After two days of practice the prospects at Hawks camp finally got to really go at each other. Wednesday was the first day of what will be three days of scrimmages.
Before the scrimmage Team A, which ended up wearing white during the scrimmage practiced. The teams are split up pretty evenly between prospects the Hawks have control of and free agents. Most notably Mark McNeill and Garrett Ross were part of Team A, Phillip Danault was part of Team B/Red.
The scrimmage was a hard hitting affair throughout. It took nearly 30 minutes before anyone snuck the puck by either goalie. The first period ended zero a piece but then there were four goals scored in the second and five more in the third to result in a final score of 5-4 and victory for Team B.
Quinn Gould, Phillip Danault, Dan Christsen, Justin Holl and this year's third round pick John Hayden scored for Team B. Team A got goals from this year's seventh round pick Robin Press as well as Anthony Louis, Grayson Downing and Chris McCarthy.
The only injury came early on in the scrimmage when forward Pat Mullane collided with defenseman & last year's second round pick Dillon Fournier. Mullane immediately limped to the bench favoring his left leg. He then waited for the next stoppage of play and headed to the locker room under his own power. As far as I could tell he did not return to the scrimmage. No official word on the seriousness of the injury. The collusion happened about 10 feet from Team A's bench and both players were on Team A.
In net Matt Tomkins looked pretty impressive for Team B. He stopped numerous pretty good scoring chances and gave up his lone goal right before leaving the game. Brandon Whitney also was impressive allowing only one goal but did not face the same type of pressure during his time.
Free agent invitees Matthew O'Connor and Jackson Whistle came on in relief and did not fair as well. The two allowed seven goals in their 30 minutes of action.
I was hanging around the blue line so I was paying attention to the defensemen a lot. My impression is that Stephen Johns might make a push for a roster spot start out of college in 2014. He seemed to be logging Duncan Keith type minutes during the scrimmage. Also a free agent who might get a longer look at from the Hawks is Zach Loesch. He is a big (6'5) kid (20) out of Minnesota who is quick and can move the puck. He also isn't afraid to hit.
Jake Chelios is pretty solid and it wouldn't surprised me at all if next summer the Hawks sign him to a contract to play in Rockford.
And if you follow me on twitter then you probably noticed me commenting on just how small Louis is. In his draft profile he is listed at 5'6 and on the roster he is listed at 5'7. I pretty sure they are both wrong because I think he is 5'5. I mean he looks like former NBA star Mogues Bogues. But he knows how to handle the puck, skate and doesn't shy away from contact.
It is clear the Hawks are leaning towards guys like that.
On Thursday it will be Team B who gets to practice before the scrimmage. The schedule will be the same with practice starting around 10 AM and going till 10:45 or 11 AM. The scrimmage will then start around 11:30.
If you plan on coming out please know that they play full 20 minutes periods, with very little stoppage so those move fast. However they do have full 18 minute intermissions so the scrimmage does last just under two hours. It was clear many weren't ready for that because a lot of people seemed to leave after the second period.