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Pens-Hawks Prospect Game Blog

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins

0:00: That'll do it for the Pens at the 2011 rookie tournament. The Pens prospects fall to the Blackhawks prospects, 4-1, with Veilleux getting the only Pittsburgh goal.

0:27: Pens head back to the penalty kill with less than half a minute left to play, as Stefan Fournier gets two for interfence.

2:46: Pens back to full strength. Samuelsson receives a pass as he's released from the box, but a backchecking Hawk takes it off his stick.

4:46: The Pens are now going to be shorthanded as Samuelsson gets two for slashing.

5:26: Keven Veilleux pounces on a rebound to the side of the net and punches it top shelf into the net! Hawks 4, Pens 1

6:50: These last few minutes have flown by. The whistles have been scarce and play has been fluid. Pens are trying hard to get something going here, but haven't had a bounce go their way yet.

13:18: Danault gets out of the box and receives a perfect heads-up, home run pass from Peter Leblanc. Danault goes in all alone and slips the puck past Lagace. Hawks 4, Pens 0

14:34: Pens' first PP unit: Kuhnhackl, Watters, Street up top, Harrington and Strait on the points.

15:25: Sneep lays out Hawks prospect Philip Danault (the 26th-overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft) along the boards. Danault then takes a tripping penalty right after the play. Pens on the PP!

18:15: Despres uses his big frame (6-foot-4, 229 pounds) to shove a Hawks forward to the ground in the Pens' D zone.

20:00: Puck drops. Game on!


Throughout the week, I took some footage of the prospects during their stretch drills and one of their practice shootouts. Here's the finished products, thanks to PensTV:

0:00: The first 40 minutes are in the books. The Hawks prospects score three goals this period after a scoreless first to go up 3-0 over the Pens prospects.

1:32: And Hawks' Shaw makes it 3-0 when he scores on a mini-breakaway while being hounded by a Pens defender. He shoved the puck under Lagace while in mid-fall. Hawks 3, Pens 0


4:21: Blackhawks go up 2-0 with a goal from Froese. The teams were playing 4-on-4 at the time. Hawks 2, Pens 0

5:40: Simon Despres goes to the box, cancelling the 5-on-3. The Pens will now have a 4-on-3 advantage.

6:05: Blackhawks get whistled for yet another penalty as Ben Youds goes to the box!!! There are 7 seconds left on Danis-Pepin's penalty, 1:07 left on Froese's. Pens will have a 5-on-3 for over a minute!

6:58: Pens now have a 5-on-3 opportunity for exactly one minute as Byron Froese gets a pair for hooking!

7:37: I spoke too soon. At the 12:02 mark of the second, Chicago's Simon Danis-Pepin went to the box. Pens now on the PP.

7:56: Both teams back to full strength.

9:12: And Saad uses his speed to break past the Pens defense for a breakaway! But Lagace comes up with the save!

9:56: Tempers are flaring behind the Pens net (as Ke$ha plays over the loudspeaker) and it looks like Strait and Andrew Shaw are getting coincidentals -- Strait for interference, Shaw for roughing. We're going to 4-on-4 hockey.

12:54: Mark McNeill (the 18th-overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft) opens the scoring when he takes the puck from behind the net, squares up to the cage and sends a scorching wrister past Lagace. Hawks 1, Pens 0

15:11: Pens back to full strength.

17:11: Pens' Daniil Tarasov gets a pair for slashing and Pittsburgh will head to the PK. Uher, Sill, Strait and Grant were the first killers for the Pens.

19:45: We've started the second period exactly like we did the first one -- with a bout. Pens' Brandon DeFazio dropped the gloves with a Hawks player and both get five for fighting and 10-minute misconducts.

20:00: Puck drops. Game on!


0:00: That'll do it for the first. We're scoreless here in Oshawa after a fast-paced first period between the Pens and Hawks prospects.

2:43: Lagace looking comfortable and strong today in net for the Pens. He's positionally sound and not letting many rebounds get away from him.

5:33: Pens' Stefan Fournier displaying some speed as he finds some open ice and gets a pair of shots off during his shift. Mattsson's right pad makes the save each time.

7:10: Pens back to full strength, and they get a great chance as Sill finds a speeding Gibbons just out of the box! His shot goes off Mattsson's pad and wide.

9:10: Pens on the PK with Gibbons going to the box for slashing. Sill and Thompson are up top while Samuelsson and Sneep are on the backend to start.

9:17: Saad giving his hometown team a lot of trouble here! He just sent a behind-the-net pass through the crease that almost banked in off Lagace's pad, but luckily Pittsburgh cleared. He then found space in the slot to release a wicked wrister.

9:59: Pens with a couple of great chances right now! They've started going to the net hard and good things are happening.

13:31: Pens just had a good flow going in the Hawks' D zone, but Sneep can't quite corral the puck when receiving a pass and it goes offsides. On the play, Pens' Dominik Uher and Hawks' Shawn Lalonde get tangled up and begin fighting. They both go to the box.

15:14: Good shift by Ben Street just now. He was able to power his way past the Hawks defense and get a shot on Chicago netminder Johan Mattsson. There was a juicy rebound laying in the slot, but none of the Pens could get to it in time.

16:53: Chicago is definitely controlling the play early in both zones. They're managing the puck well.

18:43: And things are getting chippy right off the bat, as Keven Veilleux and Rob Flick are dropping the gloves inside the Blackhawks defensive zone. The arena was playing Rihanna's 'Disturbia' as the pair went at it, which was interesting. Veilleux definitely got more punches in, so we'll give him the decision.

20:00: Game on!


1:42 PM:
Bortuzzo, Morrow, Petersen and Tangradi are today's scratches. Sill and Strait will be the alternate captains.

Today's lineup:


28 Watters - 10 Street - 24 Veilleux
18 DeFazio - 11 Sill - 26 Uher
14 Kuhnhackl - 17 Gibbons - 16 Thompson
27 Astles - 19 Tarasov - 22 Fournier
7 Strait - 9 Grant
2 Despres - 4 Sneep
5 Samuelsson - 8 Harrington
31 Lagace

1:35 PM:
Don't forget that in addition to this blog, you can listen to Steve Mears and Phil Bourque call all the action on Penguins HD Radio (WXDX FM HD-2 and streamed live on

1:30 PM: 
Hello all! Welcome to the third and final live blog of the 2011 rookie tournament in Oshawa, Ontario. The Penguins prospects are preparing to take on the Chicago Blackhawks prospects here at General Motors Centre at 2 p.m. EST.

It's been a fantastic five days here in the Great White North, with basically the entire Penguins hockey operations staff here in attendance at some point to evaluate the talent. Hopefully the camp ends with a big win this afternoon.

The Pens are looking to get their first victory of the tournament, as they fell to Ottawa Senators prospects 4-0 on Sep. 10 and the Toronto Maple Leafs prospects 5-1 on Sep. 11. Last year it was a high-scoring battle between Pittsburgh and Chicago, with the Blackhawks prevailing 9-5. Simon Despres notched a goal and an assist and Eric Tangradi scored a goal in that contest.

A couple of notes...
  • Pens defenseman Robert Bortuzzo will miss today's game with a lower body injury suffered in the first period of Pittsburgh's Sunday night match against Toronto. He will be re-evaluated by Penguins team doctors when he returns to Pittsburgh later this week.
  • Gibsonia native Brandon Saad will suit up for the Blackhawks this afternoon, as Chicago took hm in the second round (43rd overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. He's been impressive this tournament, recording five points in two games.
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