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Cats Prospects Drop Opening Game of 2005 Rookie Tournament

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

Panthers Suffer 5-2 Loss to Carolina Hurricanes

OTTAWA, ON – The Florida Panthers prospects suffered a 5-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes prospects on Tuesday afternoon in their first game of the 2005 Ottawa Rookie tournament held at the Corel Centre. The Cats are back on the ice on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m., when they face-off against the Montreal Canadiens rookie squad, in the five team round robin tournament.

The Hurricanes opened the scoring first when Vince Bellissimo worked his way out from behind the Panthers goal and slipped the puck between the legs of Cats netminder David Shantz at 8:32 of the opening frame. Less than ten minutes later, 'Canes forward Kevin Estrada gave his club a two-goal advantage when he found the back of the net at 15:56.

Carolina built a three-goal lead after Andrew Ladd jammed a loose puck past Shantz just 34 seconds into the second period. Florida defenseman Martin Lojek put the Cats on the scoreboard with the club's first goal of the tournament at 4:47. Lojek took a pass from Rob Globke and fired a shot from the point that sailed over the arm of an outstretched Canes goaltender Justin Peters.

Joel Ward cut the Panthers deficit to one when he deflected a shot off the stick of Jeff Caron past Peters at 11:02. Carolina re-gained the two-goal advantage when Danny Richmond found Mike Stathopoulos in the slot and he beat Shantz with a one-timer, to close the scoring in the middle frame.

In the final period of play, Ladd added his second of the game on an empty net tally with 12 seconds left on the clock to seal the Canes the 5-2 victory. The Cats prospects out shot Carolina 44-24, with Anthony Stewart, Rob Globke and Kamil Kreps all registering six shots on goal. Shantz made 24 saves in the loss while Peters and Kevin Nastiuk combined for 42 shots in the win. Neither team converted on the power play.

In other tournament action, the host Ottawa Senators battle their divisional rivals the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday evening at 8 p.m.

Scoring Summary:

First Period:

Carolina: Bellissimo (Vojtka, Ladd) 8:32. Carolina: Estrada (Bellissimo, Ladd) 15:56

Second Period:

Carolina: Ladd (Bellissimo, Estrada) :45. Florida: Lojek (Globke, Olesz). Florida: Ward (Caron) 11:02. Carolina: Stathopoulos (Richmond, Barnes).

Third Period:

Carolina: Ladd (Carson, Bellissimo) 19:48 EN.

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