CALGARY, AB - The result of the BMO CHL Top Prospects Game was an unpredictable one. With a lot of back-and-forth play and many goals and players showing off their skills, this game did not disappoint. Team Orr would beat Team Cherry when the final buzzer sounded by a score of 4-3.
19 players from the 2013 game became first round NHL Draft selections led by Top-10 Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin, Seth Jones, Sean Monahan, Darnell Nurse and Bo Horvat and now it was this year's group with the opportunity to shine.
Team Cherry Captain Sam Reinhart felt that it was still a great experience and thought his team played a very good game despite the outcome.
“Yeah, it was a great experience. It’s the first time, the only time, we’re all together for this draft class, so it’s definitely an important one to play well and you know it is one game and focus," Reinhart remarked. "I’m sure with everyone going back with their club teams now and to play great and carry over some confidence onto the next game ahead.”
It was a physical game which included a fight -- between Ottawa 67's Jacob Middleton (Cherry) and Aaron Haydon (Orr) of the Niagara IceDogs. There would also be quite a quite few penalty minutes handed out to both teams. Daniel Audette of the Sherbrooke Phoenix would get his stick up in the face of Swift Current Broncos' Julius Honka. Honka would need assistance to leave the ice half way through the 3rd period.
Team Orr Captain Aaron Ekblad was happy how his team rallied together to make help the team win.
"Yeah, really just shows how good character guys come together in situations like that."
Even though his team lost, Michael Dal Colle of the Oshawa Generals still got to show off his skills and score the first goal for Team Cherry.
"Oh yeah, I think Barashev made a nice play on the wall to Sam (Reinhart) and you know Sam has great vision so he found me. Tried to get it off as quick as possible and I found that top corner there."
Edmonton Oil Kings defenceman Aaron Irving, who is currently ranked 119th, may have not tallied any points but did prove why he was selected to play on the team. Irving would get a few good chances.
"I thought it was pretty good, considering the circumstance, you know playing with different guys it’s always tough. I think as a group we did pretty well," Irving said.
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds Jared McCann would tally a goal and get the Player of the Game award. McCann felt there were areas the team could have improved on but was overall happy with the game. He always got the opportunity to play with Josh Ho Sang again.
"I played with Josh at U17’s, we had chemistry from the get-go and today they threw on Perlini to our line, and I feel that just made us over the top and we got a lot of chances tonight we could have capitalized on but overall we did very well."
McCann also got some inside advice from Greyhounds roommate and Oilers prospect Darnell Nurse.
"Yeah, for sure. I have a roommate Darnell Nurse, and you know he went this last year and he told me all about it. And I was just excited to get here, and play my game. I did that tonight, I couldn’t have done anymore.”
19 players from the 2013 game became first round NHL Draft selections led by Top-10 Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin, Seth Jones, Sean Monahan, Nurse and Bo Horvat.