Olli Maatta talks with the media after an impressive afternoon at Blackhawks training camp festival.
The Chicago Blackhawks hosted their annual training camp festival on Sunday and began the afternoon by revealing their new scoreboard. It’s a bit of an upgrade from the one previously used at the United Center.
The Blackhawks then separated into two squads for a scrimmage in front of the nearly sold-out crowd. Calvin de Haan, Kirby Dach, and Philipp Kurashev would NOT take part in the scrimmage. Here’s a look at the rosters for Team Red and Team White:
Brandon Saad opened the scoring for Team Red off a beautiful feed from Olli Maatta. It may have been an inter-squad scrimmage, but Maatta was surprisingly impressive offensively. Not only did he have the pass that set up Saad’s goal, but he blew past Chad Krys and beat goaltender Collin Delia to pad the lead later on in the game.
Anton Wedin would make it 2-0 Team Red later on in the first period. The Swedish forward is pushing to make the Blackhawks opening night roster, and he received one hell of an opportunity on Sunday. Wedin spent most of the scrimmage playing with Jonathan Toews and Alex Nylander, and he took advantage by finding the back of the net.
It was 2-0 Team Red after the 1st period, and Corey Crawford and Robin Lehner would exit the game. Matt Tomkins (Team Red) and Alexis Gravel (Team White) would come on to replace them for the second period.
The only scoring that took place during the second period came off of penalty shots. Alex Nylander received a penalty shot early on in the period, and the 2016 first-round pick made a nifty move to tuck one past Tomkins.
Down 3-0, Kris Versteeg would cash in on his opportunity to score the only goal for Team White on the afternoon.
Collin Delia (Team White) and Kevin Lankinen (Team Red) would then enter the game for Tomkins and Gravel. The Blackhawks would keep Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Andrew Shaw, Brandon Saad, Brent Seabrook, and Duncan Keith out for the remainder of the game for precautionary reasons. The third period would go without any scoring, and the two teams would then play 10 minutes of 3-on-3 hockey.
Olli Maatta embarrassed Chad Krys to score the opening goal of the 3-on-3 period. Tyler Sikura would score the final goal of the game on a 2-on-1 rush, absolutely roofing a backhand shot over the glove of Collin Delia. Team Red won by a final score of 5-1.
Looking ahead, the Blackhawks will play three games in as many days beginning tomorrow with their preseason opener vs. the Washington Capitals. The ‘Hawks will then have a home-and-home series with the Detroit Red Wings, as the two teams play each other on Tuesday and Wednesday night. Hockey season has arrived!
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