The Chicago Blackhawks prospects were unable to complete the comeback despite a nice finish to their final game in Traverse City. The Minnesota Wild jumped out to a 3-0 lead and ultimately Chicago would lose 3-2 in the battle for third place.
"We had a little bit of a push. It seemed like we were missing some energy, especially in the first period. But I thought we had our moments, even in the second period when we started to have some chances or a shift here or there," said Coach Jeremy Colliton. "We kind of got broken up by power plays. Our power play wasn't zipping it around like maybe we would have liked to, but we got that one in the third and it seemed to give us a little life. We didn't quite and that was nice to see."
Darian Pilon put the Wild up 1-0 just 2:27 into the game and then Alexander Khovanov made it 2-0 with a power-play goal at 9:26 of the first.
Mitch McLain's second-period tally made it 3-0 heading into the final period. That's where the Blackhawks finally broke through.
At 5:53 of the third, Graham Knott redirected a shot from Victor Ejdsell from out in front for the team's first goal.
At 8:22, Radovan Bondra hacked a loose puck in the slot past the goaltender to draw Chicago within one. The Blackhawks made a big push late but couldn't net the equalizer.
They finished the tournament 2-2 with wins over Carolina and St. Louis and losses to Columbus and Minnesota. Here are three takeaways.
1. BOQVIST ACTIVATES
2018 eighth-overall pick Adam Boqvist was very visible with the puck tonight, often jumping up into the play. One such moment came when the Blackhawks were still scoreless. He took the puck in through the blueline and then darted to the net before almost sneaking the puck through the goalie.
"He was involved," said Colliton. "He was real noticeable getting up in the play, joining and he was close to breaking loose a couple of times. That was nice to see. He's certainly got that part of his game he can bring. He's dynamic when jumping in and leading the rush. Hopefully, he can use this game as a little bit of a push heading into main camp."
2. KURASHEV SHINES AGAIN
Philipp Kurashev continued to show great promise throughout the tournament and followed up arguably his best game on Monday night with another great performance on Tuesday.
"I think Kurashev has been getting better as the tournament went on," said Colliton. "I think the last two games in particular he has been very noticeable. He did a good job for us."
Kurashev is a 2018 fourth-round pick, selected 120th overall. This was a very good weekend for him, but it didn't come as a surprise. He flashed ability early.
"I really liked him in prospects camp too," said Colliton. "I thought he was very noticeable with his skill level and confidence with the puck. I thought it took him a little bit to get up to speed with this tournament but once he kind of increased his pace you could see he felt more comfortable out there and did a good job for us."
3. CARLSSON SHOWS PHYSICAL SIDE
We asked Colliton after the game who also helped their stock this weekend. His first thought was 2016 fourth-round pick Lucas Carlsson, who is entering his first North American season.
"I was really pleased with Carlsson," Colliton ][[-said. "I thought he had a nice combination to his game. He's a little bit bigger, a little more physical. He did that for us, he was involved physically and getting stops defensively but he also made some plays. That was noticeable."