Leafs’ Rookie Tournament – Recap

by Randy Nicholson
on
Congratulations to all involved as the Leafs’ rookies sailed through this past weekend’s round robin affair undefeated and won the annual Kitchener Tournament. There were many surprises (some good – some less so) amongst the players representing Toronto at this competition. In the end, though, it was exciting just to see all of the Maple Leafs’ best young players together in one place at one time. There is really no better opportunity to get a quick snapshot of the relative strengths and weaknesses of each player in the development system.

Hockey’s Future’s own tournament correspondent, Stephen Holodinsky, will be posting his final grades for all Maple Leafs’ prospects within the next day or two. That said, here’s how each of the boys in blue and white appeared to this observer:

Goaltenders

Sebastien Centomo – A Rookie Tournament veteran who shone at last year’s event … Centomo’s experience in this format was telling and he was clearly the more impressive of the Leaf’s netminding prospects … Sebastien is quick and agile but still tends to play too low and will have to adjust when facing NHL caliber shooters … Centomo will be a starter in the QMJHL this season …
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Thrashers win 6-4 over Blue Jackets at Traverse City

by Jessica Haskin
on
With only two minor penalties and a few stoppages in play the first 12
minutes of the game appeared as if it was going to be a fairly slow
night without much scoring, fighting or penalties. It turned out to be
quite an exciting game with 10 goals, 3 fights and over 50 penalty
minutes. Kent McDonell received a holding call at 11:50 of the first
giving Atlanta the man advantage. Derek MacKenzie sent the puck past
Shane Bendera, with assists from Vladimir Sicak and Mike Weaver. A few
minutes later Trevor Ettinger and Eric Bowen went for a little dance
with each other, each drawing 5 minute fighting majors. With 3 and a
half minutes left to go in the first, Dan Preston made a beautiful drop
pass to Kent McDonell who fired it home using Preston as a screen. With
one minute left in the period Robb Palahnuk and Luke Sellars started
fighting. Sellars helmet fell over his face and hung there over his
eyes, with Palahnuk hanging onto his arms he was helpless. Palahnuk
spun Sellars in a circle and finally Sellars just dropped to the ice.
Each received 5 minutes for fighting.

Twenty-five seconds into the second period Jonathan Schill drew 2
minutes for interference. Vladimir Sicak came close ringing it off the
post on the man advantage but no goals were scored. Columbus drew two
minor penalties a minute and a half apart. Columbus won the face off,
passing it back to the defensemen who went to slam the puck out of the Read more»

Wings are Airborne After Thrashing the Predators

by Jessica Haskin
on
Detroit won cleanly in an 8-5 game against the Nashville Predators.
Nashville took an early lead less than a minute into the game when Scott
Hartnell scored, assisted by Greg Classen and Konstantin Panov. Detroit
came back quickly though with Dustin Kuk scoring 28 seconds later. Brad
Twordick went for slashing and Anton Borodkin for holding. Then Brett
Angel was called for holding and a few seconds later Ed Hill for high
sticking. Kuk scored again for Detroit during the 5 on 3 advantage with
the help of Borodkin and Jason Williams. Tim Verbeek (Pat Verbeek’s
little brother) scored on the one man advantage 45 seconds later. Mike
Sgroi and Eric Gooldy played fisticuffs within a minute of the goal,
Gooldy getting the best of Sgroi. There were some rough moments with
Tomas Kopecky getting checked right in front of Nashville’s bench, with
Kopecky precariously half hanging in their bench. A little while later
Classen litterally “crashed” the net, sending the net and Vogel flying.
Kuk went to the box for roughing after doing some stick work to
Hartnell’s neck after Hartnell literally crashed the net, and was laying
in it. Classen scored unassisted on the power play. After the buzzer
for the first period there was a small brawl with a 2 minute minor
handed out to Kuk for slashing.

Nashville came back out with determination and Denis Arkhipov scored a
power play goal 24 seconds into the period. Detroit drew another Read more»

Panthers/Senators Rookie Tournament Game 1

by Mark Fischel
on

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.

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Back to the Future 4: Galbraith leads Leafs to the trifecta

by Stephen J. Holodinsky
on
It was a wild one alright, but when the dust finally cleared after an empty net goal credited to Jon Zion but actually scored by Vaclav Zavoral the Buds triumphed over the Baby Sabres 7-4 and became the only team to go undefeated, winning the Kitchener Rookie Tournament. The game had all the makings of a record setting rout in the early going as the Leafs’ goals came fast and furious. It all started with Alexei Ponikarovsky doing what he has become noted for here as he went into a corner draped all over a Buffalo player and came out of it with a perfect feed to Ben Ondrus who banged it home with 14:34 left in the first.

The floodgates really opened however some 6 minutes later when the Buds scored 4 times in approximately 6 minutes. A great looking rush/weave by Miguel Delisle going from wing to wing across the blueline started things off. After an exchange with JP Cote, the winger delivered a great goalmouth feed to Luca Cereda. The pivot, for his part, waited patiently for the Buffalo puckstopper to commit leaving Cereda the top half of the net and he took advantage at 11:50. Only two minutes later Kris Vernarsky played puck on a string doing a complete wraparound and starting on a second before sending a pass out to Vadim Sozinov who buried it low glove side. With 4:45 left it was time once again for the Ponikarovsky and Ondrus show. The former fired a pass beyond the reach of the Swift Current Bronco, but the rookie camp invitee out raced two defenders for the puck and backhanded it out front where Ponikarovsky, trailing the play, roofed it. Read more»