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Posted On Saturday, 09.29.2012 / 8:39 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - All-American Prospects Game Blog

Second period: Jones helps McLanahan to 4-0 lead

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Team McClanahan turned the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game into a bit of a rout with three second-period goals to take a 4-0 lead after 40 minutes here at First Niagara Center.

Seth Jones and Jacob Montgomery scored 2:11 apart early in the second, and Quentin Shore later scored off his own rebound to break the game open.

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Posted On Saturday, 09.29.2012 / 7:51 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - All-American Prospects Game Blog

First period: Fasching goal gives McClanahan lead

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Hudson Fasching scored the only goal of the first period, giving Team McClanahan a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes at the inaugural CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game.

Ryan Fitzgerald carried the puck down the left side into the Team Housley zone and showed great patience waiting for Fasching to find space at the far post, where he tapped the puck past Team Housley goalie Eamon McAdam at 15:54.

Team Housley outshot Team McClanahan 6-4 in the period, and play was fairly even and high-paced.

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Posted On Saturday, 09.29.2012 / 7:45 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - All-American Prospects Game Blog

Leafs GM Burke excited to see Prospects Game

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Few NHL officials are as intimately involved with USA Hockey as Brian Burke, and the Toronto Maple Leafs general manager was one of the more than 100 NHL scouts and GMs in attendance for Saturday's inaugural CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game.

Like some others, Burke sees the game as the next logical step in USA Hockey's evolution as an elite developer of future NHL talent.

"I think USA Hockey had a vision 15 years ago when they started the [National Team Development Program]," Burke told NHL.com. "And they've built quality in the under-18s and they've built quality in the World Juniors and they've built quality in the Olympics, and this is the logical next step. Let's take the best kids and showcase them."

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Posted On Saturday, 09.29.2012 / 7:06 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - All-American Prospects Game Blog

Girgensons shares wisdom with teammate Downing

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Dubuque Fighting Saints defenseman Michael Downing grew up about five hours away in Canton, Mich., but he'll have a pretty solid cheering section at the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, thanks to one of his old teammates.

Zemgus Girgensons, a 2012 first-round NHL Draft pick of the Buffalo Sabres, was in attendance here at First Niagara Center prior to heading to Rochester for training camp with the Sabres' American Hockey League affiliate, the Rochester Americans.

Girgensons chatted with Downing briefly prior to Saturday's game and gave him the benefit of his experience in dealing with the pressure of a player's NHL-draft season.

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Posted On Saturday, 09.29.2012 / 4:23 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - All-American Prospects Game Blog

Lineups set for All-American Prospects Game

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Coaches Phil Housley and Rob McClanahan have set their lineups for tonight's inaugural CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game. Each team will skate with 11 forwards, six defensemen and two goaltenders. The teams each are down a forward following injuries this week to Kitchener's Justin Bailey, who would have played for Team McClanahan, and Dawson Cook of the U.S. National Team Development Program, who was on Team Housley's roster.

Here are lineups each team will use:

TEAM HOUSELY

Anthony Louis - J.T. Compher - Ryan Hartman

Tyler Motte - Sean Malone - Ross Olsson

Frank Vatrano - Tyler Kelleher - Evan Allen

Devin Tringale - Will Merchant

Ian McCoshen - Steven Santini

Mike Downing - Keaton Thompson

Scott Savage - Cody Corbett

Eamon McAdam will start in goal, with Hunter Miska replacing him midway through the second period.


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Posted On Saturday, 09.29.2012 / 1:43 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - All-American Prospects Game Blog

Scouts happy to have best of the best in one place

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Scouts are used to being on the road to see the prospects they need to evaluate each season. But when the prospects can all come to them, it makes the lives of some of the hardest-working people in hockey just a little bit easier.

For the scouts who examine U.S.-based prospects, they get a treat this weekend when 38 of the best American-born players showcase themselves at the inaugural CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game on Saturday here at First Niagara Center.

With the season just getting under way in the Canadian junior leagues and about a week away in the USHL, Saturday's game also will serve as a baseline for what the scouts will be looking for from each of the players.

"It's a tremendous advantage for scouts, No. 1, just to get the caliber of players all together in one site," Director of NHL Central Scouting Dan Marr told NHL.com. "But the fact that now we get a head start on these players and our evaluations on them during the season. They all come to us in one venue. Not only is it good economically, but from a scouting point of view it gives you your first impression on the kids for the year."

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Posted On Friday, 09.28.2012 / 4:52 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - All-American Prospects Game Blog

What's next for the Prospects Game?

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The puck won't drop on the inaugural CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game until Saturday, but some talk already has turned to the future of the game.

USA Hockey Assistant Executive Director of Hockey Operations Jim Johannson said he envisions the Prospects Game as something the next generation of NHL hopefuls growing up in the United States can use as a goal.

"One of the things we hope this event does is become another marker in a young players' development, to say I want to make the All-American Prospects Game," Johannson said. "The National Team Development Program was a key part of our growth and development and we have kids aspiring to make the National Team Development Program and we want them to aspire to make the Prospects Game."

As far as any changes to the set-up or timing of the game, Johannson said that will come in the days and weeks following Saturday's game here at First Niagara Center.

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Posted On Friday, 09.28.2012 / 4:37 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - All-American Prospects Game Blog

Buffalo, Sabres are excited hosts

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Sabres and USA Hockey formed a strong partnership for the 2011 World Junior Championship, so bringing the inaugural CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game to Buffalo was a pretty easy decision.

And the response from the area has been solid.

Sabres president Ted Black wouldn't give a number on tickets sold, but said he expects about 5,000 fans to be in the First Niagara Center for the game Saturday night.

"I think the fans are very excited about it," Black said. "I don't know what our ticket count is right now but we expect to have over 5,000 fans in the building, and for an event of this caliber, I think that's a pretty good start. Tickets are available and we expect a pretty strong walk-up crowd."

Black said beyond tickets, he said success will be measured by the amount of fun the players and fans have. The players, who started arriving Friday, will be treated to a special private event at the First Niagara Center, hosted by Sabres owner Terry Pegula, and his wife, Kim.

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Posted On Friday, 09.28.2012 / 3:57 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - All-American Prospects Game Blog

Housley watching with eye on World Junior

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Phil Housley, who will coach one of the teams at the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game on Saturday, also will coach the U.S. at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship. So you can be sure he'll be taking lots of notes on potential candidates for the team he takes to Ufa, Russia for the event.

The World Juniors generally is a tournament for 19- and 20-year-olds, but Housley said he would keep an open mind for any player to make the team. Of the 45 players USA Hockey invited to its junior evaluation camp in Lake Placid in August, two -- defenseman Seth Jones and forward Ryan Hartman -- were 18, and both made the initial cut-down and played well in exhibition games against Finland and Sweden.

"Certainly we're going to keep an open mind," Housley said.

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Posted On Friday, 09.28.2012 / 11:35 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - All-American Prospects Game Blog

Bailey, Cook out of Prospects Game with injuries

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Injuries will force forwards Justin Bailey and Dawson Cook to skip the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game on Saturday here at First Niagara Center.

With the game so close, each team will skate with 11 forwards.

Bailey, a center with the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League, was scheduled to play for Team McClanahan. Rated as an A player to watch in NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players-to-watch list, is scoreless in three games this season, with four penalty minutes. Playing for the Pat Lafontaine-coached Long Island Royals last season, the 6-foot-3.25, 194-pound forward had 21 goals and 34 points in 22 games.

Cook, a left wing with the U.S. National Team Development Program Under-18 team, had been assigned to Team Housley. Rated a C player to watch, Cook has one goal in three preseason games. Last season, he had two goals and 10 assists in 54 games for the USNTDP U-17 team.

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Quote of the Day

It's pretty crazy, but believe me when I say we didn't draft these players with the mindset we had to because they had good hockey-playing dads. It just turned out that way. But we're certainly glad they're a part of our organization.

— Arizona Coyotes director of amateur scouting Tim Bernhardt regarding the coincidence that six of the organization's top prospects are sons of former NHL players