By Matt Vevoda
A competitive conditioning camp for the Ducks came to a close on Tuesday after a second scrimmage between the 30 prospects in attendance.
Looking to avenge a 4-1 loss yesterday, the White team prevailed for an 8-4 victory over the Black squad. Leading the Ducks in white jerseys to victory were Emerson Etem and Max Friberg, who each potted two goals apiece in the morning contest at The Rinks – Anaheim Ice.
“It was the last skate of the camp and you want to leave a good impression,” Etem said. “I thought the guys battled here. Not too many mistakes, maybe a couple in the first portion of the game. Other than that, it was just a good all-around effort.”
The White team jumped on top early in the first period when Peter Holland wristed in a shot from the right circle. His teammate with the Syracuse Crunch last year, Matt Kennedy evened the score by connecting on a penalty shot goal. Friberg then put the White squad in front for good with back-to-back goals to close the opening stanza.
“It felt good,” said Friberg, who helped Sweden to a goal medal at the 2012 World Juniors with a tournament-best nine goals. “I have had trouble all season trying to score on Viktor (Fasth) as well. Two goals on him, I can mock him a little bit about it now.”
The player with the most NHL experience (49 career games played) at the conditioning camp, Devante Smith-Pelly scored from the left corner near the beginning of the second period for the Black team. Josh Brittain and Rickard Rakell both countered with their own goals to put the White squad back up by a three-goal cushion.
Things got interesting later in the period, when the Black team began to mount a comeback. After Joseph Cramarossa deftly converted a penalty shot, Smith-Pelly found the net for a second time to cut White’s lead to 5-4. “You are always trying to be the best out there,” Smith-Pelly said. “I thought everyone did well out here for the first real hard skates of the summer.”
Etem squashed any thoughts of the Black team winning a second straight scrimmage. Almost single-handedly taking over the game, he fired a shot from one knee in the slot past Fasth with 16 seconds left in the second period of play to put White up 6-4.
Moments after he rang the puck off the post five minutes into the third, Etem blew past a defender with electric speed and scored another pretty goal to put the White team up by three. Later in the final frame, Etem came up just short on his bid for a hat trick when his penalty shot was denied. But Ludwig Karlsson was right behind him to tap in the rebound and put White up by the final score of 8-4.
“I tried to do the little thing when I wasn’t scoring, finish all my checks, stop and start a lot more,” Etem said. “When I do the little things, it just seemed to go my way in the end and I was able to shoot two shots that went in.”
When the final buzzer sounded, another good crowd at The Rinks – Anaheim Ice applauded the prospects for their performance. This year’s conditioning camp is now in the books, with the future for the Ducks looking extremely bright considering the wealth of young talent on display over the last six days.
“It’s been great and competitive,” Friberg said. “There are so many great hockey players here. It’s been fun as well. I have made a lot of new friends.”
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