Pistol sounds as CHL camps begin

It's late August, and cuts are already being made in junior hockey. QMJHL camps have opened, and four Sabres hopefuls saw their exhibition schedules get underway over the weekend before Hurricane Bill put a damper on the north Atlantic coast. Chicoutimi's Jacob Lagacé kicked the pre-season off on Friday, scoring an early power play goal as the Sags blanked Baie-Comeau, 4-0. The 19-year old forward, who last season led the Sags with 32 goals and 69 points, gave way to younger players in a pair of weekend contests. On Saturday, fourth-year blueliner Jordon Southorn had a goal and three shots on net as PEI took a 6-5 shootout win over Halifax. Southourn's marker midway through the second period launched a three-goal outburst in a span of 2:14 for the Rocket. The 6'2 defender had looked strong and sharp through a pair intrasquad scrimmages heading into the weekend. Cape Breton's Luke Adam practiced with his new team for the first time on Tuesday, but did not play in Friday's 7-2 loss at Moncton. The 6'2, 210-pounder has been skating on a top line with fellow newcomer Ashton Bernard (NJ). The early favorite to wear the "C" in Shawinigan, Maxime Legault, 20, did not play in pair of weekend home games for the Cats. It's worth noting that former Sabres prospect Jean-Simon Allard decided to not return to the QMJHL for his 20-year old season. After four years in the Q, the unsigned Allard instead had planned on playing for Alma College (QC) before his transfer was denied by the AAA league offices. It is unknown where or if Allard will be playing this season. -------------------------------------------------------------- OHL and WHL clubs will follow by opening training camps on Wednesday and Thursday. Nick Crawford, 19, will head to Saginaw on Wednesday, where the Spirit will conduct three Blue/White scrimmages on Thursday and and Friday before opening their exhibition schedule against Plymouth on Saturday. Fresh off the heels of a Team Canada Evaluation Camp, 2009 first rounder Zack Kassian will get things underway in Peterborough on Thursday. The Petes will skate in their first tune-up on Sunday the 30th at Oshawa. Marcus Foligno and the Sudbury Wolves will also begin camp on Thursday, with their annual Blue/White scrimmage set for Friday. The Wolves will begin their pre-season schedule at Soo on Tuesday, September 1st. In the WHL, Kootenay's Brayden McNabb, 18, will join his teammates for the start of camp on Thursday. The 6'4 rearguard recorded 10 goals, 36 points, and 140 PIM last season for the Ice, who won't hold their first preseason game until Friday, September 4th against Calgary. Also of western note, development camp invite Burke Gallimore of the Saskatoon Blades will be attending the rookie portion of the Edmonton Oilers training camp.
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