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»

Montreal Canadiens Prospects Tournament Game 1

by Paul Tanasi
on

Prospects Tournament Game 1

The first game of the Prospect Tournament took place in Hull, Quebec last night. Once again the Montreal Canadiens’ finest and brightest future stars were assembled to take on a talent stacked Tampa Bay Lightning prospect roster.

There were no notable standouts on the Canadiens’ roster. In his much anticipated debut, Andrei Markov scored a nice goal off the draw, he blasted a hard low shot past Konstantinov in the second period, however he failed to impress. Mike Rebeiro scored in the third to make it a closer game when he deflected a Markov shot into the low short side but Tampa ran away with this one 5-2. Montreal had only a very few good scoring opportunities throughout the game. Matt Carkner seemed to impress me the most with his physical play. In the first period he took on hulking Kristian Kudroc who was on the receiving end of a few good punches before he fell hard to the ice. In the second period Carkner fought another heavyweight in Brett Scheffleimier, the two went toe to toe exchanging numerous blows. Francois Beauchemin fought Greg Black in the second period. It was nice to see Beauchemin drop the gloves although the fight ended up a draw. The massive Mitch Fritz (6’7”) attempted to fight but couldn’t coax Aaron Gionet into swinging back so he ended up with a disappointing four minute roughing minor.

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Rangers’ Future: Defense – Part 2

by Brandon LeBourveau
on
I’m back with the 2nd part of this 3 part series, as we now look at the
Rangers defensive prospects. They have a good mix of grit, speed and offense
from their defense prospects, the type of players that Glen Sather and Ron
Low love. Now, let’s take a look at a couple of them.


Name: Mike Mottau
Position: Defenseman
Shoots: Left
Height: 6-00
Weight: 200 lbs
Birthdate: March 19, 1978
Hometown: Quincy, Massachusetts
Acquired: Round 7 #182 overall 1997 NHL Entry Draft

Stats
Year Team League GP G A Pts PIM
1999-00 Boston College NCAA 42 6 37 43 57
1998-99 Boston College NCAA 43 3 39 42 44
1997-98 Boston College NCAA 40 13 36 49 50
1996-97 Boston College NCAA 38 5 18 23 77
Mottau recently won the Hobey Baker award, given to the best collegiate
player, last year in his senior season with Boston College. Mottau’s idol
growing up was fellow Ranger Brian Leetch, and their styles of play are very
similar. Although Mottau is not very big (6’0 200) he likes to throw his body
around and get involved in the physical play. He is also very good
offensively, and could be a 50-60 point scorer in the NHL. Mottau is coming
to the Rangers training camp in Burlington, Vermont without a contract, but
if he plays well in camp, you can bet your last dollar Sather will reward him Read more»

Leafs’ Rookie Tournament – Game 2

by Randy Nicholson
on
The Maple Leafs’ rookies appeared to be far more ready to play from the outset of last night’s match versus the Young Rangers. Virtually everyone in the line-up demonstrated considerably more jump than they had against the Hurricanes on Friday evening. Toronto’s passing and team play were also considerably sharper throughout. As a result, the game was far more entertaining one to watch.

The Leafs dominated the first frame from a territorial perspective but neither team was able to open the scoring. Toronto’s forwards were going hard to the net at every opportunity and several found themselves on top of or behind the beleaguered Rangers’ keeper. There were two notable occurrences in the 1st period from a physical standpoint. Enforcers Lariviere and Mallette squared off in a way that made it seem as though they had already done so on many previous occasions. In this instance, the Leafs’ Lariviere scored a very decisive win by TKO. Later in the period, Mallette (having returned following minor repairs) attempted to freeze the puck along the wall, clearly frustrating Mihail Travnicek in his attempts to work it free. With no whistle forthcoming, the bouncing Czech continued to hack away at the disk held in the Ranger’s feet until the big defender suddenly collapsed and went down as if he had been shot. Travnicek sheepishly turned and skated away – I’ll leave the other details of the incident up to your imagination. Through for the evening, this was certainly not a night to remember for young Kris Mallette.
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Back to the Future 3: Galbraith doubles up

by Stephen J. Holodinsky
on
The Leafs had yet another long shot pay off in their second game of the Rookie Tournament. Against Carolina it was Ben Ondrus who shone and, while he didn’t let up at all, the New York Rangers have probably seen all they want to see of the team’s other free agent invitee, Lance Galbraith. Not only did he score back-to-back goals in the second to give the Leafs a 3-1 lead, he also served as the line’s constable on patrol, taking on Tommy Bolduc and then later Wes Jarvis. While he didn’t win either bout outright, he did hold his own and against Bolduc (who only uses icetime as a prelude to a fight) that’s really saying something.

But it wasn’t only Galbraith who was dropping the gloves. Jacques Lariviere, interrupted an uninteresting start of the match long enough to pummel Kris Mallette into the ground. This seemed to give a spark to the home side as shortly thereafter, the Baby Buds offense kicked into high gear, lead by blueliner Jon Zion who consistently forced the Rangers into decisions they didn’t want to make. However, overconfidence became a factor and when on near successive shifts Lariviere and Morgan Warren made brutal giveaways that forced Jean Francois Racine to come up big.
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