By Ryan Nagelhout
A six-round shootout and hat trick from Corey Tropp put on a show in front of another big crowd at Dwyer Arena as Sabres development camp came to a close on Sunday.
Fans saw a Tropp-led Grey squad pull off a 5-4 win after a six-round shootout decided things when the camp’s second scrimmage ended tied at four.
Riley Boychuck and Phil Varone potted goals for white after a scoreless first but two
straight Tropp tallies and a wrister from Luke Adam made it 3-2 Grey.
Brad Navin and Steven Beyers each scored for White as they took a brief lead, but Tropp’s third of the session tied it at four and squeezed out a bit more action for hockey-starved Sabres fans on Niagara University’s ice.
If anyone stood out to Sabres fans this week it was forward Tyler Ennis, a bonafide NHLer among a group of prospects and college players. Each year development camp brings back a “veteran” or sorts, and Ennis enjoyed his time as the camp ringer.
“I think it’s fun for me to be a leader,” Ennis said. “It’s my fourth time here so I just kind of have to do what the older guys did in my first year and be a good role model and show them that you have to work hard and have fun.”
Ennis had the most polish of anyone on the ice and said the scrimmages held the last two days of camp make a week of cone-dodging and drills worth the effort.
“I think everyone looks forward to the scrimmages the most,” he said. “Everyone likes playing the game, it’s just better. Hockey’s all about scrimmages.”
Ennis is no stranger to microphones and cameras entering his third season with the Sabres, and got have some fun interviewing forward Corey Tropp for the team’s website along with Rochester defenseman T.J. Brennan.
“We were just kind of goofing around,” Ennis said. “It was tough, actually. I didn’t know how tough it was to interview people. It was fun, though."
Mark Pysyk knows he can’t go to Rochester this year but making the Sabres isn’t the only goal for the 2010 first-round pick.
Pysyk was one of the last cuts from Canada’s U20 World Juniors team in December and has one last shot to make the event as a 20-year-old this season.
“It was tough to swallow,” Pysyk said. “I still do have this year to make it so I’ll try to make it back to the winter camp.
“Getting cut from that team you just have to look to get better and keep coming back harder,” he said.
Pysyk scored six goals and 40 points with the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings last season and said getting cut from Team Canada served as a bit of a wake up call.
“I think after getting cut from the World Juniors I stepped up my game and am feeling better about my game,” he said. “Much more confident as well.”
Canada’s National Junior Team summer camp is Aug. 3-7 in Edmonton.