For the past three days, Tampa Bay Lightning prospects have skated up and down the St Pete Times Forum ice, testing their agility, stamina and balance. Tuesday, the players got their first taste of a live game with a intersquad scrimmage. In a high scoring affair, Team White defeated Team Black 7-4. It was a good step for Lightning first round pick Brett Connolly after missing most of last year due to injury.
"To finally get out here and play some games, it was good for me. Its good to shake the rust off, I have not played a lot in the last year, so it was good for me to get in those games for sure" said Connolly, who was impressive in his first time in a Lightning jersey, checking in with a goal and an assist. Connolly showed no signs of rust, using his speed to put him in great scoring positions throughout the scrimmage. "I think this has been a great camp for him, because we did work on a lot of fundamentals that he needed to work on, and just get his feet back underneath him, now I think he sets up training for the rest of the summer to get ready for the rest of training camp" said coach Jim Johnson, who is running the camp.
Other standouts in the scrimmage included Alex Killorn, who had two goals and an assist, Matt Marshall, who also had two goals and an assist, and James Wright, who checked in with a goal and an assist. Carter Ashton, who has added noticeably more muscle this off season, had a strong skating day. The jaw rattling moment of the game came when Radko Gudas connected on a huge open ice hit on James Mullin.
Prospect Camp wraps up Wednesday night at the St Pete Times Forum with the Young Guns game. The doors open at 5:30 with the game getting underway at 6pm. The event will also include a question and answer session with Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman and new Lightning defenseman Brett Clarke. Attendees can also check out the "Lightning Hockey Night" radio show, which will be broadcasting live from the X.O. club. There will also be a fundraiser throughout the evening to raise money for the families of the two fallen Tampa Police officers.
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