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Coyotes solid during open scrimmage

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 16, 2013 at 10:58 pm •  Published: January 16, 2013

The Coyotes figured to be in better shape than most teams, keeping the core of their team from last season.

To drum up interest from the fans again, the team opened its practices to the public during the six-day training camp, including Wednesday night's scrimmage.

The fans clearly had their interest piqued, filling the lower sections enough to make it look about like a preseason game at Arena while they let out a few chants of "Let's go Coy-otes!" during the scrimmage.

On the ice, Tippett mixed the teams up, teaming veterans with prospects, while forwards Shane Doan and Boyd Gordon sat out with minor injuries.

For the start of training camp, the Coyotes called up forward Alexandre Bolduc and Andy Miele with defensemen David Rundblad and Michael Stone from their AHL affiliate in Portland, Maine, giving them a chance to compete for roster spots.

Phoenix added seven more players from the Pirates for the scrimmage, in part so they could have enough players, but also to give the younger players some confidence in case they're needed during the 48-game NHL season.

"With a 48-game schedule, there's a good chance everyone one of those players could play for us this year," Tippett said. "Bringing all those guys in today, it was a signal to them that they still belong, that in a short season, anything can happen."

Two of the Portland players teamed up for the first goal, drawing a big cheer from the crowd after center Brendan Shinnimin poked in a rebound off a shot by Chris Brown just past goalie Jason LaBarbera.

A more familiar combination scored the second goal: Radim Vrbata beat Mike Smith stick-side later in the second period after Martin Hanzal won a faceoff in the left circle.

Mikkel Boedker ended the scoring in the third period, punching in a rebound after an odd-man rush.

The Coyotes closed with a shootout and acknowledged the cheers from the fans by raising their sticks at center ice before heading into the locker room.

"It was awesome, amazing," Yandle said. "I went out before the game and saw many people were out there and you even fed off that a little bit. It's just a reminder that everybody's backing us again this year."