We're back with more hard-hitting action from the 2007 NHL Centre I.C.E. Prospects Tournament. As advertised, Minnesota Assistant General Manager Tom Thompson was on hand to observe Saturday’s ice-level proceedings in Traverse City, Mich.
The Wild prospects were derailed today by the Columbus Blue Jackets prospects 8-3. From Thompson’s vantage point, there was nothing ordinary about this hockey game though.
“It was one of the strangest hockey games you’ll ever see,” he said. “We had some defensive breakdowns and the first two goals [the Blue Jackets] got were shorthanded.”
For the record, the Wild outshot Columbus 33-28 and 15-5 respectively in the first and second periods alone. However, Minnesota managed to put up just two shots in the third period while Columbus hit its offensive stride, registering seven goals (three came during the power play) on 28 shots after trailing 2-1 heading into the second stanza.
Not one, but two preseason camp tryout playerrs tallied the goals for Minnesota. Moises Gutierrez scored twice -- again. Only this time he spread out his points a bit. Rather than posting both goals in the opening 20:00 minutes of play, like he did in the 5-1 win over the Stars prospects, the Anchorage, Alaska native waited until the second period to sting the Blue Jackets with his other marker of the contest.
A.J. Thelen, a first-round NHL Entry Draft selection of the Wild in 2004, assisted Gutierrez on his second-period goal as did Jeff May, collecting his second tournament helper.
The other tryout that found his way into the Wild goal-scoring mix was Tyler Hirsch. Hirsch, who played college hockey at the University of Minnesota, was assisted by James Sheppard and Cal Clutterbuck
on a nifty two-way passing play. Hirsch had an assist in game one as well. It was Sheppard’s first point of the tournament and Clutterbuck now has three points (2-1=3).
Minnesota (1-1), which is slated to practice on Sunday morning, will take on the St. Louis Blues prospects Monday (Sept. 10) at 2 p.m.
“It’s a nice schedule,” Thompson said. “You’re up early and eating at odd-ball times but this is a good test for these young guys.”