BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Team McClanahan scored three goals in the second period en route to winning the inaugural CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game 5-2 against Team Housley on Saturday at First Niagara Center, home of the Buffalo Sabres.
Defenseman Seth Jones, a candidate to be the first player picked at the 2013 NHL Draft, had a goal early in the second period to start Team McClanahan's middle-period run. Hudson Fasching, Jacob Montgomery, Quentin Shore and Dakota Mermis also had goals, and Ryan Fitzgerald, named the game's most valuable player, had three assists.
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The game, featuring 38 of the top American-born players eligible for the 2013 draft, was an up-and-down affair with plenty of physical play.
Fasching opened the scoring late in the first period, getting to the right post to tip in a nice cross-ice pass from Ryan Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald carried the puck into the Team Housley zone to create a 2-on-1 and waited patiently for Fasching to get to the net. Fitzgerald spotted him and put the puck right on the USNTDP forward's tape for an easy goal at 15:54 of the first.
"I think we had a good breakout," Fasching said. "The [defensemen] were pinching hard so we knew we could chip the puck out and get it going. Fitzy [Fitzgerald] had a great play down the wall. I did my best to get open for him. He hit me on a perfect pass backdoor and that really got things going."
The game turned in the second period when Team McClanahan grew its lead with a pair of goals 2:11 apart.
"I think we calmed down after the first five or 10 minutes of the first period," Team McClanahan coach Rob McClanahan said. "We played much better in the second half of the first period and then we just carried that through the rest of the game."
Fitzgerald drew another assist when he won a faceoff in the Team Housley end back to Jones, who blasted a shot from the right point that beat goalie Eamon McAdam at 6:06 to make it 2-0.
"The first period I got out to a slow start, had to get my legs under me," Jones said. "At the first intermission I regained my confidence a little bit and went out and played my game. Got some pucks through and I was lucky that one went in there."
It's understandable Jones got off to a slow start. He didn't arrive in Buffalo until 10:15 a.m. Saturday morning after flying all night from the West Coast after playing in Portland with the Winterhawks on Friday. He said after arriving at the arena he had media responsibilities to take care of and got about an hour of sleep before returning for the game.
"I give the kid credit," Team Housley coach Phil Housley said of Jones. "I didn't know he had to travel that far and that long, and to be able to come to the game and score a goal ... he was a presence out there tonight."
Jacob Montgomery made it 3-0 when he took a pass from Jimmy Lodge in the high slot, made a quick deke and roofed a backhander over McAdam at 8:17 of the period.
Shore made it 4-0 when he scored off his own rebound from in close at 14:58.
Allen scored for Team Housley 6:08 into the third period. Frank Vatrano snapped a shot on net from just inside the blue line that goalie Evan Cowley stopped, but Allen was in the right spot to score on the rebound.
Mermis put Team McClanahan up 5-1 when he took a drop pass from Fitzgerald and wired a wrist shot past Team Housley goalie Hunter Miska at 10:50.
Allen scored his second of the game at 13:50. With Luke Johnson in the penalty box, Steve Santini fired a shot from the high slot that Cowley stopped, but Allen again was in place for the rebound.
Housley said he was impressed with his team's resiliency to play the game hard to the final horn.
"Coach Housley was really pressing that you never give up in a game, and us in the third period really showed that," Team Housley forward J.T. Compher said. "We didn't back down and we won the third period, which we're proud of."
The game drew 5,519 fans.
"It was amazing, a great experience," Compher said. "I've had so much fun being here. The Buffalo Sabres have been great, USA Hockey has been amazing. It means a lot knowing that young kids are going to look at this game and say, 'I want to play in the [All-American] Prospect Game, I want to be here for USA Hockey.'"
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK