Traverse City, Mich. --
Some could see the Stars’ sixth place finish and 1-2-1 record at the NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Mich. this week as a disappointment, but the Stars say it was exactly what it was planned to be -- a stepping stone to get prospects ready for training camp.
"You obviously want to win and play the best you can, but what’s really important is you learn and you get better, and I think we did that," said Glen Gulutzan, the new coach of the Texas Stars, who along with assistant coach Paul Jerrard ran the Dallas prospects.
"It’s so good for the players to get to know each other, for the players to get to know us as coaches. I mean, even for me and Paul to just get a chance to coach together, to get to know each other, that’s a great week right there."
Dallas lost a 4-1 game to Detroit in the placement game to end the tournament Thursday and many of the players will head back to Texas on Friday to get ready for the start of training camp on Sunday. Junior players such as Scott Glennie
(the eighth overall pick in 2009), Tyler Beskorowany
(the 59th pick in 2008) and Tomas Vincour
(129th overall in 2009) will probably only stick around for a few days before heading to their junior teams. Meanwhile, older prospects such as Jamie Benn
and Ivan Vishnevskiy will try to make the NHL roster, and others will get ready for a shot at the AHL team.
With NHL training camp only 20 days and with the Texas Stars starting their preseason schedule Sept. 24, Gulutzan said the time together was huge.
"What’s so encouraging is you could see changes from the first game, you could see the players adjust and learn the system and make good decisions," he said. "That’s what we’re hoping for all season, and this is just the start here."
Beskorowany had his second strong performance in net. Although he allowed four goals, he saw 40 shots, many of which were solid scoring opportunities. His only real breakdown came in the final three minutes of the second period on what could be called two flukey goals. One shot rang of the back glass and came right back in front of the net, where Detroit’s Landon Ferraro pounced on it and knocked it in for a 2-1 lead. Less than a minute later, a puck was sent to the front of the net, and Jan Mursak flashed in front and flipped it past Beskorowany.
"Those were a couple of bang-bang plays that you really couldn’t fault him on," Gulutzan said. "I thought he had a great game."Jamie Benn
scored the only goal for Dallas, his first point of the tournament, and also had a fight against former Kelowna teammate Mitchell Callahan.
Sergei Korostin, who will be in contention to play with the Texas Stars, led Stars scorers in the tournament with three goals and an assist in four games. He also led the team with 14 shots on goal. Mathieu Tousignant
, who has an AHL/ECHL contract with the Texas Stars, had three goals and 12 shots on goal.