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Posted On Monday, 09.12.2011 / 7:41 AM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - Prospecting the future

Foucault and Hackett lead Wild over Red Wings

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Kris Foucault scored his second goal with 1:52 remaining in the third period and Matthew Hackett stopped 46 shots when the Minnesota Wild earned a 4-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings in the final game of Day 2 here at the prospects tournament.

Foucault, who had 25 goals and 48 points in 65 games for Calgary in Western Hockey League last season, finished with three points and a plus-3 rating for the Wild. Justin Fontaine also scored of Minnesota, which was outshot, 48-26.

Artem Sergeev and Xavier Ouellet scored the goals for winless Detroit and Gustav Nyquist chipped in with two assists. Ramis Sadikov turned aside 22 of 26 shots for the Red Wings.

Posted On Monday, 09.12.2011 / 7:18 AM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - Prospecting the future

Binnington stops 17 shots to lead Blues

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Jay Barriball scored with just 7:07 remaining in the third period and goalie Jordan Binnington made it stand with 17 saves as the St. Louis Blues scored a 2-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Day 2 at the prospects tournament.

Binnington, who posted a 27-12-5 mark with a 2.52 goals-against average and .917 save percentage for Owen Sound in the Ontario Hockey League last season, stopped 12 shots over the final two periods. He was named the Most Outstanding Goaltender of the 2011 Memorial Cup, posting a 1.42 GAA and a .951 save percentage.

Ryan Tesink pulled the Blues into a 1-1 tie 9:44 into the third when he scored off an assist by Maxime Villemaire. Swede Mattias Lindstrom scored 9:13 into the first to give the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead. Goalie Mavric Parks stopped 24 shots for the 'Canes.

Posted On Monday, 09.12.2011 / 7:08 AM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - Prospecting the future

Crawford and Kassian spark Sabres

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Nick Crawford had a goal and one assist and Zack Kassian dished out a pair of helpers when the Buffalo Sabres scored a 6-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets at the prospects tournament here at Center ICE Arena.

Crawford's goal 7:33 into the third period, off assists by Marcus Foligno and Kassian, snapped a 3-3 tie. Cedrick Henley converted feeds from Jacob Lagace and Steven Shipley just 1:01 earlier to pull the Sabres into a 3-3 tie.

Riley Boychuk, Gregg Sutch, Shawn Szydlowski and Luke Adam also hit for Buffalo, which received a 23-save performance from Ryan Rondeau.

The goal-scorers for the Blue Jackets were Cam Atkinson, Cody Goloubef and Boone Jenner; David Savard had three assists and Ryan Johansen notched two assists.  Goalie Mathieu Corbeil turned aside 31 shots in the loss.

Posted On Sunday, 09.11.2011 / 10:30 PM

By Ryan Pinder - Correspondent / - Prospecting the future

Sharks douse Flames, 6-1

The San Jose Sharks didn’t need much time to get on the board in their tournament-opening match against the Calgary Flames on Sunday afternoon, scoring twice in the first  five minutes of the first period on their way to a 6-1 win.

Flames Finnish goalie  Joni Ortio wasn’t at his best Sunday – allowing 6  goals on 23 shots – while his counterparts for the Sharks only surrendered a single penalty-shot goal on 39 shots.

Thomas Heemskerk was spectacular in a busy first period in the Sharks zone and left with a clean sheet halfway through, while J.P. Anderson also kept the Flames at bay in the second half of the contest, stopping one of two penalty shots, and all other Flames opportunities.

The Sharks were led by Brodie Reid, Joe Antilla and Michael Sgarbossa who each had two points in the win. Reid, signed in this past  spring after freshman season with the Northeastern Huskies (Hockey East), played a season in Penticton with the Vees in 2008-09 and seemed at home in the familiar confines of the South Okanagan Events Centre as he scored once and set up another Sharks goal.

The Flames lone tally came from Roman Horak, acquired in the Tim Erixon trade, as he squeaked a backhanded deke past Anderson on a penalty shot awarded in the third period.

Sven Baertschi, the Flames first-round draft pick in 2011,  also earned  a penalty shot granted after he was taken down on a clear break, but he failed to convert the opportunity against Anderson.

The Flames owned the edge in possession and the shots in the first period, directing 16 pucks on target while allowing just 5, but the Sharks got to the intermission with a two-goal advantage and looked the better side for the final two periods.

The Flames return to action Monday afternoon against the Vancouver Canucks at 4:00 PM PST, while the Sharks return to action Monday evening at 7:30 to face the Winnipeg Jets.
Posted On Sunday, 09.11.2011 / 10:17 PM

By Erin Nicks - Correspondent / - Prospecting the future

Leafs outdistance Penguins, 4-1

The action continued Sunday night from the Oshawa rookie tournament, with the Toronto Maple Leafs easily beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1.

“That was a terrific effort on our part,” Toronto coach Dallas Eakins said. “The character of our players was phenomenal.”

The Penguins took the lead early, when Brandon DeFazio buried a quick wrister on a feed from Zach Sill. Toronto responded, as Josh Nicholls tapped in a rebound on the right side from Greg McKegg.

The Leafs began to press, with McKegg offering a saucer pass to Mitchell Heard, who sent one past Maxime Lagace from the half-wall.

Sam Carrick capped off the second period for Toronto with a forehand tap-in from Kyle Neuber, right in front of Legace’s crease.

The McKegg show continued in the third, with the winger slicing an easy path through the Pittsburgh defense, and dumping in a backhand past the Penguins’ netminder.

“(Greg) settled down a little bit,” Eakins said. “Maybe not as anxious tonight as last night. You can see the skill sets that he has. If you give him a look, he’ll take full advantage of it.”

Toronto capped off the game with a final goal, when Jamie Devane fed Tyler Brenner a pass in the slot, which trickled past Lagace.
Posted On Sunday, 09.11.2011 / 8:38 PM

By Erin Nicks - Correspondent / - Prospecting the future

Heard is the Word in Oshawa

Oshawa, ON – Whenever the Maple Leafs are playing in the Oshawa rookie tournament, you'll soon discover that "Heard is the Word."

T-shirts sported by fans with the "Heard is the Word" slogan have been seen at both Toronto games this weekend. The shirts are the brainchild of Mitchell's mother, Sheri. According to her, they have been a huge hit.

"I've already sold 80," she said. "I could have easily sold 200 – people keep asking for them."

The gear is being snapped up by Heard's fans from his hometown of Bowmanville, ON. Heard has already given them something to cheer about on Sunday night, scoring his first goal of the tournament against Pittsburgh. The Toronto prospect definitely appreciates the support.

"He loves it when everyone comes out," Sheri said. "I'm so proud of him."

Posted On Sunday, 09.11.2011 / 5:36 PM

By Erin Nicks - Correspondent / - Prospecting the future

Still no Morin sightings at Oshawa tourney

OSHAWA, Ontario -- Chicago's Jeremy Morin is one of the Blackhawks' top prospects, and fans are looking forward to seeing him.

As of Sunday, they were still waiting.

Morin has sat the past two games, due to a coaching decision here at the Oshawa rookie tournament and has not been made available to the media.

Morin was one of the final cuts during last season's training camp in Chicago, but was called up from Rockford multiple times throughout the season, eventually playing in a total of nine games for the big club. He is expected to make a solid push again this year.

Posted On Sunday, 09.11.2011 / 5:19 PM

By Erin Nicks - Correspondent / - Prospecting the future

Da Costa records natural hat trick in Sens' win

OSHAWA, Ontario -- Stephane Da Costa was a star for Ottawa Sunday afternoon in Oshawa with a natural hat trick, lifting the Sens over the Blackhawks, 6-5. 

"He's very intelligent and very skilled," Ottawa coach Kurt Kleinendorst said. "There aren't a lot of short cuts in his game."

The Sens began the scoring midway through the first period, with Andre Petersson capitalizing on a feed from Mika Zibanejad. Corey Cowick, who is having a standout tournament so far, added to his points total with another goal Sunday. Meanwhile, Zibanejad also scored the winning goal for the Sens, early in the third. Mark Stone, David Rundblad and Shane Prince contributed assists.

Brandon Saad continues to shine, with 2 goals and an assist on Sunday, giving him 5 points through two games. Jimmy Hayes also had a pair for the Blackhawks, while Peter Leblanc rounded out the scoring for Chicago. Assists came from Andrew Shaw, Phillip Danault, Shawn Lalonde and Joe Lavin.
Posted On Sunday, 09.11.2011 / 4:32 PM

By Ryan Pinder - Correspondent / - Prospecting the future

Prospects primed for Penticton

The 2011 Young Stars Tournament hosted by the Vancouver Canucks begins Sunday from the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton, British Columbia.

The Canucks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, San Jose Sharks, and Winnipeg Jets have brought their prospects to the Okanagan Valley for five days of games showcasing what fans are hoping will be future NHL stars.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is the marquee name at the event, just months removed from being taken with the No. 1 pick at the 2011 Entry Draft in Minnesota. For the second year in a row, the Oilers have brought the NHL's top pick to Penticton, as Taylor Hall's first pro moments were witnessed just a year ago in this same event.

Wins aren't the primary focus of the coaching staffs in attendance. The event has proven to be an effective tool in player evaluation before the veterans arrive on the scene for training camp. Playing time will be spread around, and most teams will use three different goalies over the course of the event that sees each team play three contests with the exception of the Canucks, who play four times.

The Winnipeg Jets arrive on the scene as the new kids on the block, replacing the Anaheim Ducks who were at last September's inaugural event. Four Canadian teams participating means fans from across Western Canada will be making the trek to the renowned vacation hot-spot that is Penticton. Speculation is that the Jets could showcase their jerseys for the first time on-ice. The Jets' first game is Monday evening when they face the Sharks prospects at 7:30 p.m. PST.

The South Okanagan Events Centre is the home of the Penticton Vees (BCHL, Jr. A) and seats 5,200 fans for hockey events. The Young Stars Tournament was immensely popular last season, with nearly all games played before capacity crowds. Also affixed to the 3-year-old, state-of-the-art facility is a second sheet of ice which logistically allows five teams to get morning skates and games in with ease.

The Flames and Sharks kick off the event at 4 p.m. PST Sunday, with the host Canucks and Oilers facing off at 7:30 p.m. PST.

Posted On Sunday, 09.11.2011 / 10:57 AM

By Erin Nicks - Correspondent / - Prospecting the future

Leafs claim 4-2 win over Blackhawks

OSHAWA, Ontario -- It was a chippy affair to wrap up Saturday night at the Oshawa rookie Tournament, with the Toronto Maple Leafs edging the Chicago Blackhawks, 4-2.

The feisty Jamie Devane began the scoring in the first period for Toronto, but Chicago's Brandon Saad came to life midway through the game, assisting on a goal from Christopher DiDomenico in the second, and putting one for himself past Garret Sparks in the third period.

The Leafs, however, still had some offensive juice left in the tank. Kenny Ryan scored his first goal of the tournament, while Jake Gardiner added the go-ahead and winning goals. Sondre Olsen, Garrett Clarke and Mitchell Heard each scored an assist.

Chicago's Phillippe Paradis suffered an upper-body injury in the first period and did not return. He is listed as day-to-day.
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Quote of the Day

It seems like I'm kind of making it a little difficult on myself here the last two games.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane after tying the record for longest point streak by an American-born player with an assist on Duncan Keith's goal with 26.6 seconds left against the Anaheim Ducks Friday
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