CBJ Red wings celly

The Blue Jackets kept on rolling at the annual NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Mich., scoring seven goals in the second period to post a 10-7, come-from-behind victory against Detroit on Saturday afternoon.

Game in a Paragraph  

The big names showed up for the Blue Jackets, with Adam Fantilli posting a hat trick in his second game in a CBJ uniform, while Jordan Dumais and James Malatesta each scored twice. That allowed the Jackets to come back from early deficits of 3-0 and 4-1, as a seven-goal avalanche in a span of 10:58 allowed Columbus to take control and earn the victory.

Quote of the Game

CBJ Traverse City head coach Trent Vogelhuber: “I thought we outplayed them in the first period. I thought our forecheck, our reload, our possession was really good. They got some bounces, but the group stayed calm and really took over in the second period. We turned it into a three-quarter ice game, just track, D were right on top of them, back into the offensive zone. They just kept it rolling there for 20 minutes. It was really fun to see.”

CBJ Standouts  

  • Dumais tallied twice for the second game in a row, posting a pair of goals and four assists for a six-point night.
  • Fantilli turned in a dominating performance, notching a hat trick and adding a pair of assists.
  • Captain Denton Mateychuk had five assists for the Blue Jackets.

Quick Recap  

It looked like it might not be the Jackets’ day early, as the Red Wings built a 3-0 lead on goals by Riley Sawchuk, Jackson DeSouza and Alexandre Doucet in the first 12:11. But Fantilli scored his first-ever goal in a CBJ sweater to get the Jackets on the board on the power play with 3:03 remaining, and it was a spectacular tally, with the No. 3 overall pick deking through two Detroit defenders before flipping a backhander over 6-foot-6 first-round pick Sebastian Cossa in net.

Detroit extended its lead to 4-1 just 1:30 into the second when Cross Hanas scored on the power play, but Columbus scored five times in a span of 4:50 to take control. Fantilli found David Jiricek streaking down the middle, and the No. 6 overall pick in the 2022 draft beat Cossa to make it 4-2. Two more power-play goals followed, as Dumais scored on a rebound and Malatesta buried a one-timer to tie the score. Dumais scored on a nifty move to give the Jackets the lead, then Malatesta doubled the advantage when he took a slick feed from Mateychuk and scored. That was it for Cossa, but Tyler Peddle tallied on a one-timer past replacement Lukas Matecha and Fantilli added a power-play goal to make it 8-4. Detroit then finally stemmed the tide when Hanas scored on a rebound later in the frame.

In the third, the Blue Jackets answered both Detroit goals. Elmer Soderblom scored just 1:06 into the period, but Stanislav Svozil buried a nifty sharp-angle shot from the left wing to make it 9-6. Nic Sima scored after CBJ goalie Nolan Lalonde stopped a breakaway to make it 9-7, but Fantilli’s empty-net goal with 1:51 to play set the final score.

Jeff's Takeaways  

1. Well, that was interesting. The Point Streak website that houses Traverse City stats only goes back to 2007, but the Blue Jackets are the first team in that time frame to reach double digits in a game. This tournament is always about how the big guns play, and Columbus is getting tremendous performances out of its top players. Dumais leads the tournament with a 4-4-8 line, followed closely by Fantilli (3-4-7) and Mateychuk (0-7-7); that’s two first-round picks plus a player who had one of the top-scoring junior seasons in years a season ago. The Blue Jackets have plenty of talent, and when they were playing with confidence on Saturday afternoon, there was little that could be done to stop them.

2. The draw of this tournament if you’re a CBJ fan is to see how Fantilli does, as the No. 3 overall pick could be a game-changer for the Blue Jackets going forward. He’s a true player to build around, and so far he’s done nothing to stop the excitement here in Traverse City. His first goal was an absolute beauty, and for him to post a hat trick in his second-ever game in CBJ colors is both impressive and exciting. On top of it, he’s shown he’s a leader and a 200-foot player, and perhaps his best play of the game came early when he tracked down a Detroit player on a breakaway and stole the puck away before he could get a shot off. That’s the kind of unselfish play that will make him a difference maker for the Jackets.

3. So far, Dumais has four goals to lead the tournament, while Malatesta is tied with Fantilli for second with three tallies. Both had impressive seasons a year ago in the QMJHL, with Dumais being named the regular-season MVP and Malatesta earning both playoff and Memorial Cup MVP honors. The two are good friends who train together in the offseason in the Montreal area, and to see them picking up in Traverse City right where they left off last season is pretty cool. Dumais is a third-round pick while Malatesta is a fifth-rounder, but the Jackets might have found some gems there in the later rounds.

Notable

Columbus had four power-play goals and is now 7-for-9 in the tournament on the power play. … Lalonde finished with 22 saves, including a key late stop on Israel Mianscum when the scoreboard read 9-7. … Both Cameron Butler and Corson Ceulemans dropped the gloves. … Columbus scratched five players from the opening game, including Hunter McKown, Samuel Knazko and Mikael Pyyhtia, all of whom saw NHL minutes a season ago.  

Up Next  

The Blue Jackets conclude the tournament Sunday morning with an 11 a.m. faceoff against Dallas.

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