White 1 Black 0
More often than not an intrasquad game is dominated by the offence.
That wasn’t the case Wednesday as Team White edged Team Black 1-0 in the Red Deer Rebels annual Black and White game at the Centrium.
It was a game controlled by some solid defence and the play of four young netminders.
“I thought all four goaltenders were good,” said Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter who watched the game from the stands. “They all made some big saves and kept the scoring down as the score indicated.”
Seventeen-year-old Carter Barley of St. Andrews, Man., scored the lone goal, beating Riley Lamb, 18, of Rivers, Man., on a one-timer at 6:08 of the first period. Lamb and Team White starter Dawson Weatherill played the first half. High draft pick Byron Fancy, 15, of Claresholm replaced Weatherill and Roddy Ross, 16, of Lloydminster, took over for Lamb in the second half.
In fact Fancy may well have made the toughest saves, but all four netminders were positionally solid and as a result were never out of the play.
“You can tell they know what they’re doing,” said Sutter. “They made the saves and were under control. They didn’t make the saves look difficult because they were under control. All four are very good young goalies.”
Veteran defenceman Josh Mahura also liked what he saw.
“All four have had a good camp and played well,” he said, adding he also liked what he saw from the younger defencemen.
“There’s been some good young guys coming in. I’m excited to be working with them, both forwards and defencemen.”
Sutter was pleased what he saw from the younger players, who improved considerably over the last 24 hours.
“Yesterday (Tuesday) was the only time we saw the younger kids up against the veterans and at times they looked a bit intimidated,” said. “But not tonight.
“I was looking forward to seeing the younger kids on defence play against some of the veterans and I thought they did a good job. As did some of the younger forwards.”
Sutter made 14 cuts following the game, leaving 31 players in camp as he prepares for this weekend’s mini-tourney at the Centrium.
The Rebels face the Edmonton Oil Kings Friday at 7 p.m. and the Calgary Hitmen Saturday at 7 p.m. Other games sees the Prince George Cougars facing the Hitmen Friday and the Oil Kings Saturday at 3 p.m.
“Some of the kids will play this weekend before they head home to join their midget teams,’ said Sutter, who won’t keep Fancy or Ross.
“We need the 20-year-olds (Rylan Toth and Trevor Martin) to get some playing time and they will each play half a game on the weekend along with Weatherill and Lamb.”
The Rebels will lose eight players to NHL camps, including Mahura, who will leave for Anaheim’s camp, Sept. 14.
“I leave on the 14th and go to Colorado for a rookie tournament on the 15th,” he explained.
The Rebels will likely recall a few players for the Sept. 16-17 weekend for a home-and-home series against Medicine Hat.
“With the players away at NHL camps we’ll have to make sure we have enough younger players around for that weekend,” he said.
The Rebels also announced Wednesday that forward Austin Pratt has been named to take part in the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game.
The fifth annual Prospects Game features the top 42 American born prospects eligible for the 2017 National Hockey League Draft. Former NHL players Mark Howe and John LeClair will serve as head coaches.
Pratt will participate in the game Thursday, Sept. 22 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA.
The Rebels released: Goaltenders: Byron Fancy, Claresholm, 01; Roddy Ross, Lloydminster, SK, 00. Defence: Cale Chalifoux, Edmonton, 98; Kyle Dronyk, Edmonton, 99; Ryan Gottfried, Winnipeg, 01; Colin MacPherson, Calgary, 00; Tyrell McCubbing, Innisfail, 99. Forwards: Arshdeep Bains, Surrey, BC, 01; Carter Barley, St. Andrews, MB, 99; River Fahey, Campbell River, BC, 01; Zac Gladu, Medicine Hat, 98; Jayden McCarthy, Morris, MB, 01; Justin Svenson, Ile Des Chenes, MB, 01.
Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter who can be reached at email@example.com. His work can also be seen at Danny’s blog at rdcathletics.ca