Joey Moss belts out the national anthem to start the game. You have to love the passion Joe has for the song. The crowd loves it and gives him a huge ovation at the end. All the players have big smiles on their face as Joey walks off the ice.
They will play two 25-minute periods to decide the Joey Moss Cup. Here were the line-ups for the game:
Cole – Horcoff – Hemsky
Lerg – Brodziak – Stortini
Potulny – O’Marra – Paukovich
Schremp – Brule – Reddox
Staios – Peckham
Gilbert – Grebeshkov
Strudwick – Bisaillon
Roloson and Dubnyk
Nilsson Cogliano Gagner
Moreau Pisani Penner
Trukhno Pouliot McDonald
Sestito Spurgeon Eberle
Garon and Deslauriers.
2:20… A hush over the crowd as Garon gets run over by his own D-man Alex Plante, but after a few seconds Garon is up and looks fine.
3:42… Nilsson speeds in, dances around Peckham, goes across the crease, but Roloson stays with him the whole way and makes the pad save
5:45… Hitting picks up a bit as Stortini leans into Roy behind the Blue net. It was a bit harder than an all-star game hit, so don’t worry that the Oilers are running their own teammates.
6:32… Eric Cole continues to carry a hot stick as he pots a rebound into an empty net for his third goal of the tourney. They announce it unassisted. Cole was on a line with Brule and Reddox at the time, as Schremp took his spot on the top line. 1–0 White.
10:32… Roloson makes another big stop as he robs Pouliot’s redirection. A great pass from Trukhno from the right point down to Pouliot at the left dot, but Roloson slides across nicely.
13:40… Grebeshkov with a bad pass in the offensive zone leads to a 2-on-1 for Pisani and Penner. Pisani brings it down the right side, fakes the shot, and dishes a backhand to Penner who one-times it past Roloson. With Reasoner gone, Pisani looked like Sakic on that play. Okay, MacT might never live down that comparison, and Pisani didn’t snap it home, nor does he wear #19, but he looked as close to Sakic on that play as Reasoner did at any point last season. 1–1 tie.
18:00… Not much happening, and normally I would be bored, but not today. WHY? Because the Fish absolutely dominated the New England Patriots this afternoon 38–13. Ronnie Brown rushed for four TDs and then passed for one. This was the most dominant win in probably 15 years for my boys in teal. Watch out for the Fish, they might win eight games this year baby! (Speaking of football, how bad were the Eskimos today? All those Esks fans who pleaded for Shaw to show the game are probably regretting watching it…) OK back to hockey. Something happened.
21:02… Gagner takes the first penalty of the game, as he gets a cross-checking call in the offensive zone. White sends out Hemsky, Horcoff, Schremp with Strudwick and Bisaillon. I’ll ask Strudwick after but I’m guessing that’s the first PP time he has had in a few years. White controls it the offensive zone for 45 seconds, but they don’t get any good chances. Brodziak’s line comes out with Staios and Peckham, but they can’t get the puck as McDonald does a good job of ragging the puck shorthanded. White ends up with no shots on the man advantage.
24:56… Gagner’s line is back out and they are schooling the O’Marra line cycling at will. Gagner gets the puck on the right boards, he circles back to the point, straddles the blueline, fights off O’Marra, skates in the slot, and then fires a pass to Nilsson at the right crease, who goes across the crease and backhands it into a wide open net. A beautiful goal and this young line looks poised to pick up where they left off last season. Nilsson from Gagner and Cogliano and team Blue leads 2-1 after 25 minutes. Blue outshot white 15-9.
Dubnyk now in goal for white and Deslauriers for Blue.
0:15… Schremp has played every shift but this is his first with Hemsky and Horcoff. MacTavish will give him every opportunity to shine this camp—now the onus is on Schremp to produce. If he can put up some points in the preseason he could finally stick with the big club.
4:00… Visnovsky rips one from the point. Dubnyk can’t handle the rebound and first-rounder Eberle fires it home from the left crease. Eberle will be going back to junior, but his offensive flair is noticeable. Look for him to play a few pre-season games. 3–1 Blue.
5:53… Penner leans on Gilbert from behind and sits for two. White second PP—this time Horcoff’s line has Gilbert and Grebeshkov with them. White controls for the entire minute (penalties are only 60 seconds), Schremp has the best chance but hits the outside of the post. As the penalty expires, Schremp sets up shop behind the net and finds Bisaillon streaking in from the point, but Deslauriers makes the save.
7:17… Blue gets their first PP as Hemsky takes an interference penalty. Blue sends out Sestito’s line with Souray and Smid. They don’t get set up and the man advantage ends with no shots for Blue.
10:04… Pouliot shows some nice hands as he takes the McDonald pass and in one motion snaps it over the glove of Dubnyk. McDonald and Trukhno get assists. Dubnyk hasn’t made a good stop yet. As I write this, he stones Trukhno in close. 4–1 Blue
10:58… Trukhno is awarded a penalty shot. He strolls in, makes a few moves and buries it home. Nice hands from Trukhno. Look for him to be one of the leading scorers in Springfield this year. FYI, I have no idea why they awarded him a penalty shot. Maybe they felt bad he was robbed seconds earlier. 5–1 Blue as they are running away with this.
12:05… Lerg continues to have a good camp, as he gets a lucky bounce off a pass and rips it shortside. Brodziak and Stortini with the assists. Lerg is making a name for himself in camp, much to the delight of Lowetide, and Jeff Truitt expects him to be a go-to-guy in the AHL this season. 5–2 Blue
15:30… Cole is back on the left side with Horcoff and Hemsky. Cole has looked great through two days of camp. I knew he was a good player, but his willingness to drive the net on every shift should give the Oilers a 37 or more goal scorer.
16:40… The kids are back. They cycle it well again as Sestito forces the turnover with a hit on Brule behind the White goal. Nilsson grabs the puck and hits Gagner in the slot. Gagner takes his time, circles to this right and puts it over a sprawled-out Dubnyk. 6–2 Blue.
17:26… Did I mention Ronnie Brown rushed for four TDs and for good measure threw a TD pass as well in Miami’s crushing win over the Patsies? It’s been 20 minutes since I thought about that dominating performance of my Fish, so I thought I’d share. Yeah, yeah, back to hockey. Trust me this isn’t the most entertaining game I’ve seen. It’s close to an all-star game, but with only a handful of all-stars. I think Billy Moores might bag skate his team (White) when this is over. They have been dominated.
24:13… Not much happening the last seven minutes. Both teams are just trying to avoid injury as they get ready for four games in four days. Blue wins convincingly 6–2. Player of the game is Gagner. No one really stood out, but Gagner and his line controlled the play most shifts. A great sign for Oiler fans if the kids can be as good, or better, as they were last year. Final shots 34–21 for Blue.
25:00… Blue wins as Joey hands the Cup to Dustin Penner.