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Sunday, September 19, 2010
Crawford pleased with camp scrimmage

By Mark Stepneski

CHARLOTTETOWN, Prince Edward Island -- Stars coach Marc Crawford liked what he saw from his team’s scrimmage Sunday afternoon at the Charlottetown Civic Center.

Team Black beat Team White 5-3. James Neal’s penalty shot goal with 6:27 proved to be the game winner for Team Black.

“Lots of positives, very few negatives,” Crawford said after watching the scrimmage from the press box area. “For a scrimmage it had everything you’d want. It had some good goals, guys working and it had a fight at the end between our two tough guys (Krys Barch and Luke Gazdic). It was a tough day for them and they put in a good effort. It was a good evaluation tool. “

Crawford liked what he saw from goaltender Kari Lehtonen, especially in the first period of the scrimmage. Lehtonen stopped all 12 shots he faced in his first 20 minutes of action. Richard Bachman was impressive too, not allowing any goals while playing about half of the 60 minute scrimmage.

Andrew Raycroft and Brent Krahn, who will battle to backup Lehtonen this season, had their ups and downs.

“I thought Lehtonen was outstanding early and I really liked young Bachman. I thought the other guys (Raycroft and Krahn) were fine for a second day,” Crawford said. “I am sure they would have liked to be a little bit better, but that will be a battle that will happen all through camp.”

Mike Ribeiro, who had two assists – both on Brenden Morrow goals – drew rave reviews from Crawford.

“Up front, I thought Ribeiro was arguably the best player on the ice,” Crawford said.

Jonathan Cheechoo, who is in camp on a tryout basis, is getting a look at right win on that line with Morrow and Ribeiro.

“Cheechoo was OK there,” said Crawford. “He went to the net and helped create a goal there.”

The line of Fabian Brunnstrom, Jamie Benn and Steve Ott chipped in three goals for Team Black.

“I liked what we saw from Bruno,” Crawford said of Brunnstrom, who played left wing on that line today. “We knew that he was going to have a good camp and he looks good right now. … I liked that line of Ott, Brunnstrom and Benn.”

Among the forwards, Crawford also noted the play of center Aaron Gagnon and prospects Tomas Vincour and Scott Glennie.

Trevor Daley received high marks from Crawford for his play during the scrimmage and among the new faces on defense, Severin Blindenbacher got noticed.

Scrimmage stats (unofficial):

Goal scorers: Morrow (2), Petersen, Brunnstrom, Petersen, Neal, Benn, Ott, Richards

Assists: Ribeiro (2), Robidas, Daley, Brunnstrom, Coyle, Barch, Neal, Eriksson