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Posted On Monday, 09.12.2011 / 7:41 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 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.

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Posted On Monday, 09.12.2011 / 7:18 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 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.

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Posted On Monday, 09.12.2011 / 7:08 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 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.

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Posted On Sunday, 09.11.2011 / 10:30 PM

By Ryan Pinder -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 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.
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Posted On Sunday, 09.11.2011 / 10:17 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 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.
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Posted On Sunday, 09.11.2011 / 9:37 PM

By Jamie Oleksiak -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Jamie Oleksiak Traverse City Tournament blog

Oleksiak looks forward to a little sightseeing

Hi all. So the two games over the weekend were like night and day. On Saturday, we defeated Carolina, we came out and got off to a good start early and I think from there we really took off. On Sunday against the Rangers, I think they kind of got on top of us early and got an early goal and some momentum. I think with us being a young team, it's something you work on gradually. The guys aren't used to playing with each other and going through that kind of battle, but I think we handled it pretty well.

I think we battled all the way to the end and (Matt) Fraser had another big night with another goal and he's playing a phenomenal tournament. All the guys really battled the entire game and, obviously, it's not the result we wanted but all we can do is look at the positives and work on what we need to for the next game.

The Rangers came at us really fast (on Sunday) and I think we gave them a lot of help there in the beginning and (goalie) Jack Campbell was a little overwhelmed with all the odd-man rushes. After a little bit, I think we got it together defensively and Jack finished off a great game. Obviously, Jack's a proven goalie and it's just a matter of giving him the help defensively and really stepping up to help him out. It was a tough game, but we finished hard and I'm proud of all the boys for how they battled and never gave up.

The difference between this rookie tournament and college is that the players are a little bit bigger and stronger and they are more consistent … it's a high pace. In college, the game was up and down and it sometimes slows down a bit. It's a great pace and definitely great for conditioning and getting. Really, you just have to be on your toes and really moving.

I think eight or nine guys will be practicing on Monday. We'll probably play some mini-putt, which seems to be the popular thing around here. Also go-carting is big, and a lot of boys are pretty good at it.

It's a great group of guys. Campbell, who plays for Team USA, was angry that I left Team USA for Team Canada, but he's been good about it. Once in a while, we'll chirp back and forth about it. He's a good kid and he leaves it on the ice so everyone is definitely nice to hang out with.

The day off will be huge because it's not very often you get back-to-back morning practices and games both nights. So we'll take a day off, take a day to recoup, see Traverse City a little bit because it looks like a beautiful city. We'll have the opportunity to roam around a little bit and pause and look back at these games and figure out what we need to work on as a team and hopefully come out flying on Tuesday (against St. Louis).

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Posted On Sunday, 09.11.2011 / 8:38 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 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."

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Posted On Sunday, 09.11.2011 / 5:50 PM

By Ryan Johansen -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Ryan Johansen Traverse City Tournament blog

Blue Jackets split opening two games

Hi everyone. Well, two games in the books and we earned a split. In our win over Detroit on Saturday, I think we got off to a bit of a slow start and everybody was just kind of getting back into hockey. We were just trying to get the rust out a bit. We came out really good in the second period and everybody was really showing their talent and did a great job and got some goals and we kind of controlled the game from there.

Against Buffalo on Sunday, it was a really close game for two periods and for half of the third there and they have a lot of talent on their team with guys like (Zack) Kassian, Luke Adam, (Marcus) Foligno and (Mark) Pysyk. Both teams have a lot of firepower and it was fun. It's a tough loss but it was a close game midway through the third period.

We came back in both games and that's nice to see that we had the fight in us and were able to come back from a two-goal deficit so that's nice to see. Next up, we have a practice (Monday) and then I'm not really sure what the plan is in the evening since there are no games scheduled. I'm sure we'll do a team dinner or something like that or a team activity.

We have Minnesota on Tuesday so it'll be nice to get back onto the ice. We just have to get our rest here and get the legs back a little bit because it's kind of tough coming right back into hockey after playing two games back-to-back, and one being early in the day. It'll be nice to get a little bit of rest and then get back out there and hopefully pick up some wins.

Until next time.
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Posted On Sunday, 09.11.2011 / 5:36 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 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.

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Posted On Sunday, 09.11.2011 / 5:19 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 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.
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Quote of the Day

It was the look in his eyes. Hockey is the most important thing in his life. He wants to be a hockey player, and nothing's going to stop him from being a hockey player.

— Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin on forward Alex Galchenyuk's potential