The Columbus Cottonmouths sure know how to put some excitement in a Wednesday morning!!
When I got to the rink, Snakes fans, I expected another routine practice. Instead, I got a 60-minute scrimmage, complete with SPHL referees and linesmen.
Pete MacDougall texted Jerome and told him that he and his fellow officials wanted to get in some ice time. Would the Snakes like to scrimmage? So, we saw Tyler Puddifant and Andy Howard wearing the orange armbands and Pete and James Frommert as linesmen.
A win-win all the way around. Jerome and Brad got to see the guys in action even before Friday night's exhibition game. The refs and linesmen got some game action and so did the players.
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As in the first couple of days, there were plenty of big hits. Actually, even MORE than in the first two days! Alex-the-new-guy MacLeod delivered one of the first big hits, followed by several from Chris Bailer. Adam Kuhn, Levi Lind and Evan MacIntosh also made their presence known.
Something told me to stay until the end of the scrimmage, though I had a couple of errands I needed to run. I stayed because I wanted to be there in case MacIntosh and Bailer dropped the gloves. Since ya'all haven't seen them yet, let me tell you that Bailer is nearly Kessler-size and MacIntosh is even smaller than Orrin Hergott. Getting the picture? The two of them were hitting all morning and even got into a small shoving match. They didn't drop the gloves, but...
John Sullivan and Daniel Amesbury did! I know that's a little (maybe a lot) surprising. Though Daniel's main job is to scrap, John rarely fights. I missed the events leading up to the brief skirmish, but Jerome told me that John threw an elbow and Daniel didn't appreciate it much. The linesmen broke it up pretty quickly, but it was a fight nonetheless! Yikes.
I know there are often fights in the training camp setting, which really isn't surprising. These guys are (no pun intended) fighting for their jobs. There are some positions that are set, but wide open competition for others. It's kind of neat to see how much winning these spots means to the guys.
The black team took home the 4-3 come-from-behind W. The first goal-that-doesn't-count was scored by Sammy Bowles after Adam put a perfect pass on the tape. Great timing, Adam and Sam!
The guys got experience on both the PP and PK. The penalties were 1-minute long instead of 2.
As far as I know, back to normal camp routine tomorrow and then comes the real test for the guys. Usually, some of the vets skip the exhibitions and serve as coaches. With the largest camp ever, I'd expect to see that again. Probably see some combination of Sam, Orrin, Brett Hammond and Tom Maldonado directing the line changes.
No cuts expected before the weekend, but then the axe will start to fall. Such an exciting time for us, stressful for the guys.