By Kyle Shohara – Anaheim Ducks
Sept. 18, 2017
The legs fed the wolf today in the Ducks’ annual training camp scrimmage.
Utilizing both sheets of ice at THE RINKS – Anaheim ICE, the scrimmage featured three 90-minute stop-time periods, much to the delight of the fans that packed the stands on Monday morning. In the end, Team Black skated to a 5-0 shutout victory over Team White on goals from Chris Wagner, Keaton Thompson, Dennis Rasmussen, Kalle Kossila and Deven Sideroff.
It was a showcase of sorts for most of these players, especially the rookies, who are looking to make a positive impact with a full contingent of Ducks hockey operations staff members in attendance.
“There were some people that separated themselves, and there were some people that showed us they have more work to be done,” said Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle. “You’re always looking for people to step and be noticed. We asked them to grasp some of the things we’ve been trying to teach them as far as our systems and the way we play. There were some guys that showed us they could take what we’re offering in practice and transform it into a scrimmage.”
After nearly 45 minutes of scoreless hockey, Wagner and Thompson scored consecutive goals within a few minutes of each other to give Team Black a 2-0 lead in the second period on the Olympic sheet of ice. Wagner’s goal came off a deflection on Thompson’s wrist shot from the left point. Thompson followed it up with a booming slap shot of his own to give Team Black a two-goal lead.
Thompson is one of a handful of defensemen looking to crack Anaheim’s opening night roster with integral blueliners Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen expected to miss the first month of the season. Still only 22 years of age, Thompson says he’s taking a day-by-day approach to camp.
“It’s always a goal to make the team,” said Thompson, who earned 16 points (4g/12a) in 52 games as a first-year pro with the San Diego Gulls of the American Hockey League last season. “There are open spots with injuries. Hopefully I can prove I can play up here, too. I just want to come in more comfortable than last year. Attack each day as a new day and try to learn from the old guys.”
Team Black went on to score three times during the third period, beginning with Rasmussen’s goal on a deflection in front. Then, on a 1-on-3 rush, Kossila managed to find just enough room in front of goaltender Olle Eriksson-Ek to push Team Black’s lead to 4-0 with 9:39 remaining in the third period. Sideroff tallied Team Black’s fifth goal when he managed to get his stick blade on Steve Oleksy’s slap shot from the right point.