Familiar faces at practice

UND practiced at Burnaby Winter Club on Thursday afternoon. This isn’t where tonight’s game will be held, but it’s less than a mile from it.

A lot of prominent hockey players grew up playing in the rink, including longtime NHLers Paul Kariya and Curtis Joseph. Former UND standout Cary Eades also played one year there, too.

The only non-participant at practice was forward Brendan O’Donnell, who will be held out this weekend. Gage Ausmus, who probably isn’t going to play, did practice.

It seems like people are pretty excited that UND is in town and there were probably 50 fans watching practice today. A lot of people were going in and out during the 90-minute session.

It was a usual Thursday practice for UND, complete with the weekly shootout drill. The goalies came away victorious this time. The final shooters were Rocco Grimaldi, Keaton Thompson, Dillon Simpson and Coltyn Sanderson, if I recall correctly.

After practice, the players had a chance to catch up with Corban Knight, who is currently playing in Abbotsford, about a 45-minute drive from Burnaby. Knight’s one of the best guys to come through the program; the players and coaches were pretty excited to see him.

The coaching staff also was excited to see former UND standout Garry Valk after practice. Valk played 777 NHL games over 13 years. He’ll be at the game Saturday.

Photo No. 1. Players search for a rebound during a drill at practice.

Photo No. 2: Players line up to get ready to do a battle drill at practice.

Photo No. 3: Fans watch UND’s practice.

Photo No. 4: Corban Knight chats with former teammates Drake Caggiula, Rocco Grimaldi, Brendan O’Donnell and Coltyn Sanderson.

Photo No. 5: Former UND great Garry Valk chats with Dave Hakstol.

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