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Rangers prospects shut out by Thrashers

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
Tournament Results and Roster

Game 1 Recap: Detroit 4, Rangers 0

A year ago, the Rangers prospects dominated the Traverse City Prospects Tournament, but halfway through the 2008 event, the Blueshirts are still looking for their first goal.

Rangers prospect Dale Weise refused to go down without a fight. He scrapped with an Atlanta player late in the third period and was the bout's clear winner.

Less than 24 hours after falling 4-0 to the host Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night, the Blueshirts suffered a 3-0 loss to Atlanta on Sunday afternoon, as they could not solve Thrashers goalie Ryan Daniels, a former Ottawa draft pick who never signed with the Senators and is attending Detroit’s training camp on a tryout basis.

Daniels stopped 23 shots, compared to 20 saves for Rangers netminder Antoine Lafleur, who went the distance on Sunday after coming on in relief of Matt Zaba for the third period of Saturday’s opener.

Tomas Pospisil, Angelo Esposito and Spencer Machacek scored for the Thrashers, now 2-0 in the tournament. Atlanta’s prospects have  yet to allow a goal, having shut out Tampa Bay 1-0 in its opener on Saturday

Atlanta went to work early ,scoring a quick first-period goal against Lafleur, the Rangers’ 2007 second-round draft pick. Pospisil, a 2005 Thrashers fifth-rounder, found the net after capitalizing on a Rangers turnover. His goal would stand up as the game-winner.

Angelo Esposito, a 2007 first-round pick by Pittsburgh who came to the Thrashers in last season's deadline-day trade involving Marian Hossa, made it 2-0 on a power play at 15:15 of the first period. Esposito scored off the rebound of a shot from Matt Siddall, a Thrashers draftee who recently completed his college career at Northern Michigan.

The second period saw Rangers prospect Justin Soryal engage in his second fight in as many days. Soryal battled Atlanta's Myles Stoesz. The dramatic bout between the two enforcers was the highlight of a period that saw no scoring.

Through two periods, Atlanta had outshot the Rangers 15-14 and was 1-for-4 on the power play, compared to an 0-for-4 mark by the Blueshirts.

Machacek, the Thrashers’ 2007 third-round pick, stretched Atlanta’s lead to 3-0 with a goal midway through the third period.

The goal came on a strong individual effort by Machacek just moments after the Rangers had been applying heavy pressure. The Rangers’ best chance came on a point-blank shot by 2008 draftee Evgeny Grachev, who is playing on the top line with Brodie Dupont and Artem Anisimov, his former junior teammate in Russia. Daniels, however, turned Grachev’s shot aside to preserve his shutout.

With only 1:15 remaining in the  third period, Rangers prospect Dale Weise got into a scrap with Siddall – a fight Weise controlled from the outset.

In other tournament action on Sunday, Minnesota beat St. Louis 3-2, Dallas beat Columbus 5-4 to improve to 2-0, and Detroit also remained undefeated with a 5-2 victory over Tampa Bay. As a result, the winner of Tuesday's 3 p.m. game between the Rangers and Tampa Bay will play for fifth place overall on Wednesday.

NEW YORK RANGERS PROSPECTS' LINEUP VS. ATLANTA
FORWARD LINES
Left Wing Center Right Wing
Brodie Dupont Artem Anisimov Evgeny Grachev
Justin Soryal Tommy Pyatt Dale Weise
David Skokan Joe Barnes Sergei Demagin
Mike Taylor Tomas Zaborsky Matt Meropoulis
DEFENSE PAIRINGS
Left Defense Right Defense
Michael Del Zotto Lyon Messier
Vladimir Denisov David Urquhart
David Stich Bobby Sanguinetti
Goaltenders: Antoine Lafleur, Matt Zaba
   
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