The prospects were grouped into two teams, one wearing white practice uniforms, the other black. There were two 25 minute halves and what seemed to be an impromptu shootout at the end.
Situational play varied, seemingly at random. There were 5 on 5, 4 on 4, and 3 on 3 segments of time throughout the scrimmage. During 5 on 5 play, defense seemingly ruled, but once a player less per side left the ice, it opened up pretty quick.
There were even two referees and two linesman, but they applied a pretty liberal interpretation to everything from offsides to penalties.
Tempo of play was pretty good, except for late in what would be the end few minutes of a regulation period. In the extra five minutes, play was downright sloppy.
Fatigue is the sure culprit of that, though one wonders if the coaching staff was looking to see which of these guys could dig down deep and gut it out despite the near—certain burning throughout their bodies and lungs.
NHL legend Bill Guerin was coaching one of the squads. He took time to sign autographs for kids near the entrance to the Penguins locker room. It also appeared that former Penguin Kevin Stevens was taking in some of the action from ice level.
In the slides that follow, I will provide some brief, note—style recaps on the players that stood out the most to me. It certainly should not be considered the definitive recap of the scrimmage by any means.
This thing moved pretty fast so it was tough to keep track of everything and look down at a roster to match numbers to players. There were also certain players that I wanted to spend some time focusing on, so there are guys like Brian Gibbons, Bryan Rust, Zach Sill, Reid McNeill, and Andrew Blazek (non—Penguin but Robert Morris University product), etc. that just did not get enough time of focus from me to adequately comment on their performance.
My intent for this recap is to give those of you that were unable to attend a bit of a glimpse at what was going through one fan's mind. Whether you are a Pens fan near or far away, take pride in the fact that the turnout was solid and the guys in our system look pretty good.
If you were at the camp, I'd love to hear what you thought on any of the players or just the experience in general in the comments section. Any discussion we can have on this should be great because we are still a few months away from the season. We have to kill the time somehow!
photo courtesy of @pghpenguins Twitter account