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Ducks Spend Their Off Day at Angels Spring Training Camp

Sunday, 03.3.2013 / 5:18 PM PT / News
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Ducks Spend Their Off Day at Angels Spring Training Camp
“It was an unbelievable experience,” said Fowler. “Just to be a part of this for a day, to see the way they do things here, was a lot of fun for us.”
By Adam Brady
AnaheimDucks.com

Off days on the road are rare for NHL players, and you could have hardly picked a better one for three Ducks on Sunday afternoon in Arizona.

Cam Fowler, Nick Bonino and Viktor Fasth – along with Ducks coaches – made the 20-minute trek from their hotel in Glendale (where they played the Coyotes last night and will again Monday night) to Angels spring training camp in Tempe. They spent the morning with the Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium as the team got ready for an afternoon game with the visiting Chicago Cubs.

PHOTO GALLERY

“It was an unbelievable experience,” said Fowler, who grew up a Tigers fan back home in Michigan and played second base for Pioneer High School. “Just to be a part of this for a day, to see the way they do things here, was a lot of fun for us.”

The day started with the Ducks sitting in on the Angels’ morning meeting, a session that took on a lighter air thanks to manager Mike Scioscia. While giving the visitors an idea of the preparation the team goes through each day, he targeted the Ducks players (as well as some of his own) for a number of jokes and jabs.

“Just to see how other sports and managers and coaches handle their group was a great experience for me,” said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. “I found it not only entertaining, but enlightening. You come and see the complex and how organized everything is, everybody in different areas and knowing where they’re supposed to go, it’s pretty impressive. And the talent here is incredible too.”

Fowler took on Bonino in a hitting contest judged by Scioscia and Fasth, with Fowler taking the victory in a close race.

The three Ducks were challenged to show their baseball talent after the meeting. They were suited up in Angels gear – t-shirts, shorts and caps – and given a bat to take over to one of the facility’s auxiliary fields. They first spent a few minutes hitting tossed balls into the back of the batting cage, with Fasth clearly the least experienced of the three. The 30-year-old goaltender had never even attended a baseball game while growing up in his native Sweden, let along swung a bat. “We don’t have a lot of baseball over there,” Fasth said. “But this is fun. I’m just trying to do what I can.”

Later Fowler took on Bonino in a hitting contest, with several Angels prospects looking on and rooting as the two Ducks took turns in several rounds of five-pitch sessions. Scioscia and Fasth (whom Scioscia continually called “Swede”) served as judges for the competition, giving points for hard-hit balls, with Fowler winning by a slight edge.

“I was just trying to stay in there and stick to my own game,” said Fowler, who couldn’t wipe the smile off his face the entire afternoon. “’Bones’ came up with some clutch hits that kept him in it, but I was able to win it in the end.”

Some fans think Angels outfielder Peter Bourjos and Cam Fowler look alike. You be the judge.

Fowler’s prize? Buying lunch for the 70 players and coaches in camp “That’s what the winner gets, I guess,” Fowler said. “Maybe they’ll send me a bill. ‘Bones’ lucked out, I guess.”

The trio was then taken over to a bullpen area, where they each stood in at the plate as perennial All-Star Jered Weaver hurled 90-mile-per-hour fastballs by them. “We just stood in front of him to see what it looks like,” Fowler said. “Nobody even dared try to hit it. That would make us look stupid.”

They watched actual Angels batting practice on the Tempe Diablo field, then headed back to the clubhouses and getting more well-wishes from the Angels before heading out for the day.

“This was pretty cool,” said Bonino, who tried to keep it quiet that he grew up a Red Sox fan. “Cam and I already said we’re wearing this back to the hotel lobby, gear and all. It’s really cool for them to bring us in and let them know what it’s like to be in their shoes a little bit. It’s really fun.”

Added Fowler, "It was just cool seeing everybody and for them to allow us to come in there and see what it’s like for them. It’s always great for a professional athlete to see how the guys in another sport carry themselves day in and day out. We’re very thankful that they let us in and have some fun with them.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 13 50 14 63
C. Perry 82 34 28 2 62
R. Kesler 79 21 32 5 53
R. Rakell 72 20 23 -1 43
J. Silfverberg 82 20 19 8 39
S. Vatanen 71 9 29 8 38
A. Cogliano 82 9 23 2 32
H. Lindholm 80 10 18 7 28
C. Fowler 69 5 23 -8 28
C. Stewart 56 8 12 2 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Gibson 21 13 4 .920 2.07
A. Khudobin 3 3 0 .909 2.70

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