It’s never too early to make a good impression.
Tuesday night’s intrasquad game may have been little more than a glorified scrimmage, but for players like Liam Reddox and Colin McDonald it could mean the difference between flying charters in the National Hockey League or riding the bus in the minors.
Both Edmonton Oilers hopefuls made a strong opening case for themselves in the contest.
McDonald was good early and Reddox good late as their Blue team defeated the White squad 3-0 to take the Joey Moss Cup.
“I thought our line played well for the most part the whole game,” McDonald said. “This camp has been run a little differently where this is kind of the first scrimmage.
“The past couple of days have been more of a practice-type atmosphere, a lot of teaching and instruction, which I didn’t mind. But I was curious to see how my legs were going to feel. No matter how hard you train in the summer, nothing compares to game shape.”
McDonald, 25, who’s attending his fourth training camp, skated on a line with Gilbert Brule and Colin Fraser.
He came close to opening the scoring in the first period, firing a shot off the inside of the post and which bounced out the other side behind goaltender Martin Gerber.
Reddox also had a couple of chances in the game, his best in the second period, displaying his speed down the wing then cutting to the middle, forcing Gerber to make a good save.
“I just want to make it really hard for the coaching staff to send me down this year,” Reddox said. “I thought it was a good start, I’m still a little rusty. But with that rust, when you just stick to the basics and you’re working hard out there, it hides some other deficiencies a little bit.”