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Red Defeats White In Final Scrimmage

Palmer, Niemi Solid Again In Goal

Friday, 07.11.2008 / 5:15 PM / News
By Brad Boron  - chicagoblackhawks.com
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Red Defeats White In Final Scrimmage

Just like Thursday, goaltenders Joe Palmer and Antti Niemi gave their teams a chance to win with shutout performances during their time on the ice. Unlike yesterday, Niemi’s Red Team emerged victorious, beating White 4-2 in the last scrimmage of the week.

Following the game, Blackhawks goaltending coach Stephane Waite had nothing but positive things to say about the two goalies. “[Niemi’s] got some adjustment to do,” said Waite, “but we’re very happy about him. He’s a great athlete and will be an NHL goalie in the future for sure.”

As for Palmer, Waite says he may have had the best camp of any goaltending prospect. “He’s had a great week. We’re very happy about his progress and he’s a great prospect for us.”

“It’s just fun to be here,” said Palmer, who expects to be back at Ohio State for his junior year. “You just want to go out there and do your best. I still have to keep improving.”

White took the lead early in the first half of the two period, 50-minute scrimmage, on a goal by Joel Pleckaitis, and added to the lead early in the second half on an usassisted goal by Peter Leblanc. However, Red scored four unanswered goals to put the game out of reach. Free agent Mike Radja scored two goals in the period, giving him nine points in four days of scrimmages.

The game also showcased two separate fights featuring White’s Akim Aliu, who dropped the gloves against both Tyler McNeely and Dan Bertram in the second half.

“That’s just the way I play,” said Aliu. “I don’t fight too much, but once in a while I’ve got to do it. I’ve just got to play my game the way I’ve always played it.”

Russian prospect Igor Makarov was held scoreless, but made his presence felt in other ways, distributing the puck well and playing tough, physical defense in transition.

“I think it was a good camp,” Makarov said through his translator. “I wasn’t used to playing with these guys, but we had a lot of good moments. It’s more important that our team won.”

Makarov said he wasn’t sure whether he’s ready to come to America to pursue an NHL career just yet, but he said that the Blackhawks’ training camp will give him a better indication of how far he’s progressed.

“It’s hard to judge myself,” he said. “We’ll all be better able to judge [my development] in September.”

Official Scoring

Team Period Time Goal Assisted By Goaltender
W 1 18:10 J. Pleckaitis A. Perry, P. MacArthur J. Fallon
W 2 24:23 P. Leblanc Unassisted J. Unice
R 2 19:15 M. Radja M. Tanguay, B. Smith S. Dahm
R 2 14:25 B. Sweatt M. Tanguay, T. McNeely S. Dahm
R 2 1:51 M. Radja A. Wilkins, B. Smith S. Dahm
R 2 :02.6 K. Reddick A. Berti ENG