TOURNAMENT ROUNDUP: DAY 1
That's what the Penguins where looking for and that's what they found when they paired John LeClair and Mark Recchi with Sidney Crosby. Recchi scored two goals and Crosby and LeClair both had three assists to lead Team Herbie to a 4-1 win over Team Badger in the first game of the Penguins training camp tournament at Mellon Arena on Wednesday.
The LeClair-Crosby-Recchi line clicked instantly. Recchi became Crosby's top target with the puck.
"I think you could put anyone with (Recchi) and they'd do well," Crosby said. "Anytime I get the puck I know he's going to try to get open. John is so big and he can get body position on guys. I think it's just a matter of finding these guys the puck and they don't have trouble putting it in."
Rookie Jonathan Filewich also had a big day. He scored Team Herbie's other two goals.
"It's very exciting. It gets me off to a good start and allows me to get some confidence at the beginning, which is key," he said. "I was so nervous coming to camp here. It was nice to get the nerves out of the way."
Recchi scored the first goal of the tournament off a nice pass from Crosby, who was behind the net. Recchi beat Sebastien Caron to the stick side for a 1-0 lead. Filewich scored an unassisted goal to boost the edge to 2-0 at the end of the first of two 25-minute periods.
Erik Christensen broke the shutout for Team Badger when he took a pass from Sean Collins and drilled the puck past a drawn-out Marc-Andre Fleury.
Filewich boosted Team Herbie's lead to 3-1 when he converted on a 2-on-1. Crosby skated down the ice near the far boards. Draped with a defender, he slid a pass across the ice to Filewich, who buried a shot past Caron's glove hand. It drew cheers from the crowd.
"I was yelling at him the whole way down and I wasn't too sure if he saw me," Filewich said. "He made a beautiful pass and I just put my head down and shot. Luckily, it went in."
Recchi capped the scoring with 7:32 remaining when he converted on a 3-on-1. LeClair broke in on goal and dropped a pass to Crosby at the top of the crease. He slid the puck to the far post where Recchi slammed it home to make it 4-1.
The contest featured the tournament's first fight as well. In the first period, Dennis Bonvie and Ryan VandenBussche dropped the gloves for a small fray.
Team Francis 6, Team E.J. 0
Matt Murley and Stephen Dixon both scored two goals to lead Team Francis to the 6-0 triumph in the second game Thursday.
No one scored in the first period as the contest appeared as if would remain a low-scoring affair to the end. However, Team Francis rolled in the second period.
Murley got it all started with two-straight goals off Dick Tarnstrom assists. Cam Paddock added an assist on the second goal as Team Francis built a 2-0 lead. Dixon pushed the pack past goalie Andy Chiodo during a scrum to make it 3-0. Ziggy Palffy was credited with the assist.
Tarnstrom pushed the edge to 4-0 when he roofed a backhander past Chiodo that tucked under the crossbar. Guillaume Lefebvre earned the assist.
Dixon cashed in again when he took Ryan Whitney's outlet pass and broke in alone on Chiodo on the nearside and wristed a shot past Chiodo's blocker. Whitney set up Matt Hussey with the final goal. Hussey broke free and skated in on Chiodo. He buried the puck top shelf much to the delight of the crowd.
Goaltenders Jocelyn Thibault and Dany Sabourin split time in net for Team Francis to earn the shutout. Thibault made several nice saves, including a sprawling leg pad stop late in the first period. Likewise, Sabourin looked sharp and made key saves to preserve the shutout.
Friday's schedule: 9 a.m., Team Francis vs. Team Badger; 11:30 a.m., Team E.J. vs. Team Herbie.