oilers go on their 3rd PP. Huddy’s line starts the PP agains with Bisaillon and Dudas on the points. They move it around nice…Dudas at the left point down to Huddy at the right circle across to McMurchy at the left hash marks and he rips it off the post staring at a wide-open cage. Lerg’s line gets the final 40 seconds and they don’t register a shot.
11:10… Dubynk with his best save. Mitch Wahl with some great stickhandling fires from the right circle and Dubynk kicks out the right pad.
8:55… Hans Benson and Greentree mix it up. Benson drops his gloves, but Greentree just stays down. Benson gets the extra two and the Flames go on their 2nd PP. We should clarify that Benson is NOT the brother to former Bears’ runningback, Cedric Benson, they are first cousins. Flames PP is awful. They can’t pass to save their life.
5:27… Flames D-man Matt Pelech crushes Lerg with his head down at the Flames’ blueline, and Benson steps right in. Benson drops the mitts and starts throwing rights. Pelech can’t get his balance and Benson ends up getting four minutes for roughing and a ten minutes misconduct.
2:55… Flames make a bad change and get caught with too many men on the ice, negating the PP. But it was another ineffective 2:28 with the man advantage so they are probably happy to play some four-on-four.
Second Period Summary
Period ends with not much excitement. Flames had ten shots in the 2nd, while the Oilers fired 8, but none really tested Keetley. I even had time to check my fantasy football scores during the play. Lendale While might have been the worst pick 3rd round pick ever in fantasy football. What was I thinking? The thing I hate about Fantasy is that in one draft I have Tony Romo and I need him to score decent tomorrow so I can win, but he can’t score too many points or I lose in my other draft because the guy I’m playing has him. That is why I’m only in two leagues now. You get in too many and this dilemma happens all the time…Anyways I digress. I need some concession french fries. Hopefully the 3rd is more exciting…
20 minute intermissions… ARE you kidding me? That needs to change for the next few games.
15:54… First whistle of the period after an Oiler icing. Lots of skating but nothing happened with no shots on goal from either squad.
15:22… Paukovich gets rocked behind the Oiler net by Adam Cracknell. Six seconds later he retaliates and crushes Kyle Greentree from behind into the boards. Paukovich gets 5 and a game. This hit was similar to the hit he laid on Rob Bina back in College when Pina was a teammate of Matt Greene at North Dakota . Greene if you recall, fought Paukovich last year at Clare Drake before training camp. Greene said it was retribution for the hit a few years earlier. Paukovich will have to learn to take a hit and not retaliate in the cheapest fashion: Hitting from behind. After ten minutes Greentree gets carted off on a stretcher. The good news is that Greentree did stand momentarily before they put him on the stretcher.
14:45…Lerg and McDonald then O’Marra and Cornet do a good job of creating turnovers in the neutral zone and not allowing the Flames PP to set up. Eberle and MacMurchy are the next forwards out and they do the same. The four healthy D-men do a great job on the backend. (Hrabel left with shoulder injury and Dudas with a knee or ankle that looked serious.) It takes the Flames 2:48 to get their first shot on this man advantage.
10:16…The major is over and the Oilers have the best chance as MacMurchy and Cornet get a two-on-one late in the penalty, but once again MacMurchy can’t decide whether to shoot or pass and ends up just skating behind the net. The Oilers still don’t have a shot on goal in this period.
6:55…They play “Cotton Eyed Joe” over the sound system and with Guy Flaming sitting right in front of me I have to ask if he was the guy who used to dance down the aisles at the Coliseum to this horrible song? Don’t laugh. I never put two-and-two together until just now. Sadly Guy says “No”, but we debate the resemblance for the next few minutes.
5:58…Our highly educated debate is ended by the Oilers’ first shot of the period. A harmless one of the stick of Wild, but still worth mentioning.
4:27…MacMurchy draws a penalty and the Oilers go on the PP looking to tie the game. But they can’t muster any chances, and O’Marra ends up taking a penalty 50 seconds in to negate the man advantage.
1:35…O’Marra steps out of the box and the Oilers try to muster the tying goal.
:47…Eberle gets a chance in the high slot, but his shot deflects off a Flames’ stick, flutters up high and Keetley easily snags it out of the air. Coach Truitt calls a timeout, pulls Dubnyk and sends out Eberle, McDonald, Lerg, Trukno, Bisaillon and Chorney.
:15…Lerg gets a great chance in the slot but a perfect block from Aulie ends that chance.
:10..faceoff to the right of Keetley…O’Marra loses it to Armstrong and the Flames win the game 1-0.
The Oilers only muster five shots in the 3rd, while the Flames had four.
For the Flames #56 Matt Pelech and Dubnyk takes the honours for the Oil. I’m not sure who picked these, but Keetley was great in goal for the Flames in the early going and McDonald was clearly the best Oiler. Dubynk wasn’t really tested.
Tomorrow night we should see a more intense game from the Clare Drake Arena.
—Jason Gregor, – The new king of Drive Time on the Team 1260 but a rookie around here.