WorSharks training camp–Thursday

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Friday, September 30, 2011 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

Worcester Sharks head coach Roy Sommer giving instructions at the start of AHL training camp

Thomas Heemskerk makes a save at Worcester Sharks training camp practice

Worcester Sharks assistant coach David Cunniff gives individual instruction at training camp

Just a few thoughts from Thursday at the Worcester Sharks training camp…

Despite his small stature Mike Connolly (5’9″ 180#), a free agent signee out of Minnesota-Duluth, looks to be a player that could make an impact as a pro. He’s very fast and deceptively strong, and didn’t appear to be afraid to stand in front of the net against much larger defensemen. He doesn’t set much of a screen though as netminder Thomas Heemskerk could pretty much see clearly right over the top of him.

Many of the forwards should be happy it wasn’t a full contact practice as Nick Petrecki had several chances to put players both into the boards and on their backs in the open ice and instead chose to just bump them off the puck. He did have a nice post-whistle check on Tyson Sexsmith that drew laughter from the goaltender.

Another defenseman that stood out was rookie Taylor Doherty, mostly because of his 6’7″ frame. He really needs to work on his game but if this kid gets it all together he could be a monster on the ice.

It will be interesting to see if Gabriel Levesque, an amateur try out player from Acadie-Bathurst of the QMJHL, makes the squad. He looks to have the skills to play at the AHL level but his size (5’6″ 160#) could really be a hindrance. Unlike Connolly there doesn’t seem to be a physical aspect to his game. It was also funny to see Levesque standing next to Doherty, who is over a foot taller than the diminutive forward.

Last season the power play was a big issue in Worcester, so it wasn’t a shock that a large portion of practice was spent on special teams. It also wasn’t a shock that only once did the side with an extra attacker score, and that was a odd bounce past Sexsmith at the far end of the ice.

If James Livingston can tip pucks into the net during a game as well as he did it at the end of practice today opposing netminders are in a heap of trouble. With Doherty blasting pucks from the blueline just about everything within reach was tipped in wildly different directions by Livingston, including one that was a foot or more wide to the left of the net that he tipped just inside the far post. That one had even head coach Roy Sommer shaking his head.

Long time Worcester hockey fans will notice that newly signed Jimmy Bonneau has something in common with former IceCats enforcer “Stone Cold” Steve McLaren—they both play with their sleeves rolled up over their forearms so they can’t be easily grabbed.

Tomorrow I’ll have to pay more attention to Marek Viedensky. Because there were no numbers on the backs of the jerseys and only very small numbers on the backs of their helmets I misidentified him early in the practice. Based on what I saw I was wondering what all the excitement was about, but late in the second half of the practice I realized my error. I won’t identify the player I mistook him for because a) he wasn’t that good, and b) he likely won’t be here once some cuts are made.

I also misidentified the player wearing the #53 helmet as Brandon Mashinter, who was not on the ice Thursday. It’s a shame I don’t know who that player was because he had a couple of spectacular goals within a couple minutes of each other.

A photo gallery for Thursday’s camp is available here.

[Update] Sharks’ Sena Acolatse strives to play for home team – Worcester Telegram.

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