By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
PROVIDENCE It was more physically intense than anybody had a right to expect, and it was a pretty one-sided Koko Show when things were all said and done in a 4-1 victory for the Black Team in the annual Black and White scrimmage at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence.
The sold out Dunk featured an adoring throng of Providence Bruins fans that saved their loudest ovations for P-Bruins alumni like Brad Marchand, Johnny Boychuk and Tim Thomas during pregame introductions.
The youngest player in training camp, Alexander Khokhlachev, potted a pair of goals to open and close the scoring for the Black Team and the young squad squeezed off 29 shots in the decisive victory. Black Team defenseman Matt Bartkowski set up a Lane MacDermid goal in the third period amid a very strong game and Colby Cohen notched a pair of assists during an offensively impressive performance for the Bs squad.
Daniel Paille notched the other goal for the Black Team and 19-year-old Ryan Spooner scored the only strike for the White Team in a loss that absolutely nobody will remember a month from now.
Tim Thomas and Anton Khudobin combined for 18 saves in the victory for the Black Team while splitting the game between the pipes.
GOLD STAR: Alexander Khokhlachev showed up to prospect camp out of shape and was erratic at times during rookie camp and main Bruins training camp over the last few weeks. But Koko showed up when it mattered most. The 18-year-old forward is the youngest player in camp, but the talented Russian showcased both a nifty snap shot and a nose for the net in scoring both goals. Everyone finally saw what all the hubbub was about with Koko on Tuesday night.
HONORARY MENTION: Colby Cohen assisted on a pair of Black Team goals and showed some very good vision while setting up a pair of goals with cross-ice passes during the scrimmage. The backdoor feed to Lane MacDermid for his goal was a picture-perfect feed after a nice drop-down pass from Tyler Seguin helped set the entire play in motion. Cohen is a well-known commodity after playing for Boston University, and will have himself a nice career if he can make offensive plays as he did Tuesday night on a consistent basis.
BLACK EYE: Since it was an early season scrimmage where everybody is still getting their bearings, the BlackWhite scrimmage Black Eye goes to Chris Clark for bringing the thunder to the very first preseason game. Clark got into a nasty shoving match with Tyler Seguin in the corner before dumping the 19-year-old to the ice and then stung Colby Cohen with a two-handed slash at the end of the second period while trying to make a play. Its pretty clear Clark was making a statement to some of the younger Bruins players that hes in camp to win a job rather than friends, and theres nothing wrong with that kind of competitiveness from a respected NHL veteran.
TURNING POINT: Momentum seemed to turn a little bit in the scrimmage when Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask were lifted midway through the game, and the White Team defense collapsed a bit in front of young goalie Michael Hutchinson. Hutchinson allowed three third-period goals on defensive breakdowns and blown assignments in front of him, and thats when the Black Team truly pulled away amidst a 29-shot attack on the evening.
BY THE NUMBERS: 3 Providence Bruins tough guy Lane MacDermid scored a goal in the third period and finished with a game-high plus-3 on the evening for the Black Team. MacDermid has a healthy amount of grit as an AHLNHL enforcer in the making, and he somehow ends up on the scoresheet each year during training camp for the Bruins.
QUOTE TO NOTE: Every day they could send me home, so every day I just go to the ice or work out really hard. Im happy here just working and getting a chance right now. I hope I get a chance to play in some of the other preseason games against the NHL teams. Alexander Khokhlachev, talking about the mindset in Bs training camp after scoring two goals as a talented-but-unpolished 18-year-old prospect.