The Minnesota Wild prospects ran into a hot goaltender in its third game at the Traverse City Prospects tournament.
The host team, Detroit Red Wings, rode netminder Jared Coreau’s 27-save performance to a 5-1 win. The Wild moved to 1-2-0 in the tournament.
After falling behind by two midway through the second, the Wild responded by pulling within one on a goal from Pavel Jenys at the 8:09 mark in the second. It was the first of the tournament for seventh-round pick at this summer’s National Hockey League Entry Draft. The goal was assisted by 2012 first-rounder, Matt Dumba.
“Dumba made a heads-up play at the far blue line, firing a a stretch pass to give Jenys a breakaway,” Wild Assistant General Manager Brent Flahr said. Flahr thought that Dumba was the team’s best player on the ice tonight.
“He was really involved at both ends of the ice,” Flahr said. “He competed defensively and made things happen offensively. He was our best player, as he should be.”
Flahr also credited 2014 pick, Reid Duke, for stepping up his game. He said the forward was much more engaged in tonight’s contest.
After shaking off some first-camp jitters over the weekend, Jenys fired three shots on net to go along with his goal. However, his tally was all the Minnesota prospects could muster, as Coreau shut the door the rest of the way.
It was a rough start for Minnesota. Detroit took an early lead, as Tyler Bertuzzi scored just 10 seconds in with the contest’s first shot on goal.
“They scored right away on an unlucky bounce,” Flahr said.
The Wings extended the lead in the second, as Joe Hicketts beat Wild invitee netminder Brandon Whitney.
“We played a much better second period and pretty good in the third,” Flahr said. “But we gave the puck to the wrong guy a couple times in the third and they took advantage.”
In the third, Wings prospects Andreas Athanasiou and Anthony Mantha scored two unanswered goals to solidify the lead, and Bertuzzi iced the game with an empty netter with 23 seconds remaining for his second of the game. Athanasiou assisted on Mantha’s goal, his fourth of the tournament.
“It was a closer game than the score indicated,” Flahr said.
Wild forward Kurtis Gabriel fired up his teammates, dropping the gloves with Colin Campbell. But the Wild couldn’t mount a comeback. Whitney, made 19 saves in the loss. The Wild closes out the tournament tomorrow against the New York Rangers' prospects.