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Scrimmage On Day Three Of Camp

Team Red Downs Team White 3-2 in Panthers Intra Squad Scrimmage

Saturday, 09.14.2013 / 3:00 PM ET / News
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Scrimmage On Day Three Of Camp

By David Aviles – University of Miami

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. – Day three of the Florida Panthers Training Camp started with a single whistle. Players rush onto both rinks of the Saveology.com IcePlex in Coral Springs. It starts with a practice on the middle rink but the real action begins at the Panthers Den as the teams take part in a Red vs White Scrimmage.

Panthers young guns and seasoned veterans alike carve up the ice in an hour-long scrimmage split into two halves. The crowd is three and four deep, filled with season ticket holders, children and fans of all ages; everyone eager to catch a glimpse of the action. Every hopeful on the ice works hard making every hit, shot and pass their best and making that a priority.

The buzzer ends the first half of the scrimmage in a 1-1 tie. Team White gets on the board first with a long shot from just inside the blueline by defenseman Erik Gudbranson. Tomas Fleischmann answers for Team Red before the 30 minutes is up. Despite the cold and the Zamboni intermission no one leaves their seat; fans fear losing them to those standing behind them.

Taking advantage of the free admission to all practices, the crowd builds for the second half of the scrimmage. The battle intensifies as players fight for recognition.

Forward Brad Boyes really shows off his puck handling skills as he works past defender after defender for a great shot into the net. Boyes, a free agent, rediscovered his scoring touch during the 2012-13 season where he scored 35 points in 48 games. But in the end it was Team Red pulling out the 3-2 victory as Eric Selleck and Garrett Wilson off a nice setup by No. 2 overall pick Aleksander Barkov propel the needed offense.

The scrimmage ends with a loud roar of approval from the fans. However, practice is not over yet. Coach Kevin Dineen divides the teams into separate rinks to begin a full drill session, pushing for perfection.

“You know, it’s really, let’s go to Monday before we get to that level,” said Dineen following practice. “There’s a lot of eyes out there watching individual performance, I would say I’m more geared towards how we’re playing as a team. In saying that, there’s some guys that stuck out that were on the bubble for games on Monday that worked themselves into that.”

After continued requests from the media for the name of one stand out, Dineen replies.

“I think (MacKenzie) Weegar has done a really good job,” said Dineen. “You know a kid, the 7th round pick, that came in here and I had no preconceived notions about this kid. Just by his play I think he’s done a good job of separating himself from the group.”

When asked whom he would definitely keep on the roster, Billy Girard, JR Panthers goalie and diehard fan says, “Matt Gilroy. He looks like he could be a good part. He can play offense, for the forwards to keep up.”

Defenseman Matt Gilroy was signed to a one year, two-ways contract this July. As a former NY Ranger and Ottawa Senator he brings experience to the front line.

After today’s action it is obvious some difficult decisions are ahead to finalize the roster despite plenty of time to formulate it. Every prospective player treated each second like it was their last.

The final team practice before the Cats’ first pre-season game is on Sunday at the Saveology.com Iceplex.

SCHEDULE

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AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 74 46 20 8 195 162 100
2 NYR 72 46 19 7 219 167 99
3 TBL 74 46 21 7 242 191 99
4 NYI 74 44 25 5 226 205 93
5 PIT 73 40 22 11 202 181 91
6 DET 72 39 21 12 208 195 90
7 WSH 73 39 24 10 212 180 88
8 OTT 72 37 24 11 212 190 85
9 BOS 73 36 25 12 193 190 84
10 FLA 73 33 26 14 180 201 80
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 NJD 73 31 31 11 164 186 73
13 CBJ 73 34 35 4 198 228 72
14 CAR 72 26 36 10 165 199 62
15 TOR 74 27 41 6 193 237 60
16 BUF 73 20 46 7 138 245 47

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 70 12 32 5 44
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
J. Jokinen 72 7 33 -1 40
J. Jagr 68 13 24 -6 37
B. Boyes 71 12 23 9 35
A. Ekblad 72 11 24 8 35
J. Hayes 63 18 13 -4 31
A. Barkov 62 12 15 -4 27
B. Campbell 73 3 20 -1 23
B. Pirri 40 18 2 4 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 25 17 11 .921 2.35
A. Montoya 5 7 2 .888 3.08
 
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