Day 1 saw some good pace and speed. Day 2 saw all those traits ramped up.
While there was no shortage of speed and skill (thank you, Teddy Prior and Connor Brock among others for providing some offensive fireworks) day 2 of spring camp was marked by a noted increase in the physical aspects of the game. Player familiarity has increased both between teams and within the locker room, and as part of that the hitting, stickwork and post-whistle roughhousing has been very much a part of the games throughout the day. Everything culminated in a fight in the Green vs. Blue game, with defensemean Jaden Kim of Green and forward Marshall Renke of Blue squaring off in front of the net for a solid minute.
"Yesterday I think was a bit faster, more skill-like," states forward Cole Svenson, who spent last season with the CRAA Gold Midget AA team. "But today, everybody's using their speed and hitting bodies well."
"You wanna see guys go hard, and sometimes guys that are chippier like that wanna do what they can to get noticed," says forward Michael Hagen, a teammate of Svenson's who led their CRAA Gold team in scoring with 28 goals and 22 assists. "You usually expect one or two [fights] every camp."
"That's the first fight I've ever seen at a camp," adds Svenson. "Those are the two guys I'd least expected it to happen, especially two young[er] guys."
Svenson has the added experience of being one of the youngest players at main camp last September. After a solid season in the Midget league, he feels like he's put in the work to make himself even more of an impact player heading into this season.
"I think my physicality for sure, playing with older guys," replies Svenson when asked about what he's improved on the most. "And I think my speed's been there. I'm just excited to see what happens."
This morning, the players reported to the Grey Eagle for fitness testing, where they were put through their paces in a series of tests, including the ever-popular beep test. Top performers of the day included Liam Wong, who put out a standing long jump of 9 feet, Kory Zinck, who pumped out 74 pushups in a minute, and Jack Karpyshyn, who managed to survive the longest with a 14.5 of the beep test. When asked about their least favorite part about the testing, both Hagen and Svenson smiled.
"The beep test. Uh, it's a bagger for sure." admits Svenson.
"I don't think anyone likes the beep test, but [fitness testing] was fun," says Hagen.
Camp runs through today, with the top 40 game coming at 7 at the Shouldice Arena. Rosters for that game will be announced after regular play ends, so stay posted.
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