Michael Cummings had a clear vision of only one thing throughout the Maroon and Gold scrimmage: the back of the net.
Cummings tallied four individual goals to give his Gold team the 6-4 victory Friday night. The forward did not bask in the glory though as he mentioned how well the first line operated.
“The goals that I scored I did not have to do much,” Cummings said. “They just know where each other are and I was just lucky enough to get the puck when the net was open.”
The Gold team started strong in the first period. The offensive stances were very drawn out and frequent shots flew off the tape. The first line combination of Cummings, Austin Ehrlich and Wilson Housley produced a lot of slick passing and great vision for open shots.
Head coach Josh Brown was impressed by the speed and tenacity that the first line brought. That constant pressure on the defense is something that mirrored the ASU’s first line last season.
“I think they manage their ice time well,” Brown said. “They did not spend a lot of time in the D-zone so they worked hard when they had to to get the puck back. I was really happy with those guys.”
Maroon goaltender Lucas Felbel was rattled with shots but did well on saves until Cummings broke through the padded wall with two goals late in the period.
Felbel collected eight saves during the period he played. For the Gold team, Jordan Gluck gathered 10 saves. The defense around Gluck crowded the crease throughout the period while blocking shots left and right.
“We had a bunch of good defenders that we lost (from last season),” Gluck said, “I spoke with the D-men just working on some little communication stuff because we haven’t been together very long. That’s a very important thing to communicate and I was very happy with that.”
Aggressiveness and penalties were the theme of the second period as both teams collected a total of five penalties during the period. An exchange of tripping minors led to a four-on-four goal from Scott Farr to give the Maroon team their first score of the scrimmage.
Even though this was a team scrimmage, neither team took a cautious approach to their style of play.
Lots of aggressive hits along the boards and open ice knocks were exchanged during the contest. In this scrimmage, players were bidding for a last chance to make this team and to leave their lasting impression on the coaching staff.
“I’m looking for a compete level, hockey sense and just overall skill level,” Brown said. “There’s a lot of guys that showed that out there tonight. Obviously we had Michael Cummings score four goals tonight, and there’s some other guys who did not end up on the scoresheet that also were productive as well.”
In this competitive atmosphere, Cummings shined with his frequent speed and good interpretation of the puck off rebounds.
“I know coach Brown has a lot of ties to junior teams,” said Cummings, “I believe we’ll be able to compete for a national championship year after year.”