A look at the Halifax Mooseheads Training Camp

By Phil Laugher

It’s that time of the year again, folks! Hockey is
back! After a four-month lull after the end of the
2002 QMJHL playoffs, the world’s best junior hockey
players have taken to the ice for training camp,
leading to the kickoff of the 2002/2003 regular season.

The Halifax Mooseheads took to the ice for their
ninth training camp on August 16th, for the first of
three intrasquad games. Forty-six hopefuls strapped
on the skates, with dreams of garnering a roster spot
with one of the more high profile teams in the Quebec
Major Junior Hockey League. Three games, and seventy-
two hours later, that number was been trimmed to
thirty-six players, but not before some exciting
hockey action took place. Missing from camp were
defensemen Alexandre Picard and Milan Jurcina; Picard
with Canada’s under-18 gold-medal winning team, and
Jurcina practicing with a team in Slovakia


Intrasquad Games:

Due to the smaller than usual number of training camp invitees, the Halifax Mooseheads training camp roster was divided into two teams, rather than three or four, as had been the case in years past.

Friday night’s game saw all four overage hopefuls, Brandon Benedict, Patrick Gilbert, Thatcher Bell, and Bruce Gillis sit out, in favour of the younger hopefuls getting a look on the ice in front of General Manager Marcel Patenaude, and his staff. After a slow start, Team Red was able to take the victory over Team Green, 5-1, thanks in large part to the strong play of Mooseheads’ 2002 second-round draft pick, defenseman James Sharrow, whose offensive prowess resulted in him getting a goal and an assist. Other goals for Team Red were scored by 19-year-olds Jordie Preston and Jonathan Labelle, and by rookie hopefuls Kyle Doucet and Lucas Eveleigh. Team Green’s lone tally came from second-year man Francois-Pierre Guenette. Stellar goaltending from former Hull Olympique Michael Dilorenzo and rookie Jason Churchill helped preserve the win.

Saturday night’s game saw Team Green return the favour, by topping the Reds 7-4. Czech import Petr Vrana shone brightly, picking up a goal and an assist in the game. His playmaking ability will be a sight to see on the Metro Center surface, as he dazzled the 800 or so fans in attendance with his puck handling skills, and heads-up play. Francois-Pierre Guenette notched two third period goals for the Greens as well, continuing his promising play from the end of last season. Other Green scorers were enforcer Adam Wojcik, fourth-round pick Matthew Augustine, and invitee Stephen Knowles. Scoring for the Reds were Jonathan Labelle, Jordie Preston, Lucas Eveleigh, and Kyle Doucet.

The decider of the three-game set came on Sunday, with the Greens winning by the same 7-4 score as the night before. Petr Vrana’s quick wrist-shot was displayed for the second night in a row, as he notched the game winner. Matthew Augustine picked up a pair of goals, coupled with a fight against Reds defenseman Nathan Veinot, which saw Adam Wojcik leave the bench to enter. And who says intrasquad hockey can’t be intense? Other scorers included invitee T.J. Heighton with a pair, and Frederick Cabana and Stephen Knowles with the others. Answering for the Reds were for the third night in a row Lucas Eveleigh and Kyle Doucet, as well as third-year forward Derrick Kent and rookie Kyle Wilson.

A scary moment occurred near the end of the second period as 19-year-old Jonathan Labelle was checked awkwardly against the boards by Greens forward Darren Dean. Labelle lay on the ice for a short period of time before being helped off with an apparent leg injury. The injury was less serious than originally thought, as it turned out to be merely a charley horse. Defensemen Frederic Sonier and Adam Pardy, as well as forward Blake Careen were also nursing injuries by the end of the first days of camp.

TEAM RED:GP    G   A   P   PIM
12  Doucet, Kyle3     3   2   5     0
26  Preston, Jordie3     2   3   5     2
21  Eveleigh, Lucas3     3   0   3     0
15  Labelle, Jonathan 3     2   1   3     0
19  Kent, Derrick3     1   2   3     0
06  Sharrow, James3     1   1   2     1
18  Wilson, Kyle        3     1   1   2     0
16  Gillis, Bruce1     0   1   1     0
16  Paterson, Stewart2     0   1   1     1
02  Anthony, Jason3     0   1   1     0
03  Veinot, Nathan3     0   1   1     9
07  Couch, Michael   3     0   1   1     6
09  Frazee, Glen3     0   1   1     0
10  Desrosiers, Ryan 3     0   1   1     3
23  Cyr, Jean-Francois 3     0   1   1     0
14  Bell, Thatcher1     0   0   0     0
17  Pearcey, Andrew 2     0   0   0     0
11  Dickieson, Dale2     0   0   0     0
05  MacIntyre, Colby3     0   0   0    12
01  Churchill, Jason   3     0   0   0     0
29  Dilorenzo, Michael3     0   0   0     0

TEAM GREEN:GP G A P PIM 17 Heighton, T.J.3 2 3 5 1 11 Guenette, F.P.3 3 1 4 0 29 Augustine, Matt 3 3 1 4 2 21 Vrana, Petr 3 2 1 3 0 22 Knowles, Stephen3 2 1 3 4 19 Wojcik, Adam3 1 2 3 14 05 Upshall, Randy3 0 3 3 2 08 Cabana, Frederick3 1 1 2 0 10 Benedict, Brandon1 0 2 2 0 14 Dean, Darren3 0 2 2 4 15 MacLean, A.J.3 0 2 2 0 09 Careen, Blake2 1 0 1 0 02 Pardy, Adam 3 0 1 1 0 04 Sonier, Frederic1 0 0 0 0 22 Robichaud, Matthew1 0 0 0 0 06 Gilbert, Patrick2 0 0 0 0 18 Hendren, Jeff2 0 0 0 0 03 Simonson, Matthew3 0 0 0 0 12 Bernier, Marc-Andre3 0 0 0 2 07 Clarke, Bobby3 0 0 0 5 26 Tuplin, Nick 2 0 0 0 0 24 Boutin, Jonathan3 0 0 0 0 25 Trottier, Maxime3 0 0 0 0

First Cuts Made:

After the second intrasquad game, six players were
trimmed from the roster. Goaltender Nick Tuplin, and
forwards Andrew Pearcey, Stewart Paterson, and Jeff
Hendren were released, defenseman Frederic Sonier left
camp due to injury, and forward Matthew Robichaud left
camp in order to maintain his NCAA eligibility. Four
more cuts came on Monday morning, as forwards Darren
Dean, Dale Dickieson, and Glen Frazee, as well as
defenseman Matthew Simonson were cut and affiliated to
their respective teams in the Maritime Junior A League.

The QMJHL exhibition season kicks of for Halifax
Tuesday night, as they face the Moncton Wildcats in
Moncton. The first home game takes place the
following night against Moncton, at the Halifax
Forum. Game time is 7:00pm.

For Hockey’s Future, this is Phil Laugher, signing off.