TRAVERSE CITY, Mich -- After playing inspired hockey on Monday night in a 4-1 victory over the New York Rangers, the Red Wings prospects fell victim to the potent offensive attack of the St. Louis Blues, losing 5-1 on Tuesday afternoon at Centre Ice Arena.
Detroit's prospects played well in the first period and had a 1-0 lead heading into the second on a goal by camp invitee Luke Kutkevicius. But a rash of penalties in the second period allowed the Blues to slowly take control of the game, resulting in St. Louis scoring five unanswered goals.
As the game wore on, it appeared the effects of playing a night game Monday followed by an afternoon contest Tuesday took its toll on the Wings, who were playing their fourth game in five days.
With the loss, Detroit finished the NHL Prospect Tournament with a 1-3 record, which placed them sixth overall out of eight teams.
1. Dylan Sadowy: If there was one player that Wings coach Todd Nelson consistently singled out as playing a complete hockey game throughout the tournament, it was forward Dylan Sadowy. Acquired by Detroit in May 2016 from San Jose, there was talk Sadowy had a legitimate shot to compete for a roster spot on the Red Wings last season. It didn't work out that way with Sadowy spending most of the season in Grand Rapids, and a stint with the Toledo Walleye. After last season, Sadowy recommitted himself to the game and his determination showed during the Prospect Tournament. He was all over the ice, showing terrific speed and the ability to make plays at both ends of the ice. In four games, he scored two goals, which was his final point total. He was also plus-1 with five penalty minutes.
Quotable: "It was a big offseason for me. I know what I had to work on, so I went home and worked. Last year wasn't the year I wanted, but there's a lot of teaching tools you can take from it. I was one of the younger guys on a team that won the Calder Cup. I learned a lot. It's another camp for me and I need to just go in there, play my game, be strong, be physical and hopefully get into a couple of (preseason) games, have some fun and see how things go this year." - Sadowy
2. Cole Fraser: When Fraser was drafted last June by the Red Wings in the fifth round, 131st overall, the Wings were impressed with Fraser's ability to be a tough player to play against and his willingness to drop the gloves when needed. On Tuesday against the Blues, the defenseman showed why he is fearless on the ice. Fraser is 18 years old, weighs 191 pounds and is listed at 6-foot-2. During the second period, he fought former Red Wings draft pick Michael McKee in a spirited match. McKee is a rough customer who is 24 years old, stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 250 pounds. He landed a couple of heavy shots early to Fraser's face, but the raw rookie landed a few of his own, much to the delight of the partisan Detroit crowd.
Quotable: "Coming into this tournament, he was one of the biggest guys at 6-5, 250, he's got three inches and 52 pounds on me. I really didn't think as soon as he challenged me; I'm not going to back down from a challenge. I did the best that I could and I thought I did pretty well being six years younger and quite a bit smaller, but the guy is definitely a solid fighter and he connected with a couple of good ones, but I think I connected with a couple of good ones as well." - Fraser
3. Filip Hronek: At the conclusion of Red Wings development camp in early July, Detroit officials raved about the game of defenseman Filip Hronek. He showed a gritty side, a willingness to mix it up and the occasional offensive flair. Hronek will spend this upcoming season in Grand Rapids and if he continues to progress, the hope is he would compete for a spot on the Wings next season. However, the timeline may be pushed back a bit based on Hronek's Prospect Tournament. In four games, he failed to register a point, was minus-7 and had six penalty minutes - all taken in the final game against the Blues.
Quotable: "It's a combination of things, being inconsistent and trying to do too much. Last night he played really well, but with a quick turnaround today, I think he was trying to push too hard and do too much and that comes with more experience. There are things that are very teachable and blatant that we can fix by teaching him how to play the right way. It's four games in an exhibition tournament. I think we'll get a better indication of where everybody is at after main camp is over." - Nelson