Panthers Prospects Lose Fight-Filled Battle With Montreal

By Mark Fischel

HULL, Quebec – The four-team 2000 NHL prospects tournament continued Tuesday
as the Florida Panthers (0-2) fell to the Montreal Canadiens (1-1), 4-3, in
a wild contest that lasted over three hours. The game featured 12 fights,
280 penalty minutes, an 18-minute first-period delay, and a third period
Panther rally that just fell short. Trailing 4-1 entering the final period,
Florida out-shot (14-5) and out-scored (2-0) the Canadiens in the last 20
minutes, but ran out of time. Morgan McCormick paced the Panthers’
offensive attack with a goal and an assist. Serge Payer and Mike Green
scored the other Florida goals. Montreal’s Ben Guite and Eric Chouinard
each registered a goal and an assist. Six Panthers and five Canadiens were
ejected from the game. Florida will play prospects from the Tampa Bay
Lightning at 4 p.m. on Wednesday. The round robin tournament will conclude
with consolation and championship games on Thursday.

FIRST PERIOD: Montreal jumped out to a 3-1 lead in a penalty-filled first
period of play. Eric Chouinard, Jozef Balej, and Ben Guite all connected for
the Canadiens. The lone Panther goal was an unassisted tally by McCormick.
The 19-year-old McCormick is a 1999 Florida draft pick (103rd overall).
Montreal out-shot Florida 13-9 in the period. There was an 18-minute delay
at the 8:22 mark of the first period when the glass shattered following a
check by Florida’s Benoit Morin. The Panthers accumulated 31 penalty
minutes, including three 5-minute majors for fighting.

SECOND PERIOD: Despite a combined 26 shots on goal, only Montreal’s Jerome
Marois was able to score in the second period of play. The Canadiens
out-shot the Panthers 14-12. Goaltender Jean-Francois Laniel played the
first half of the game (27:59) for Florida. He made 18 saves on 22 shots.

THIRD PERIOD: Following a six-on-six brawl that included the two goaltenders
at the 11:17 mark, Florida notched a pair of goals to pull to within one.
Serge Payer and Mike Green each connected for the Panthers. There were a
total of eight fights in the period. Goaltender Davis Parley was ejected
for the Panthers following his fight with the Canadiens netminder Sean
Connors. Parley finished the night with seven saves on seven shots in 23
minutes and 18 seconds of play. Laniel returned to make three saves on three
shots in 7:32, before being pulled for an extra attacker.

Shots 1 2 3 T

Florida 9 12 14 35
Montreal 13 14 5 32

Goals 1 2 3 F

Florida 1 0 2 3
Montreal 3 1 0 4

Power Plays - Florida 0-3, Montreal 0-5.

In other tournament action: Tampa Bay defeated Ottawa 3-2 in a shootout in
the early game on Tuesday. With the victory, the Lightning improved to 2-0
in the tourney, while Ottawa fell to 1-1.

I must give many thanks go to the Panther Communications Dept for their full work on this game summary.

As always, feel free to write me with any comments or post on applicable team or general message boards

Mark Fischel