NORTH BAY, Ont. – Forty-seven players took to the ice Monday for the first intrasquad game at the North Bay Battalion’s Ontario Hockey League training camp, with veteran left winger Luke Burghardt not to be found.
There had been speculation that Burghardt, who announced via Instagram last Thursday that his hockey-playing days were over because of a spinal condition, might be in attendance after seeing another specialist, if only to bid goodbye to teammates.
The Battalion now appears resolved to enter the season without its second-leading points producer of 2017-18. A Bowmanville, Ont., resident who turned 20 on May 12, Burghardt joined North Bay in a June 27, 2017, trade from the Guelph Storm and amassed 28 goals and a team-high 43 assists for 71 points in 68 games with the Troops.
Coaches Scott Wray and Adam Dennis ran the Team White and Team Green benches respectively in the first of four intrasquad games to be played before the end of camp at midday Wednesday. Stan Butler, director of hockey operations and head coach, watched the first two of three 25-minute periods from owner Scott Abbott’s box.
The two squads practised separately in the morning before the afternoon game. Camp opened Sunday with fitness testing and medicals.
Butler had little to say about the first on-ice action of the camp but commented on the green-and-white practice sweaters, which date to the Troops’ inaugural season in Brampton in 1998-99.
“All I know is this is the 21st year for these jerseys. These jerseys are older than any player in the game.”
Each of six goaltenders played one period, with White’s Reece Proulx, Cal Schell and Christian Propp sharing the shutout in an 11-0 victory. In the Green net, Christian Purboo allowed two goals, Christian Cicigoi four and Joe Vrbetic five.
The camp continues with intrasquad games at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tuesday. They are open to the public at no charge.
Justin Brazeau and Brad Chenier led the way with two goals apiece in the whitewashing by White. Nathan Porter, Nick King, Brandon Coe, Matthew Struthers, Nick Davis, Andy Baker and Cameron Peters provided singles.
White: Reece Proulx, Cal Schell, Christian Propp, Nathan Porter, Jackson Hay, Thomas Gangl, Travis Mailhot, Simon Rose, Nick King, Payton Vescio, Ryan Mills, Nick Davis, Gabby Kioki, Carson McMillan, Justin Brazeau, Matthew Struthers, Andy Baker, David Campbell, Brandon Coe, Joshua Currie, Cameron Peters, Brad Chenier, Luke Moncada.
Green: Christian Cicigoi, Joe Vrbetic, Christian Purboo, Eric Allair, David Maier, Jacob Peterson-Galema, Pacey Schlueting, Maxim Mulder, Ryan Hall, Braden Henderson, Rhys Forhan, Egor Postnov, Daniel Walker, Brett Shawana, Kurtis Evans, Patrick Brown, Kyle Potts, Mat Hardwick, Liam Dey, Kyle Jackson, Jesse Kirkby, Jack Stockfish, Harrison Caines, Adam McMaster.
White goals: Brazeau 2, Chenier 2, Porter, King, Coe, Struthers, Davis, Baker, Peters.
Green goals: None.