With what I like to call ‘the balcony of important people’ that overlooks the Hyundai Rink at Fifth Third Arena packed with Blackhawks executives, including Danny Wirtz and Kyle Davidson, and the stands filled with fans, the next wave of Blackhawks put a bow on their week-long development camp with a five-on-five scrimmage that consisted of two 25 minute periods.
Joseph Serpa – who was strictly an invitee for this camp – opened the scoring for the Team Red on a pretty feed from Blackhawks’ second-rounder Paul Ludwinski early in the contest.
Alex Vlasic – whose strong camp I wrote about yesterday – logged a secondary assist on the Serpa goal for Team Red. Ironically, it was Serpa who gave Red their final tally of the day as well when he beat Ludvig Persson with 24.8 seconds to play in overtime, giving Team Red a 4-3 lead.
The day’s story, though, was the line of Landon Slaggert, Frank Nazar, and Dominic James. They were head and shoulders above the other lines on either side. It wasn’t until the second period that they got on the scoreboard with a goal from Landon Slaggert, but they were sniffing it out all game and had a near goal on the possession prior.
Here’s the Slaggert goal:
Here’s the near-goal the possession prior:
Nazar said after the game that he thought his line played well but left a few goals out there today.
“I thought we had some great chemistry. I thought there were some plays we could have buried a little bit more, and we could have had more goals and more shots, but I thought we did good today. We only had one, but we could have scored easily like four.”
He wasn’t being hyperbolic, they really could have. They nearly lit the lamp again in overtime a few possessions before Serpa’s eventual game-winner.
Landon Slaggert said after the game that their line clicked early and was having a lot of fun and playing with chemistry.
“Yeah, we kind of had a little chemistry going. They’re obviously incredible players who play fast and play hard, so I think we kind of clicked early, and hopefully, we can see that up in Plymouth at the U.S. camp and see if we have a little chemistry up there as well.”
While Slaggert had the goal for that line, and Dominic James played very well himself, Nazar owned the day for me, which is nice because I left the rink on Thursday feeling a little underwhelmed by it, Nazar. Not as if he didn’t play well all week, just in the sense that I was looking for that wow moment that really showed off his skills. He delivered today.
The Michigan commit was fast and physical on both sides of the puck while playing with an under-control type of aggression that allowed him to be involved and create for his linemates.
Not to be forgotten, Kevin Korchinski played a very nice game on the opposite team this afternoon. Korchinski looked calm and fluid up and down the ice in every direction and aggressively tried to create offense on the attack.
Here’s a look at Korchinski scoring the winning goal in the post-game shootout that broke out afterwards:
Other players that stood out today included the aforementioned Alex Vlasic, Drew Commesso, Aidan Thompson, Fillip Roos, and Nils Juntorp. Both Thompson and Juntorp scored goals for Team White today, and Fillip Roos scored for Red.