After drubbing the Carolina Hurricanes 8-2 on Saturday afternoon to open the 2011 Traverse City Prospect Tournament, the Dallas Stars prospects fell 6-2 to the New York Rangers and their promising young cast of characters after a three goal outburst in the third period that blew what was a close game wide open.
The Stars scored early and often against Carolina yesterday, building a 4-0 lead just minutes into the game but it was the Rangers who jumped out to the advantage early this time scoring just 21 seconds into the first.
Dallas fell behind 2-0 before Scott Oke tallied one on a nice play from Cole Grabavac, and even though Jamieson Oleksiak didn't get an assist on the play, his long reach created a turnover that led to the goal. His long reach was on display all night long and his willingness to join the rush was apparent throughout.
The Stars would fall behind 3-1 on an unfortunate own goal by defenseman Jace Coyle following an odd man rush towards Jack Campbell's net and finish the period at that score despite out shooting the Rangers 15-12.
The Dallas prospects played a much more disciplined second period, limiting the quality scoring chances and odd man rushes against that plagued them in the first period and then cut the lead to 3-2 before the second intermission when Matt Fraser and Brett Ritchie hooked up on a nifty passing play. The breakout pass leading to that goal... Also Jamie Oleksiak's doing. He didn't appear on the score sheet but had a hand in a lot of good things for Dallas.
Unfortunately the night took a turn for the worst in the third when the Rangers prospects, to their credit, brought it and brought it hard, drawing a slew of penalties, earning a 5-on-3, and adding three to the scoreboard en route to the lopsided result. Dallas was out-shot 19-3 in the final frame and Jack Campbell could hardly to be said to be at fault for any of it.
It was a disappointing result after the 8-2 win spoiled us yesterday, but the chance to watch these prospects play on television and commune here in our gameday thread was just delightful on a date as early in the year as September 11th. MSG, though presenting from a heavy (heavy!) Rangers perspective did a fantastic job with their beautiful high definition coverage and it's shame we won't get any more of it as the tournament continues Tuesday and Wedensday.
Brandon Worley will have more detailed observations about the prospects themselves tomorrow but I'll add a brief two cents... Matt Fraser and Brenden Dillon were great fun to watch tonight. Dillon (wearing the C) orchestrated the Stars breakouts with ease. He and Jamie Oleksiak were enthusiastic on joining the rush throughout and both showed they are more than capable of contributing offensively. Scott Glennie executed a couple of nice setups and killed penalties effectively (as did Fraser). The penalty kill was a strong suit throughout.
NHL Network will replay the game several times. You can see the list here on ESPN Dallas. Dallas will play the St. Louis prospects on Tuesday at 2:00pm. The game is not scheduled to be televised. Their opponent on Wednesday has yet to be determined.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the GDT. It won't be long until we're doing it again for regular season hockey.