HURRICANES vs. THRASHERS
Centre I.C.E. Arena (Huntington Rink)
Traverse City, MI
Sept. 9, 2009
The Hurricanes’ rookie squad takes to the ice for their third game of the NHL Prospects Camp in Traverse City, MI, at 3:30 p.m., this time against the Atlanta Thrashers.
Since their win on Monday against Detroit, the Hurricanes have learned that they are in the championship game of the tournament to be held on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. against the winner of today’s St. Louis and Minnesota tilt. Carolina is 2-0, and holds the first tiebreaker (head-to-head wins) against Detroit and the New York Rangers, who are both 1-1. Atlanta, the other team in the four-team East Division, is 0-2. Therefore, even if they lose to the Thrashers today, the Hurricanes will be 2-1 and will hold the tiebreaker against the only other team (Detroit or New York) that could finish 2-1. Can you say division champs?? :)
So, in essence, today’s game against the Thrashers is meaningless as far as the tournament standings go. Of course, Carolina’s coaches and management will want to see a full effort from the team. After all, these guys are still playing for invitations to training camp in Raleigh and roster spots with Carolina and Albany. In short – there’s definitely a lot to play for. Plus, it would be nice to see the Hurricanes to go undefeated in round robin play in their first visit to this tournament.
Just to catch everyone up on the team’s goings on since its win on Monday – the team practiced yesterday at 1:15 p.m., and the guys all spent some time in the gym afterwards. Some of the guys played nine holes of golf afterwards, while the others went to dinner together, etc., etc. It’s a good group of young players – understandably nervous and somewhat reserved throughout the week, but seemingly growing more comfortable with each other and the task at hand.
As for today’s lineup, coach Jeff Daniels and assistant coach Geordie Kinnear have made no changes. Justin McCrae hopes to skate with the team in practice tomorrow, but he will once again sit out the game. Mike Murphy will start in net, but it would make sense to give camp invitee Alain Valiquette a period’s worth of work or so, as long as all is going well. Here is Carolina’s unchanged 19-player lineup.
Boychuk – Sutter – Kennedy
Bowman – Terry – Dodge
Paradis – Chaput – Pistilli
Jordan – Bellemore
Reid – McBain
Day – Schmitz
FIRST PERIOD NOTES: