Habs hold red versus white game at training camp
The St. Paul Canadiens hosted training camp this weekend at the Clancy Richard Arena with enough skaters to hold a red versus white game on Sunday afternoon.
“Going into the weekend, I decided that if we had the numbers to do it, we were going to have a red and white game. Fortunately we had the numbers, and the guys were really excited to do it,” said Canadiens head coach Joe Young. “Practicing all weekend, eventually that just gets tiring, and guys are trying to make an impression and sometimes guys play games different than they practice. It was a chance for me to just see what guys can do at a higher pace against some of our veterans.”
Young evenly separated the teams and they dropped the puck for a regulation game on fresh ice at the Clancy Richard Arena, and the red team narrowly picked up the 5-4 victory after three periods of hard-fought hockey that saw a number of key shot blocks, big hits and even a fight.
“I don’t think, a few years ago, anybody would have been fighting to make this team,” said Young. “Now we’re starting to get a little legitimacy on this team and in this organization and it’s nice to see guys battling for positions. It makes you feel good as an organization knowing that you’re doing the right things, where guys are actually working their tails off to be here.”
While it was initially expected that last season's rookie of the year, Austin Rediron, would be returning in net for the Canadiens, Rediron was recently selected by the Melfort Mustangs Junior A hockey team, based in Saskatchewan.
“I’m really happy for the guy. He proved last year what kind of goalie he was in every game he played. It’s not bitter, it’s not surprising. It makes us in the organization very proud that he moved up to another level," he said, adding that Evan Joly will now take over between the posts for the Canadiens. “He played on this team a few years ago and he’s a very good number one. He’ll do a good job for us.”
A number of goal scorers will be returning to the roster this season, including Tanner Hellquist, Tyler Bunce, Jalel Abougouche and Pierre Beaudoin, but Young added that if there is one big difference that sets the team apart from last year's roster, which went for a difficult 3-30-1 season, it is experience.
“We’re a year older, and that’s absolutely huge, when you have a year experience under your belt,” said Young. “We had a very young team last year, and guys didn’t see some of the speed and how rough the game was at times. It was a big adjustment for a lot of these guys, and now this year they definitely know what they’re in for. We’ll see some of the lines that we had last year carry over to this year, so they’re going to have chemistry going into the first game.”
The Canadiens will open the 2013-14 season at home on Oct. 4 at 8 p.m., as the NEAJBHL champion Cold Lake Ice will enter the Clancy Richard Arena for the first time since sweeping the Habs in the first round of last year's playoffs.
“I expect a very intense game. They swept us last year in the first round of the playoffs, and we had two really good games where we competed at a high level against them . . . It’s really nice going into a home opener knowing that you have a team that’s going to be able to compete,” said Young. “The guys are really excited for that game and opening night. We’re going to have a few things going on within the organization that fans can get involved with on that night. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
The Canadiens will be hosting a tailgate party in the Clancy Richard Arena parking lot on Oct. 4, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. A hotdog and a pop can be purchased for $3. Tickets to Canadiens home games for the 2013-14 season will be $7 for adults, $5 for students and seniors, and free for children six-and-under.
Calling all referees
St. Paul Minor Hockey will be hosting its referee clinic on Oct. 6 at 8 a.m. For more information, contact Gary Ward at (780) 645 5313, or Mario Charette at (780) 645 2477 or (780) 724 4876. To register for the referee clinic, visit www.hockeyalberta.ca.
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