Traverse City: Columbus Downs Stars in Chippy Contest

Wyatt Johnston adds two more goals, but it isn’t enough in a special teams dominated game.

The Dallas Stars had their moments, but an inexperienced defense and netminder can’t hold their own. The team record now sits at 0-2.

First Period

The Dallas Stars survived a first minute snipe from Yegor Chinakov to take the lead on back-to-back Wyatt Johnston goals. The Columbus Blue Jackets tied it at two with 11 seconds left on a short side high shot from Jake Gaudet. Outside of those bookends, it was a back and forth period where the top three lines for the Stars all looked dangerous.

Riley Tufte continued his strong play, tying up his defender at the far post while Johnston’s shot caromed in on the first tally. On the second goal, Tufte made a slick feed from below the goal line to Johnston in the slot.

The Stars had a 2-1 advantage on the power play, but neither team could maintain much zone time. Dallas had the advantage for a majority of play, ending the period with a 9-7 shot advantage. The Blue Jackets’ top line looked to be the team’s only consistent threat. Remi Poirier wasn’t particularly tested in net, but it’s hard to fault him for either of the well-placed Columbus goals.

Second Period

Both teams came out skating hard in the second, with Columbus getting a bit of zone time. Dallas cashed in on the power play, with Jacob Peterson sliding one in five hole at 5:16 off a nice feed from Harley.

After that, the period devolved into a special teams battle, with both teams getting opportunities. Poirier put together several nice saves and started to look more comfortable in net.

Again, the Stars top three lines all generated chances, but it was the Blue Jackets who broke through during 4x4 action, with Cole Sillinger splitting the Dallas defense on the rush at 17:11. The Stars were on their heels by the end of the period, with a few bounces going their way to keep the game even. Shots at the end of two: 19-19

Third Period

With the game on the line, Dallas came out shooting, but a slash by Luke Profaca put the Blue Jackets on the power play. Yegor Chinakov went top shelf for his second of the game at 4:21 to put Columbus up for good.

From there, the Blue Jackets went into a shell that Dallas couldn’t break, until Gaudet put in his second of the game while the referees were in the process of calling a major on Ty Dellandrea for a high stick. Dallas kept up the pressure, but the Blue Jackets kept the play in front of them while Jet Greaves locked things down in net.

Dallas Stars Lineup

Jacob Peterson (40) - Ty Dellandrea (10) - Riley Damiani (13)
Fredrik Karlstrom (41) - Mavrik Bourque (45) - Logan Stankhoven (57)
Riley Tufte (27) - Wyatt Johnston (53) - Conner Roulette (52)
Yauheni Aksiantsiuk (48) - Oscar Back (37) - Francesco Arcuri (54)

Thomas Harley (55) - Dawson Barteaux (65)
Artem Grushnikov (59) - Max Martin (51)
Ryan Shea (46) - Luke Profaca (58)

Remi Poirier (50)
Adam Scheel (31)


Tye Felhaber (43)
Jordan Kawaguchi (42)
Antonio Stranges (71)
Jacob Holmes (60)


Tufte continued to shine, and he clicked right away with Johnston. Might be interesting to see what that pair could do with Damiani. Jacob Peterson, Fredrik Karlstrom, and Oscar Back all looked like they fit into their different roles.


Dawson Barteaux is a sea of calm in what has been a chaotic Stars blue line.


Ty Dellandrea, Thomas Harley and Riley Damiani are the three prospects expected to have an opportunity in training camp to catch with the NHL club. They have all been good, but good won’t get them to the next level.

A Mavrik Bourque sighting would also be nice.

Things to look for on Sunday

The Toronto Maple Leafs have split two overtime games to open the tournament. Look for big man Curtis Douglas, a Stars fourth round pick from 2018.

For the Stars, it may be time for the line blender. I’d like to see a Tufte - Johnston - Damiani grouping and maybe give some time to Stankhoven with Dellandrea and Peterson. Aksiantsiuk, Roulette and Arcuri probably earned the scratches for the forward group for the next game.

At this point, I’m not sure that there’s much to do with the defense. Profaca may get the blame for taking the penalty that led to the go-ahead goal, but he’s at least a right handed shot, so I’d keep him in.

Game time is 1pm on Sunday, and if the setup is the same as on Friday, you can link to the live stream from the Toronto Maple Leafs or Detroit Red Wings NHL sites.