– It’s certainly not the way the Carolina Hurricanes wanted this tournament to end.
The Hurricanes had a 4-2 lead over Detroit with just under four minutes left to play in regulation. A tip-in and one-time blast later, it was tied with just over a minute to play. In overtime, Tyler Bertuzzi netted the game-winning goal on a four-on-three man advantage. With the 5-4 loss, the Canes finished in fourth place in the tournament.
But in many ways, the process was more important than the result.
“It was a great tournament. It was good to see where the bar is at right now, and it’s going to get even higher as we move forward,” said Patrick Brown, who recorded a shorthanded goal in the third period. “I thought our team played hard. Not as many wins as we would have liked, but it was a good experience.”
“It was a good experience. It shows you the caliber of players that are going to be playing at the next level,” said Dennis Robertson, who snuck in from the point on the power play to open the scoring in the second period. “There’s a lot of skill out there, and it was a lot of fun.”
“I think they saw a bit of everything out there,” head coach Jeff Daniels said. “The big lesson tonight was that in junior or college you might be able to extend your shifts a little longer, but at the pro level you want to keep them short so you can pace yourself.”
Though the first period was a bit off-kilter offensively – the Canes were only credited with one shot on goal but easily had four or five – the second and third periods were much more efficient. The Canes scored twice on the power play with tallies from Robertson and Sergey Tolchinsky, who put his silky smooth hands on display on a high and tight wrister. Brown would add a shorthanded goal in the third period to stretch the team’s lead to two.
“I think we got better as the week went on. The first couple of games we were a little scrambly because guys had never played together before. But we kind of game together as a group which was good,” Robertson said. “It was a great group of guys, and I loved playing with them.”
Seventeen of the players from this tournament will now skate with the Hurricanes in training camp, which opens on-ice on Friday.
“It was great to get a few games under our belt to get that speed,” Brown said. “You can do all the training you want, but the only thing that does hockey is hockey.”
“I think this was great preparation for main camp,” Robertson said. “It gets you back in game shape. You’re playing full contact in a very competitive situation.”
“It’s definitely an advantage for the guys that have been here. All of a sudden they’re a step ahead. They’ve been in the grind, the battle and the game situations,” Daniels said. “Now the next step is going against NHL players, and it will be a great test for them.”
2014-15 PROSPECTS TOURNAMENT
|DATE ||VISITOR ||HOME ||TIME / RESULT |
|FRI SEP 12, 2014 ||HURRICANES ||SABRES ||6-1 W |
|SAT SEP 13, 2014 ||STARS ||HURRICANES ||4-2 L |
|MON SEP 15, 2014 ||HURRICANES ||RANGERS ||3-2 W (OT) |
|TUE SEP 16, 2014 ||HURRICANES ||RED WINGS ||5-4 OTL |