Day Three of Rampage training camp featured the longest on-ice session for the team thus far. Instead of being split up into two groups, all of the players took the ice for a practice before an intrasquad scrimmage rounded out the day.
“I thought our pace was fantastic right from the get-go,” said Rampage head coach Chuck Weber. “You can tell the guys started to tire out as the game went on. It was a long day with a 45 minute practice and a 40 minute scrimmage. But I was impressed with the compete level the guys had throughout.”
Odd-man rushes opened the practice and were followed by 5-on-5 defensive zone drills. To start the drill, the team on defense was required to turn their sticks around in an effort to contain the offense. When the players defending were able to turn their sticks back around, the drill’s intensity picked up.
The zamboni took the ice after 45 minutes to resurface and the players returned to the locker room to prepare for the first full-ice scrimmage.
When the players hit the fresh ice, one more speed test had to be done before the scrimmage could get underway. The test measured the players speed from goal line to red line.
The pace of the scrimmage started fast, but heavy legs were evident as it wore on. Practicing for 45 minutes before the scrimmage, coupled with short benches, led to a couple miscues.
Forward Eric Selleck capitalized on one of those miscues and tallied the lone goal of the scrimmage for Team Silver, as he snuck a shot under the arm of goalie Dov Grumet-Morris.
“It was a little bit of a turnover at the blueline then I got a nice little dish from (Jonathan) Hazen and I went ahead and shot it,” Selleck said. “The puck squeezed in under Dover's wing. It worked out pretty well.”
Said Weber: “The only shots you miss are the ones you don’t take. He threw it on net and it had some eyes.”
With their goalie pulled in the final minutes of action, Team Black thought they had scored the game-tying goal, but Team Silver netminder Michael Houser held strong down low and was able to keep the puck out.
The play was likely a prime example of the type of situation that will be reviewed in all AHL rinks this season. The new rule requires all teams to have overhead cameras looking down on the goal line. Referees will be able to review potential goals in-house, by looking at the play through monitors in the penalty box.
Following the scrimmage, the team cooled down with a 45-minute off-ice session chalked full of team relays. Half-field games of handball also ensued before the players called it a day.
The team will treat tomorrow as a game day, as Team Black and Team Silver will square off at 9:45 a.m. at Northwoods Ice Center. Officials will call the game and the players will have their first chance to experience the hybrid icing rule taking effect this year in the AHL.