Team White romped 8-1 over Team Red Wednesday night at the Pacific Coliseum, with Jonathan Toews and Andrew Cogliano tallying two goals apiece for the winners. But regardless of the lopsided score, Head Coach Brent Sutter said afterwards that no roster cuts would be announced until Friday, so the camp attendees have one more shot to prove themselves versus the UBC Thunderbirds on Thursday.
That key game will feature 18 skaters and two selected goalies dressing for Team Canada, while the other two goalies at camp will suit up for the university squad. The 12 non-participating players will practice at the Coliseum at 11 a.m. Thursday.
If Wednesday's game was any indication, the intensity level will continue to rise. Team White certainly brought its level up in the second Intersquad match, motivated by a pre-game “chit-chat” from Sutter. Other White goal-scorers included Devon Setoguchi, Logan Stephenson, Ryan O'Marra, and David Bolland, who also had two assists. Defenceman Sasha Pokoluk made an impression with two beautiful helpers.
“We realized we didn’t get the job done last night,” said Toews, who showed good chemistry on a line with Bolland and O’Marra. “Tonight we went out there and took care of business.”
The lone Team Red marksman was Steve Downie. The gritty forward banged home a rebound early in the second period past netminder Carey Price, who made 16 saves for the victory.
“In those kinds of games, you’ve just got to stay focused and make sure you don’t let in a weak goal,” said Price.
“It was bad luck, and things snowballed from there,” said Team Red goalie Julien Ellis, who struggled, letting in more than 25 percent of the 31 shots he faced. "It’s disappointing.”
Sutter refused to pin the result entirely on Ellis, however: “I know he’s a good goalie. He’s had an outstanding year, and he was the best goalie in the fall camp out of the four guys who were there. I’m sure it’s frustrating for him to let in that amount of goals, and there were some goals that you need a goalie to stop. But we’ll see how he responds tomorrow, and make a determination on Friday.”
“We got outhit, outshot, and definitely outscored,” said Team Red’s Cam Barker. “It’s a game we want to put behind us and move on. There's definitely a lot of things we can learn from it.
Setogushi opened the scoring unassisted just 2:30 in when he stuffed the puck between the post and the right skate of Ellis. Toews made it 2-0 White at 8:30 when his partially screened shot bounced off Ellis and trickled in. Stephenson increased the White lead to 3-0 with 26 seconds left in the first period, taking a pass from Bolland and firing a wrister from the slot through the goalie’s pads.
Just over a minute after Downie’s goal early in the second period, Toews banged a cross-ice pass from Pokoluk high into the net, restoring White’s three-goal cushion. The team never looked back from there. Cogliano scored on a one-timer off a rebound halfway through the second period and it was 5-1 White.
A great Bryan Little feed helped O’Marra make it 6-1 at 4:44 of the third period. Finally, Bolland tallied at 9:11 and Cogliano at 13:08, both easy goals, as tempers began to flare on both sides. Benoit Pouliot of Team Red seemed particularly frustrated, getting sent off with Luc Bourdon with under three minutes left, and the two jawed back and forth from their respective penalty boxes.
“Tonight the Red team might have gotten beaten 8-1, but they were upset about it,” Sutter pointed out approvingly. “They played on the edge the last five or eight minutes. They showed intensity and competed right through. It’s an 8-1 game, but you evaluate players throughout the game. You don't just look at the score.”
The final roster chosen on Friday will feature two goalies, seven defencemen, and 13 forwards, who will open the 2006 IIHF World Junior Championship on December 26 versus Finland.