Montreal Canadiens win Hull Rookie Tourney
Vadim Tarasov and Ray Emery were the starting goalies for the Canadiens and Senators, respectively, as Montreal and Ottawa faced off for the honour as the top Hull tournament squad.The game started off with plenty of physical action, as teams matched each other hit for hit. Jérôme Marois showed his awesome slap shot early as he unleashed one just high and wide of the net. Andrew Archer, the 6’4 defenseman for Montreal set the tone early with a bone-shattering open-ice hit. Till the very end, the game remained a tough, vigorous match.Ron Hainsey, Montreal’s quarterback looked good early, delivering crisp, accurate passes. The Senators, on the other hand, had trouble staying consistent and made many mental mistakes.The Canadiens struck first as the speedy Michael Ryder put Montreal up 1-0, with the assists from Hamelfarb and Thinel. Soon after, on the powerplay, the Canadiens equaled the previous accomplishment, as Ryder unloaded one by hapless Emery, to make it 2-0. Emery had allowed 2 goals on the first 4 shots of the game, but had deserved a better fate. To his credit, he settled down and played admirably. Alexandre Tremblay, a 5’11 winger showed his speed early, with a partial breakaway, but was stopped in part to Emery’s quick reflexes. Marcel Hossa showed some great on-ice smarts with tape-to-tape passes, and good work along the boards.Ottawa seemed to run out of steam late in the period, as the Canadiens managed to get the final 5 shots of the period. Ray Emery kept his team in it. All in all, the teams went back and forth, from end to end. Although the game involved a lot of hits, both teams had excellent opportunities to score.To start off the second period, Montreal toughened up, and contained Spezza and Co. The Senators, unable to get out of their own zone, looked helpless. Jason Spezza, known for thriving in the other team’s zone, had to handle increased defensive responsibility. Ray Emery remained solid, and kept the score close. At one point, Ron Hainsey released a rocket on a one-timer, but Emery stuck out the glove for a spectacular save. The Senators played a shaky game, making a lot of turnovers and exhibiting little good hockey sense. Marc-André Thinel showcased excellent breakaway speed, as he raced cross-ice towards the Senators end and fed Pierre-Luc Laprise who was denied by Emery. Andrei Kruchinin and François Beauchemin both played exceptional defensive hockey. Kruchinin controlled the puck with top-notch efficiency, and his passes were right on the mark. Beauchemin played tough, hard-nosed hockey. One bright spot for Ottawa was Chris Kelly, who moved the puck with precision and finished his checks.Outshooting Ottawa 15-4 in the second period, all Montreal players seemed on the same page. Turnovers were rare, and passing was exceptional. The Canadiens took advantage of numerous Sens’ miscues, which resulted in a number of breakaways. Granted, Ottawa managed to do a good job of “killing off the powerplay”.Andrew Archer was tough as nails throughout the game. He delivered some hard hits, which disrupted Ottawa’s chemistry completely. Joseph Balej treated the fans with another outstanding game. Although he failed to finish, he showcased blazing speed, and eye-popping stickhandling ability. If not for Ray Emery, he might have been the #1 star of the game. He, along with Hossa, worked very well together. Both combined great passing ability and exhibited good decision-making. It was a pleasure to watch them both work.Michael Ryder got a little wild midway through the third period, as he nailed Chris Bala, leaving him scrawling on the ice. Ottawa’s Sebastien Savage came to Bala’s rescue, as he wrestled the disgruntled Ryder to the ice. Both Ryder and Savage received 5-minute misconducts.Somewhat unexpectedly, Kevin Dallman had a solid defensive game for Montreal. He made an excellent open-ice check on Jason Spezza to prevent a dangerous scoring opportunity for Ottawa.Midway through the third period, the combination of Tarasov, Beauchemin and Tremblay caught the Senators by surprise, as they united to score Montreal’s third goal of the game. Tremblay received a timely feed from the blueliner and wristed a quick shot right by Ray Emery.Meanwhile, the Senators seemed unable to build up any kind of momentum. After Balej was sent off to the penalty box for high sticking, Ottawa managed just one shot on net, despite of keeping the puck in the Montreal zone for the vast majority of the two minutes. Although the Sens managed to increase the pressure on Montreal, they still managed only 4 shots on goal for the second period in a row.
Final score: Montreal 3, Ottawa 0.
Final shots on goal: Montreal 35 (11, 15, 9); Ottawa 18 (10, 4, 4).
Players of the game: Montreal – Tarasov; Ottawa – Emery.
1-0 MTL, Michael Ryder (Himelfarb, Thinel),
2-0 MTL, Michael Ryder 2 (Himelfarb, Thinel),
3-0 MTL, Alexandre Tremblay (Beauchemin, Tarasov).
Tarasov (MTL) – Was not busy, but was razor sharp in the clutch and especially first period.
Archer (MTL) – Physically dominating. Delivered massive body checks.
Balej (MTL) – Absoutely superb. Fast and agile. Exhibited great shot, but had no point to show for it.
Beauchemin (MTL) – Played a safe intelligent game. A quick thinker made precise passes throughout the game.
Hainsey (MTL) – Great way to end a great tournament. Handled the puck very well, and shot more than in previous games.
Ryder (MTL) – Scored two goals, although wasn’t as good in the second and third periods, as in the first.
Emery (OTT) – Without him, Montreal could have scored up to 10 goals. Robbed Balej at least five times in the game.
Giroux (OTT) – Not the same offensively, but defensively he did a lot of good things.
Kelly (OTT) – The only surehanded Ottawa Senator on ice.
Honourable Menion: Every other Montreal Canadien.
Capable of Better
Spezza (OTT) – When the game takes places in own team’s zone, he’s invisible.
Konopka (OTT) – Uses that stick too much and in all the wrong places.
Gleason (OTT) – His job is to quarterback Ottawa’s attack, and he failed that assignment.
Honourable Mention: Every other Ottawa Senator.
From Hull, Quebec; Jake Dole for Hockey’s Future.