War of attrition coming to a head

Battalion training camp continues at Memorial Gardens

Defenceman Braden Henderson heads up ice in the first of two intrasquad games Tuesday at the North Bay Battalion's Ontario Hockey League training camp. The four-day camp was to end Wednesday, with the Troops set to head to a four-team Preseason Showcase at Kitchener on the weekend. Braden Shuman jpg, NB

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North Bay Battalion veterans and prospects continued to fight for roster spots Tuesday, the third day of the Ontario Hockey League’s training camp at Memorial Gardens.

“We have a lot of returning guys, but the thing you want to see at training camp is non-roster guys push those guys for spots,” said Adam Dennis, assistant general manager and an assistant coach.

“You want to see your returning players making sure they’re keeping spots, and really what we want is competition, and I think we’ve had that so far. It’s going to make some tough decisions for us.”

Dennis downplayed the suggestion that action Tuesday might be all-determining.

“I don’t know if there’s a specific separation day. I think what you see today is that we’ve had fitness testing, had a practice, had a game, all in a short period of time, so I think you really see the war of attrition come to a head. You see who’s really in shape, who’s pushing at camp, who’s trying to make an impression at this point.

“The benches get shorter as you go, and it’s a lot of ice time for these guys. Some of the older guys will take care of their bodies a little bit better. They might feel better as the week goes on, and it’s a learning experience for the younger guys.

“As far as separation, I’m not sure when exactly that happens. It’s up to the players. Today is more of a hump day, I guess you’d call it.”

Camp participants played two instraquad games consisting of three 20-minute periods, reduced from 25 in the first scrimmage Monday, with a fourth and final meeting set for 9 a.m. today, after which the roster will be further cut down for the preseason. Like the others, the final game is open to the public at no charge.

The Team Green and Team White benches were run by Dennis and fellow assistant coach Scott Wray respectively, while Stan Butler, director of hockey operations and head coach, watched from the stands.

Green forwards Kurtis Evans, who has had concussion-like symptoms, and Mason Primeau, battling a chest illness, didn’t see action Tuesday, while forward Devon Savignac sat out the afternoon session with a back problem. White defenceman Ryan Thompson left the opener Monday with a wrist injury.

After the camp ends, the Battalion heads to the second annual Preseason Showcase at Kitchener to play three games on the weekend starting Friday night.


Afternoon: Mitchell Russell scored four goals and added an assist and Brad Chenier contributed one goal and two assists as Green downed White 7-1 for a third straight victory.

Green goals: Russell 4, Stockfish, Chenier, Kioki.

White goal: Struthers.

Morning: Liam Arnsby scored two goals and each of Russell and Kioki had one goal and two assists to pace Green to a 9-4 decision.

Green goals: Arnsby 2, Russell, P. Christopoulos, Campbell, Stockfish, Kioki, Chenier, Peters.

White goals: Hollett, Currie, Coe, Caines.