PITTSBURGH PENGUINS DEVELOPMENT CAMP 2013
SCRIMMAGE ANALYSIS: OVERVIEW
By Dave Fryer, Contributor to InsidePittsburghSports.com
The game was mostly (but not completely) run like what would be done for a routine game at CONSOL Energy Center in December, including music and announcements. The intent of all the arrangements was to give the players as much of a game atmosphere as possible, even to the extent of putting all the spectators on the side of the ice facing the benches so the players would feel like a full arena was watching.
A few of the noticeable differences from a normal game were two, 25-minute halves, penalty shots to the fouled player instead of granting a power play, and a six-man shootout (three aside) at the end of each half that did not count towards the overall score of the game.
Approximately 4,000-5,000 people were on-hand, filling up about half of the lower bowl. Most people found a seat within the first 20 minutes of the gates opening at 2 PM, and while many left early, a good portion of the crowd stayed for the whole event. The players all came together at center ice and saluted the fans at the conclusion of the game, much to the delight of both the onlookers and competitors. “The support they gave us was unbelievable,” said forward Matia Marcantuoni. “It was amazing. Looking forward to that in the future, hopefully.”
The final score of the game was 5-3 in favor of the white team, which was coached by Bill Guerin. Alain Nasreddine ran the bench for the black squad.
Reid McNeill and Adam Payerl ended up tied for first in the final standings of the extra competition being conducted by the coaches in conjunction with the camp. Players were awarded points for accomplishments and contributions made on and off the ice throughout the camp, including some aspects of the scrimmage. Payerl and McNeill both amassed 22 points. “I don’t know how they’re going to decide which one of us is going to take first, but it was fun,” said McNeill. “They’ve got some cool gifts for us out there.”
Assistant to the GM Tom Fitzgerald was very pleased with how the week went overall. “We really do feel that each year (the camp) improves. It’s like anything else – you get wiser and the vision becomes clearer on what you want to do to help these kids and educate them,” said Fitzgerald after Saturday’s scrimmage. “I think the kids really enjoyed the week… They enjoy each other, get to meet new friends, and learn more about what it means to be a Penguin.”
Wilkes-Barre head coach John Hynes, who directed most of the on-ice activities throughout the week, expressed his feelings that the camp was a success. “I thought the camp went well. The kids got a lot of good experiences on the ice and off the ice. We were able to implement the things that we wanted to in our practices and through our meetings, as far as the hockey standpoint goes,” he said on the final day.