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Stars Prospects Drop 6-1 Decision to Blues

by Staff Writer / Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars prospects at the Traverse City Rookie Tournament dropped a 6-1 decision to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday afternoon.

Dallas scouts said that it wasn’t one of the better games and efforts they’ve seen, and the team knows it. The coaches and players were not happy with their performance and want to give a much better effort Wednesday when they face-off vs. the Minnesota Wild, who lost to Columbus on Tuesday, 3-1.

Matt Tassone scored the Stars’ lone goal on a feed from Stephen Schultz in the first period to tie the score at 1-1. The Blues pulled away from there, scoring two in each of the three periods.

Tyler Beskorowany was in net for Dallas, stopping 27-of-33 shots.

The limited highlights for the Stars actually came in two separate fights.

Stars 2011 first round pick Jamie Oleksiak was in the first, squaring off against Yannick Veilleux. Reports from those in attendance were that Oleksiak did pretty well. He doesn’t have a history of fighting in his career, but it was encouraging to see him engage in some toughness since he is going to the Ontario Hockey League this season and there will probably be times where he has to step up and fight. Oleksiak has size (6-7, 241 lbs.) and he knows he needs to develop the intimidation and fear factor moving forward. It will serve him well as he continues to develop into a pro.

Oleksiak has been really good in the tournament, his first taste of professional hockey. He has really good hands, has really good puck skills, and that has showed in the games this week in Traverse City. Oleksiak’s future is as a defensive defenseman with his size and reach but his skills are very encouraging.

The other fight came when St. Louis tough guy Stefan Della Rovere decided to elbow Matt Fraser in the head (and got a five-minute major for his trouble). Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon jumped to his teammate’s defense and dropped the mitts with Della Rovere. It was a heavyweight bout and lived up to expectations. Dillon held his own in the fight, which went back and forth, with both guys getting several shots to the face.

Dillon has been the Stars’ best player, by far, in the tournament. He is turning a lot of heads among the Stars’ management, as well as other teams’ scouts. Dillon, who is the squad’s captain, is one of the guys talked about in the tournament among the many hockey personnel in attendance. Many have said, “This guy looks like a first round pick. How in the world did he go undrafted?” Give the Stars’ scouting staff credit for finding Brenden as a late bloomer and giving Joe Nieuwendyk the chance to sign him.

Unfortunately, most of the other Stars players struggled on Tuesday. Matt Fraser, Brett Ritchie and Scott Glennie looked great in the first game on Saturday but have not looked the same since. They are hoping to finish strong on Wednesday.

Jack Campbell is scheduled to be in goal for Dallas on Wednesday vs. Minnesota.

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