Bragging rights for Broda

SCOTT FISHER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:22 AM ET

Six different players lit the lamp in Team White's victory.

But head coach Joel Broda wasted little time taking the credit for yesterday's 6-3 victory in the Calgary Hitmen's annual Black & White game.

"It's pretty easy when you lay out a game plan and the guys follow it," Broda deadpanned.

"Everyone was going hard, giving it 110 (percent) and every line was firing.

"There was a couple of times I had to lay down the law a little bit, but they were quick to respond."

Broda, who scored 53 goals last season for the Hitmen, and defenceman Alex Plante showed up at the Don Hartman N.E. Sportsplex for yesterday's game.

But when the coaching staff elected to ice rosters consisting mainly of 16- and 17-year olds, the pair pleaded with GM Kelly Kisio to be allowed to run the team benches.

After they received the OK, the 20-year-olds rushed home to put on suits for their coaching debuts.

Cody Beach, Mark Owens, Justin Kirsch, Tyler Fiddler, Lee Christensen and Misha Fisenko scored for the white squad, giving Broda all the bragging rights.

MacKenzie Royer potted a pair for the black team, while Robert Trzonkowski chipped in with a single.

Royer, who has all the tools to be an offensive contributor in the WHL, was all smiles after getting off to a good start at camp.

"I got a couple of chances," the Spruce Grove product said. "I know our team lost, but I thought we played pretty well."

Royer battled through a tough 2008-09 rookie campaign that saw him shuffle in and out of the lineup.

He scored two goals and seven points with limited ice-time in 39 games.

"It was a tough year," he said. "But I still feel I got better.

"Dave Lowry was an excellent coach. Same with Joel Otto and Bubs (Brent Kisio).

"There were times in the playoffs where they would help me out during practices.

"And I learned quite a few things from (Brett) Sonne and Broda."

The 16-year-old has his sights set much higher this season.

"I have high expectations from the coaches," he said. "They want me to be a big part of the team this year.

"And I'm ready to take that responsibility."

So far, so good.

Kisio said the youngster did some good things yesterday.

"He's got some good jump this year," Kisio said. "He's always handled the puck real good, but now he's shooting."

Going through camp for the third time, Royer said he's feeling more comfortable.

"I do feel better," said the 6-foot, 185-lb. winger. "I also feel a little pressure because I know the coaches want me to be a leader with these young guys.

"When it comes time to name the team, they want me to be ready."

Camp cuts

The Hitmen have 33 players left in camp after yesterday's cuts.

The backup goaltending battle is officially a two-horse race as Michael Snider and Chase Komistek are the only goaltenders remaining along with starter Martin Jones.

Komistek gave up two goals on 14 shots in yesterday's Black & White game.

The annual tilt usually features 8-10 veteran players on each squad. Yesterday, each team had just five WHLers because GM Kelly Kisio said his scouting staff needed to take a closer look at other invites.

SCOTT.FISHER@SUNMEDIA.CA


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