Leafs edge Panthers to finish in third place at Kitchener rookie tournament
(KITCHENER, ON) – The Toronto Maple Leafs’ rookie squad concluded the annual four day tournament with a 4-0 win over Florida on Monday afternoon at Kitchener’s Memorial Auditorium.
The win allowed the Leafs to capture third place yet they relinquish their title following last season’s undefeated run at Ricoh Coliseum. Toronto had finished in top spot in each of the last five tournaments prior to this season.
The Leafs’ Robbie Earl scored the team’s first goal just before the midway point of the middle stanza with a quick snap shot which beat starting Panther netminder David Shantz low to the glove side at 6:47. Defenceman Eric Regan had the lone assist on the play. Toronto took their one goal lead to the locker room after 40 minutes.
Toronto managed to salt away the victory in the third period, highlighted by a three point frame from defenceman Reid Cashman. Michel Leveille redirected a point shot from the Minnesota native at 7:18 to give the Leafs a two goal advantage.
Cashman later one-timed a pass from Chris DiDomenico for his second goal of the weekend. Scott Tregunna also picked up a helper on the play. Czech forward Jiri Tlusty rounded out the game’s scoring with his third goal in two days when he picked up his own rebound with 5:03 left in regulation time. The power play goal was the team’s second of the period. Brent Aubin contributed his second power play point of the game after assisting on Leveille’s goal earlier in the period.
Leaf goalie Justin Pogge made 23 saves to earn the shutout win while Shantz turned aside 30 attempts in the Florida goal.
The Toronto power play went two for six on the day while the Panthers were held scoreless in five opportunities with the man advantage.
In evening action on Monday, Pittsburgh stormed out to a 5-0 lead en route to a 5-1 win over Ottawa in the tournament’s championship final. The Penguins will defend their title when they host the rookie tournament next September in Wilkes-Barre, PA.
1. TOR R. Earl (2) Regan @ 6:47
2. TOR M. Leveille (1) Cashman & Aubin @ 7:18 PP 3. TOR R. Cashman (2) DiDomenico & Tregunna @ 11:25 4. TOR J. Tlusty (3) Aubin & Cashman @ 14:57 PP