Sunday, September 19, 2010

Gold squad bests Blue 5-4 in scrimmage

Boyes scores shootout winner; Berglund,
D'Agostini, Della Rovere net goal, assist each

ST. LOUIS -- If the Blues are to gain any ground in an already difficult Western Conference, they will need a blast from the past of Brad Boyes from two, maybe three years ago.

Boyes potted 43 goals for the Blues three seasons ago, then slipped to 33 goals in 2008-09, before bottoming out to 14 goals a season ago.

Even though it was just a scrimmage among teammates, it was a good sign for the 3,450 Blues fans that came despite the wet, dreary conditions outside to see Boyes net a goal and clinch the game with a shootout in the Gold team's 5-4 win over the Blue squad Sunday at Scottrade Center.

Boyes, who was on a line with David Perron and rising prospect Philip McRae, scored a nice goal off a feed from his linemates with 2:30 remaining in the first half -- the game was played over a pair of 25-minute halves -- before scoring the deciding shootout goal.

It was a spirited effort by both sides that saw some encouraging efforts.

"It was good. The first time in a while for some of us with a little bit of contact," Boyes said. "It wasn't game-like contact, but there were still some decent hits out there. ... The pace wasn't bad. It was a good start."

The Perron-McRae-Boyes made creative plays throughout the game.

"It was great playing with Phil, a young guy that's got a really good shot, good hands and good hockey sense," Perron said of McRae. "We all know what Boysie can do when he gets the puck on his stick in the slot. That's what we decided to do. I tried to get him the puck. "

The Blue line of Matt D'Agostini-Patrik Berglund-T.J. Oshie stood out for its team.

Berglund and D'Agostini had a goal and an assist, while Stefan Della Rovere collected a goal and an assist for the Gold, as the two teams traded goals throughout the game, with the Blue squad grabbing the lead each time.

Cam Janssen and David Spina also scored for the Blue. Roman Polak and Adam Cracknell scored goals for the Gold, with Cracknell tying the game with 2:16 to play in the contest.

"It was a pace that guys on the outside looking in are trying to make an impression and at the same time, we have to give them a chance to really show what they can do and play with good structure," Perron said. "I think it's a good way to get back into a hitting mode."

Boyes scored the winner on the Gold's third attempt after Russian defenseman Nikita Nikitin scored a nifty goal to put the Gold ahead.

"I was nervous because the ice was terrible," Boyes said. "The first time on the ice, it's gonna get beat up. We practiced and went through a whole game. I saw Andy (McDonald) go at it. The puck was like a basketball, so I just figured I'd go down and shoot it. Even though I fanned on it, I got lucky."

The big hit of the day came from veteran Dave Scatchard, who laid the lumber on defenseman Ian Cole in the far corner that kept Cole on the ice momentarily. He did get up and skate off on his own power.

"I'm going for the puck, there's a guy coming from this side of me, a guy coming from that side of me and I was like, 'Aw, sh--," Cole joked. "... I saw them coming, but I had nowhere else to go. So I was like, 'Well, this might hurt a little bit.'"

The pace was smooth but intense for a scrimmage.

"You've got guys trying to make the squad," Cole said. "... It was pretty quick out there. It was good to play as close to a real game with the best players in the world."

Blue 2 2 (0) -- 4
Gold 2 2 (2) -- 5
First Half
B -- Janssen (Hensick), 2:40.
G -- Della Rovere (shootout), 7:49.
B -- D'Agostini (Berglund), 19:53.
G -- Boyes (McRae, Perron), 22:30.
Second Half
B -- Berglund (D'Agostini, Johnson), 9:49.
G -- Polak (Crombeen, Brewer), 12:00.
B -- Spina (Drazenovic, McDonald), 14:36.
G -- Cracknell (Strachan, Della Rovere), 22:44.
Blue: McDonald (NG), D'Agostini (NG)
Gold: Polak (NG), Nikitin (G), Boyes (G)
Blue: Coleman, Halak
Gold: Conklin, Bishop
Attendance: 3,450

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