The scrimmage served as an evaluation for the 51-man Team Canada roster as it prepares for the 2014 FIL World Championships in Denver.
“It was a great experience overall,” said head coach Bill Tierney. “The first game was a very good demonstration of how good we can be. The second game helped us find out how far we have to go to be a great team. We thank the Canadians for this wonderful opportunity.
Denver began the day with a scrimmage against the Team Canada White squad, jumping out to an early 4-2 lead in the first quarter off goals from two goals from senior Bailey Dodds (Eden Prairie, Minn.), and one each from freshman Max Planning (Alexandria, Va.) and senior Tyler Simmons (Belvedere, Calif.)
Freshman Dallas Bridle (Orangeville, Ontario) scored to start the second quarter to put the Pioneers up 5-2 and after a score from the Reds, sophomore Colin Woolford (Norwalk, Conn.) made it 6-3 with his first of the day.
The Reds added two more goals prior to halftime to cut into the Pioneers’ lead, 6-5. Freshman Tyler Pace (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) made it 7-5 to start the third quarter, but the Reds answered with two goals to tie the game at 7-7.
The Reds added another and on the ensuing face-off, sophomore transfer Jack Bobzien (Littleton, Colo.) tied it all at 8-8, scoring a transition goal. Bobzien added another with a minute left in the third quarter to lift the Pioneers to 9-8.
Following four straight goals by the Reds, Simmons snapped the scoring rally with his second of the game to bring the Pioneers to within two. The Reds continued to put the pressure on, scoring two more goals, while the Pioneers were only able to net one, falling 14-11.
In the second game of the day, the Pioneers took on the Whites, falling behind 4-0 early in the first quarter. Junior Connor Pagnani (Nashville, Tenn.) scored from outside to put Denver on the scoreboard at 4-1.
Pace made it 4-2 with his first of the scrimmage, second of the day; however, the Whites scored twice more to end the first quarter 6-2.
Junior Sean Cannizzaro (Cazenovia, N.Y.) scored for the Pioneers early in the second quarter to cut the deficit to three, but the Whites once again extended their lead with two more goals to make it 8-3. Sophomore Jack Pruitt (Sammamish, Wash.) ended the scoring onslaught with his first goal of the day to pull within four.
The Whites then strung seven straight goals together to take a 15-4 lead before Cannizzaro snapped the streak with his second of the day to make it 15-5. After a goal by the Whites, freshman Zach Miller (Steamburg, N.Y.) scored his first of the day late in the third quarter to make it 16-6.