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Posted On Saturday, 09.29.2012 / 11:50 PM

By Seth Jones -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Seth Jones Draft blog

Jones: Long trip to Prospects Game was worth it

We just finished a very long day here in Buffalo with a great win.

I got in around 10:15 this morning, came to the rink here, dropped off my gear and settled in. I got to see some of the guys I played with and against, and some of the younger guys I know. I did a little media work, nothing big, about 20 minutes. Then I went back to the hotel, had a pregame meal. I tried to sleep as much as I could, but about an hour is all I did, which isn't much. Then it was back to the rink to get ready for the game.

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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 Saturday, 09.29.2012 / 1:08 PM

By Ian McCoshen -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Ian McCoshen Draft blog

McCoshen looking forward to competitive game

It's such an honor to be part of the inaugural CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game. It's just such an honor to represent yourself and your country as one of the top prospects in America.

I was a little surprised when I got asked to play in the game because I didn't know they were going to put on a game like this. I'm definitely happy to be here, because I know a couple guys coming, some buddies from the NTDP. It's good to see all the guys.

It wasn't the easiest trip to get here. We had a game in Green Bay on Friday night. We won 4-3 and then I flew right after the game and got here in Buffalo at 2 in the morning. It's been a whirlwind, but it definitely was worth it.

I'm looking forward to just having fun with some of the guys and it being a really competitive game out there and pushing ourselves.

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Posted On Saturday, 09.29.2012 / 7:49 AM

By Seth Jones -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Seth Jones Draft blog

Jones: Long night of travel definitely was worth it

This should be an exciting day.

I flew into Buffalo this morning and I can already feel the energy of the game tonight. It was a long trip and not the easiest. We beat Kelowna 1-0 on Friday, and then I had the red-eye flight out of Portland. I had a layover in Atlanta this morning before I arrived in Buffalo, and I'm pretty tired, but I know it's going to be worth it tonight.

I know most of the players here so I am pretty comfortable. I'm getting to play with and against most of the best American-born draft prospects, which is obviously an awesome experience. I'm looking forward to the pace of play and to the screaming fans of Buffalo.

I hope you are there to see the first CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game tonight.

Check back tomorrow to see what how the game went for me.

Follow Seth Jones on Twitter: @seth_jones04

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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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Quote of the Day

We have no doubt how he can play. You don't, with four teams that are left, you're not getting here without good goaltending. All great goalies left, and [Bishop] is a top-tier goaltender in this league and he's shown it.

— Lightning coach Jon Cooper on goalie Ben Bishop, who shut out the Rangers in Game 5