After jumping out to a 1-0 lead, Team Crane fell behind 2-1 early in the second period, but rallied for a 3-2 win over Team McConnell in the Championship Game of the Blue Jackets second annual Owners Tournament on Sunday. Cody Goloubef had a pair of assists, while Chris Francis, Jakub Voracek and Kyle Wilson had the goals to lead the Team Crane attack.
Team Crane was coached by Blue Jackets assistant coach Dan Hinote, who was making his debut as a coach.
"I had a lot of fun," Hinote said. "But winning sure adds a lot to that."
Team Crane was forced to play with only four defensemen (all four teams had five defensemen) after losing Kris Russell in the first game to an injury. Despite being down an extra man, Hinote liked how the team responded.
"Having to go with four 'D' was tough," Hinote said. "But the guys played really hard and did a good job."
Team Crane goaltender Mathieu Garon had a big stop early, stuffing Tomas Kubalik on his breakaway attempt just under two minutes into the game. Team Crane got on the board first when Francis poked home a rebound with 6:28 left in the first period.
Trailing 1-0 and unofficially being outshot 10-3, Team McConnell rallied late in the first when Dan Fritsche banged home a rebound after a scramble in front of the net with 50 seconds left in the period. Just 20 seconds into the second period, Anton Stralman took a pass from Nikita Filatov and fired a slap shot past Garon to make it 2-1.
"In the first game, we were down 2-0 and 3-1 and were able to rally for the win," Stralman said. "I thought we were going to do it again."
Team McConnell goaltender Steve Mason was large in the first period, making a sprawling save on a one-timer attempt by Mike Blunden. Early in the second period he stoned Marc Methot on a semi-breakaway. "We were down 2-1, and with the way Mase was playing, I thought we were going to lose," Garon said. "But we were able to rally, got the lead and played good defense the rest of the way."
With just under 11 minutes to go in the game, Fritsche fired a one-time attempt from Filatov on net, but was denied by Garon. Goloubef took the rebound and fired a long pass to Voracek, who skated in and beat Mason to knot the game 2-2. Five minutes later, Wilson fired a backhand past Mason to give Team Crane the lead.
Team Crane committed a slashing penalty with 1:45 to go giving Team McConnell the man advantage. With 1:01 remaining in the game, Mason was pulled to give Team McConnell a two-man advantage. Garon and Team Crane killed the penalty and held on for the win. Unofficially, Garon had 13 saves on 15 shots, while Mason finished the afternoon with 17 saves on 20 shots. Both teams were 0-for-1 on the power play.
Consolation Game Recap
Team Pizzuti – 5 vs. Team Wolfe – 4 (Shootout)
Michael Ratchuk scored a pair of goals and Maksim Mayorov scored the lone shootout goal to lift Team Pizzuti over Team Wolfe, 5-4 in a shootout, in the third place game of the Owners Tournament at Nationwide Arena on Sunday.
Rick Nash lit the lamp just 30 seconds into the game and Andrew Murray scored just 50 seconds later to stake Team Wolfe to an early 2-0 lead. Oliver Gabriel scored for Team Pizzuti to cut the lead to 2-1 at the 4:00 mark before Ratchuk scored twice in 50 seconds at 4:00 and 4:50 to give his team the lead. Ben Guite pushed the Team Pizzuti lead to 4-2 just under five minutes later before Kyle Neuber scored to make the score, 4-3, at the half.
Neuber's second goal of the game 5:40 into the second half tied the game and proved to be the final goal of regulation. The shootout belonged to goaltenders Daren Machesney and David LeNeveu. LeNeveu turned aside Ratchuk, Derick Brassard and Kristian Huselius through the first three rounds and Machesney responded by stopping Derek Dorsett, Matt Calvert and R.J. Umberger.
In the fourth round, Mayorov finally broke through and beat LeNeveu to five Team Pizzuti the advantage. The win was sealed when Machesney stopped Nash.
Game 1 Recap
Team Crane – 4 vs. Team Pizzuti – 3 (Shootout)
Jakub Voracek had a goal and an assist, while Ethan Moreau scored the only goal of the shootout to lead Team Crane to a 4-3 shootout win over Team Pizzuti. Derick Brassard had a goal and an assist in the loss.
Team Crane got on the board first when Tom Sestito took a Voracek pass and scored just over four minutes into the game. Team Pizzuti answered back midway through the frame when Kristian Huselius lit the lamp off a Brassard pass to make it 1-1.
Voracek scored with just under six minutes remaining in the first, only to be answered less than a minute later by Brassard. Mike Commodore picked up the assist on the goal that made it 2-2 through the first period.
Team Crane took a 3-2 lead early in the second as Kyle Wilson scored his first of the day with Marc Methot picking up the assist. With 4:08 remaining in the period, Team Pizzuti again rallied as Ryan Johansen banged home a rebound after Maksim Mayorov was stoned on his attempt.
The teams then went to a shootout. Huselius, Brassard, Johansen and Jared Boll were all stopped by Garon, while Daren Machesney stopped Voracek, Chris Francis and Tyler Murovich before Moreau pushed one past him.
Game 2 Recap
Team McConnell – 4 vs. Team Wolfe – 3 (Shootout)
Nikita Filatov scored a goal and added the lone tally in the shootout as Team McConnell overcame 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to earn a 4-3 shootout win over Team Wolfe The win earned Team McConnell a berth in the championship game vs. Team Crane.
Team Wolfe jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on goals by Andrew Murray and Samuel Pahlsson 50 seconds apart in the game’s first 3:20. Team McConnell cut the lead in half at the 11:20 mark on a goal by Antoine Vermette. Team Wolfe extended the lead to 3-1 late in the first half when Rick Nash redirected a pass from Pahlsson for a shorthanded goal.
Filatov brought his team within 3-2 when he ripped a shot from the top of the face-off circle past goaltender Steve Mason 5:00 into the second half. Team McConnell drew even less than five minutes later when Jonathan Sigalet tipped a point shot into the back of the net to make the score, 3-3.
Filatov beat goaltender David LeNeveu on the first attempt of the shootout and it proved to be the lone tally. Mason stopped Nash, Matt Calvert and Fedor Tyutin, while LeNeveu turned back Vermette and Petr Straka rang his attempt off the crossbar. Mason and LeNeveu played half the game for each team.