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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.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
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