Day Three: The final cut
The Texas Brahmas' Making the Cut 2010 prospect camp ended on Sunday evening and after three days of hard work on and off the ice, coaches Dan Wildfong, Ron Vogel and Derrell Upton had some tough choices to make.
In the end, three attendees were extended CHL training camp contracts and will join the rest of the players at the NYTEX Sports Centre on October 4th for the official start of the 2010-11 Brahmas training camp. Forwards Ryan Joseph (#4, Team White), Aaron Spotts (#15, Team White) and defenseman Bryan Brunton (#8, Team Black) were the final selections.
Brahmas head coach Dan Wildfong was very enthusiastic about this year's camp and agreed with many observers, that the skill set and the overall quality of attendee was outstanding.
"You know, out of the four years of doing this, it was definitely one of the best camps," Wildfong said. "We tried to run the guys to death the first couple days with the drills and then the games were very entertaining...I was really impressed with the talent level."
When asked what was different about the players who attended this year's camp, Wildfong pointed out the athleticism and the preparation that was evident throughout the three days.
"I think guys came in really good shape...I usually have about four or five guys quit before the camp's over - I think we've had one guy during all of camp (this time), The commitment level of them coming in shape and being ready to go and paying their own way was outstanding; it was encouraging."
The final day began with early morning warm-ups and stretching exercises from 5:40 am to 6:10 am, followed by a locker room session before the prospects took to the ice for more drills from 7:10 am to 8:25 am.
A similar routine followed in the afternoon with the players taking to the ice for a final scrimmage at 5:40 pm. Team Black won the contest 4-1.
Following their showers, the players began to line up outside the Brahmas locker room for their turn in Fonger's office and each learned the results of the camp.
Every player I spoke with said he thought the camp was a good experience and appreciated the opportunity to attend.
Bryan Brunton (#8, Team Black)
24-year-old Bryan Brunton, a native of Colorado Springs, Colo. thought that Fonger was "awesome" and thought the overall experience of the camp was well worth the trip to North Richland Hills.
"There were a lot more skilled players here than I anticipated," Brunton said. "It forced me to push myself a lot more, so that was good. It was a really good group of guys. It was interesting, seeing guys getting in scraps on the ice and then come off and be best buds in the locker room."
When asked what his thoughts were on the upcoming training camp, Brunton had no illusions about his chance of making the team, but was enthusiastic about the opportunity.
"I'm just going to try and do my best, show up day in and day out and see what happens...I'm going to take it day by day."
Photos from the final day of Making the Cut can be viewed here
Photo Credits: Robert Keith