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Blue Jackets, Red Wings face off in Traverse City final

by Mike G. Morreale

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- The host Detroit Red Wings and defending champion Columbus Blue Jackets will play in the Traverse City Prospects Tournament championship game for the right to raise the Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup on Tuesday at Centre Ice Arena (7 p.m. ET).

Each team has been led offensively by its top lines. The Red Wings' trio of Dylan Larkin (selected with the 15th pick in the 2014 NHL Draft) centering left wing Andreas Athanasiou (2012, No. 110) and right wing Anthony Mantha (2013, No. 20) has totaled five goals and 12 points.

Columbus has been led by right wing Oliver Bjorkstrand (2013, No. 89) alongside center TJ Tynan (2011, No. 66) and left wing Kerby Rychel (2013, No. 19). They have combined for six goals and 14 points. Bjorkstrand leads all tournament scorers with three goals and four assists.

The game will also feature two unbeaten goaltenders. Detroit's Jake Paterson (2012, No. 80) is 3-0-0 with a 2.00 goals-against average and .929 save percentage. Columbus goalie Joonas Korpisalo (2012, No. 62) is 2-0-0 with a 3.50 GAA and .865 save percentage.

"The message is to go out there and compete as we have this entire tournament," Detroit prospects coach Todd Nelson said. "We've put ourselves in a good position, so let's finish it off right."

The Red Wings, winner of the 2013 Traverse City tournament, have outscored the opposition 9-6 in three games. Columbus, which won all four games on the way to winning the cup last year when Bjorkstrand had four goals and six points, has outscored its opponents, 13-11.

The organizers for the tournament renamed the trophy being awarded to the champion this year the Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup. It was done as a tribute to recognize the late Matthew Wuest, who died in March 2015 at the age of 35. Wuest was best known for developing the website, which tracked salary cap data for all 30 NHL teams in real time.

In honor of Wuest's two-year battle with colon cancer, training camp organizers partnered with the Conquer Cancer Foundation to aide in the effort of raising funds for cancer research.

Here are the projected lineups:


Kerby Rychel - TJ Tynan - Oliver Bjorkstrand

Paul Bittner - Nick Moutrey - Daniel Zaar

Sonny Milano - Dante Salituro - Josh Anderson

Kole Sherwood - Peter Quenneville - Keegan Kolesar

Dillon Heatherington - Michael Paliotta

Oleg Yevenko - Olivier LeBlanc

Sam Ruopp - Blake Siebenaler

Joonas Korpisalo

Morgan Clark


Andreas Athanasiou - Dylan Larkin - Anthony Mantha

Tyler Bertuzzi - Tomas Nosek - Evgeny Svechnikov

Adam Marsh - Dominic Turgeon - Zach Nastasiuk

Evan Polei - Kurt Etchegary - Jerome Verrier

Ty Stanton - Vili Saarijarvi

Joe Hicketts - Robbie Russo

Andrew Prochno - Justin Lemcke

Jake Paterson

Matthew Mancina


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