The Green and Gold game tonight was a pretty fun event. The evening started with an informal meet & greet on the concourse of the Wells Fargo Sports Center. Hot dogs, chips, cookies and juice were enjoyed while chatting with players and staff. I was personally happy to meet the new folks I met and thrilled to see people I've known from the rink for a long time. At 6:30 the Skate With The Seawolves portion of the evening kicked off and lots of kids seemed to have a good time skating with the little ones.
The game began about 7:15 and was nicely set up. The first period was straight up 5 on 5 hockey. The second period consisted of 2 minute rotating power plays and the third was 4 on 4 for six minutes followed by 3 on 3 for six minutes. Before the game and in-between periods they held various Skills Competitions. There looked to be some tired legs by the end from a few players so that format served as a good training session overall.
The final score was 12-4 (or was it five) for the Gold team. They really took it to the Greens. I've put the rosters at the end of this post. I didn't keep track of the scoring and neither did SID Dallas Baldwin (it was her night off and not a real game ya know). So I'll make up my own sort of scoresheet:
Player of the Game: (Gold Team) Austin Azurdia -- He scored at least a hat trick in a strong showing with at least a couple of assists as well.
Most Frustrated Trio: (Green Team) Scott Allen, Brett Cameron and Blake Tatchell -- What we'll all assume is the likely #1 line going into the season was blanked on the night.
Target Of Most Hits: (Green Team) Hayden Trupp -- It was a pretty competitive affair with more than a few hits all around. Hayden got bounced pretty cleanly on at least 4 occasions. Azurdia scored a "Hayden-goal" at one point with a clean stand-up hit in the crease.
Hardest Shot: (Gold Team) Ben Matthews -- 102 miles an hour.
Fastest Skater: (Green Team) Blake Tatchell -- 14.something seconds
Best Crowd Cajoling: (Gold Team) Chris Williams -- After his 92 mph first shot he raised his arms to get the crowd's support and banged home his 2nd at 96 mph. Also he get's Best Beard Evah (even sweeter than the Abe Lincoln I'm sporting).
Best Shootout Performance: Michael Matyas, Olivier Mantha and Jared D'Amico. There were maybe 2 or 3 goals scored as everyone on both squads took a turn. Hayden Trupp made the sweetest attempt with a spin-o-rama where he tried to lift the puck onto his stick lacrosse-style. It didn't quite come off but the crowd appreciated the attempt.
Best Emceeing: Coach Thomas -- He was no Mitch Hedburg but I chuckled a couple times.
I'd forgotten how difficult it is to mentally assess a group of players I have never seen skate before. I tried to focus for a shift or two (at least) on each of the freshman. Austin Azurdia certainly was a delight. He showed good hands, positioning and skating -- and of course finishing. I made a mental note about Tanner Johnson's nice efforts a few times and I'll be keeping my eye out for more from him. Jarrett Brown was also solid whenever I was tracking him. Tad Kozun looked dangerous and certainly will be a regular starter. Anthony Conti and Matt Anholt also both contributed well offensively as their squad (I know I said this already …) took it to the Greens.
There was a lot of good play from a lot of the veterans. Even though I gave the business (a wee bit) to Allen, Tatchell and Cameron they did control play well during the various "power plays" in the 2nd period hardly ever giving up the zone. I still think that defensively this squad may be one of the best in the league and that's without considering how well so many of them move the puck up the ice.
All in all it was a fun event and well attended as the WFSC stands were pretty full. Good times. Oh yeah … Blake Leask can flat out shoot the puck. Also, I need to start bringing a notebook so I don't have to rely on my gray matter.
Derek Docken, Tanner Johnson, Jarrett Brown, Austin Coldwell, Blake Tatchell, Brett Cameron, Connor Wright, Hayden Trupp, Kory Roy, Scott Allen, Zach Rassell.
Chase Van Allen, Austin Sevalrud, Ben Matthews, Dylan Hubbs, Anthony Conti, Matt Anholt, Brad Duwe, Hudson Friesen, Tad Kozun, Blake Leask, Chris Williams.