PANTHERS PROSPECTS FALL 4-2 IN TOURNEY OPENER
HULL, Quebec – The four-team 2000 NHL prospects tournament got underway with a pair of games today at Robert Guertin Arena. The Florida Panthers were defeated by the Ottawa Senators 4-2 in the late game. Michel Periard and Rod Sarich led the Panthers with a goal each, while Ryan Jardine recorded seven shots to lead all players. Florida’s Morgan McCormick posted 14 penalty minutes, which included a pair of fighting majors. The Panthers outshot Ottawa 33-24.
FIRST PERIOD: Sarich opened the scoring with a wrist shot just 3:21 into the contest. The 19-year-old defenseman was assisted on the play by Serge Payer and McCormick. Sarich, who was a 1999 draft pick of the Panthers (109th overall), played for Calgary (WHL) last season. The Panthers lead was short-lived as the Senators’ Chris Kelly connected on the power play at the 4:40 mark. Ottawa took a 2-1 advantage with an even-strength tally at 12:45 by Tim Wolfe. The Panthers out-shot the Senators 15-13 in the opening frame. Florida failed to score in its only power play chance in the first period. McCormick registered 9 penalty minutes, including a 5-minute major for fighting. Eric Godard also picked up a 5 minute major for fighting.
SECOND PERIOD: Ottawa’s Jan Jas and Alexandre Giroux scored goals just 1:07 apart (13:30 and 14:37) to increase the Senators’ lead to 4-1. Florida’s Periard, who posted 100 points (25-75-100) last season with Rimouski of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, pulled the Panthers within two at the 15:20 mark. Periard flipped a wrist shot through a crowd of players in front. Mike Cirillo earned an assist on the play. McCormick was given an automatic ejection at 1:58 of the period following his second fight of the game. Florida out-shot Ottawa 9-7 in the second period.
THIRD PERIOD: Florida out-shot Ottawa 9-4 in the third period, but neither team could score in the final frame, as the Senators captured a 4-2 victory. Ottawa goaltender Mathieu Chouinard stopped 31 of 33 Panther shots for the win. Florida’s Alex Auld made 20 saves on 24 shots.
Shots 1 2 3 T
Florida 159 9 33
Ottawa 13 7 4 24
Goals 1 2 3 F
Florida 1 1 0 2
Ottawa 2 2 0 4
Power Plays – Florida 0-2, Ottawa 1-4.
Panther Notes: Right wing Denis Shvidki traveled back to Florida today to receive treatment on a sprained ankle. The 1999 first-round draft pick (12th overall) injured the ankle during off-season training.
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