Latendresse has really taken a bite out of the opposition at this year's rookie camp and could be well on his way to earning an invite to the Canadiens training camp beginning on Tuesday.
OTTAWA - The Canadiens were downed 5-2 by Carolina on Day 3 of the rookie tournament in Ottawa, but it wasn't from lack of trying with the Baby Habs firing a tournament-high 45 shots on the night.
After finding themselves in a 3-0 hole late in the second period, the Canadiens prospects got a boost in the unlikeliest of circumstances. Cory Urquhart picked the pocket of a Carolina defenseman before swooping in on goal and sliding the puck past Canes' goalie Kevin Nastiuk for a short-handed goal. With a point in each of the Canadiens games thus far, Urquhart finds himself atop the team scoring race with three points. Drafted 40th overall in 2003, Urquhart has turned a number of heads as he looks to leave the East Coast Hockey League behind in 2005-06 in exchange for the brighter lights of the AHL and eventually the NHL.
Joining Urquhart with three points in the tournament is rookie camp sensation Guillaume Latendresse who, despite being drafted only last month at the 2005 draft, is making his invite to the Canadiens main training camp look more like of a formality with each passing game. Latendresse picked up an assist on James Tardif's goal late in the third period.
The only other point of the night belonged to Francis Lemieux who also helped set up the Tardif goal. Maxim Lapierre continued his strong play at both end of the ice with a game-high seven hits and seven shots on the night.
Loic Lacasse got the start in goal for the Canadiens allowing five goals on 38 Hurricanes shots. The 181st pick of the 2004 draft was the victim of a number of breakdowns in the Habs end and was hung out to dry on most of the Carolina goals.
While the journey is only beginning for a dozen or so players at the tournament who will receive invites to the Habs training camp beginning on Tuesday in Montreal, the Canadiens will wrap up this year's rookie tournament when they take on the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night.
| ||2 || ||5 |
|First Period |
|1. CAR ||Andrew Ladd (Estrada, Bellissimo) ||10:46 |
|Second Period |
|2. CAR |
|Vince Bellissimo (Ladd, Baker) |
Kevin Baker (Stathopoulos, Voakes)
|Third Period |
|5. CAR |
|Darryl Boyce (Lovell) |
Darryl Boyce (Olcenas)
James Tardif (Lemieux, Latendresse)
|Montreal ||Carolina |
|Loic Lacasse ||33/38 ||Kevin Nastiuk ||43/45 |
|Shots ||1st ||2nd ||3rd ||Total |
|CAR ||18 ||11 ||9 ||38 |
|MTL ||14 ||17 ||14 ||45 |
Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com