Countdown to preseason continues

Sunday, 17.09.2006 / 12:00 AM / News
Montreal Canadiens
Red Team claims final intra-squad game on busy day

The Canadiens' goalies can be thankful they no longer have to face Sergei Samsonov, who will be more than ready to face his former teammates Tuesday night at the Bell Centre.

MONTREAL - The Canadiens did anything but kick back and take it easy on the last Sunday of the summer, practicing at the Sportsplexe 4-Glaces in Pierrefonds before meeting up with fans outside the Bell Centre for the Canadiens Jamboree.

In what was the final intra-squad game of training camp, the Red Team averted a sweep by downing the White squad 4-3 thanks to Maxim Lapierre's game winner in the last minute of play.

Mixing it up: Head coach Guy Carbonneau reshuffled his deck for the final intra-squad game. His new line of Guillaume Latendresse, Michael Ryder and Saku Koivu paid immediate dividends with the captain opening the scoring by beating David Aebischer in the first moments of the game.

After drawing rave reviews at last week's rookie tournament in Toronto, Mikhail Grabovski found himself flanked by Russian duo Sergei Samsonov and Alex Kovalev.

"We were curious to see what Mikhail could do with players of that caliber," said Carbonneau. "We tried the same thing today with Guillaume. We want to give these kids the chance to play alongside elite players."

Fallen Soldier: Jean-Philippe Ctt, who is hoping to snag the available seventh defenseman spot, left Sunday's intra-squad after twisting his right knee. The 24-year-old is scheduled to have an MRI on Monday morning to determine the severity of the injury.
"I felt something wasn't right and I immediately left the ice," explained Ctt, who figured it was better to be safe than sorry. "I'm pretty sure it's nothing serious."

Between the pipes: The third and final intra-squad game saw Carey Price kick aside every shot he faced, while both Cristobal Huet and David Aebischer allowed a pair of goals, and Cedrick Desjardins, Jaroslav Halak and Yann Danis were each beaten once.

Banner day for Bonneau: Known more for his talents in the fisticuff department, tough guy Jimmy Bonneau brought fans out of their seats for an entirely different reason on Sunday by roofing a backhand past Desjardins for a highlight reel breakaway goal.

The Canadiens will be back on the ice first thing Monday morning with a pair of practice sessions in Pierrefonds, including one at 10:00 a.m. and another at 11:30 a.m. The early session will be reserved for players who will be in the lineup for the preseason opener against the Bruins, Tuesday night at the Bell Centre.

Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com