After the third game of the prospects tournament in Traverse City, Michigan, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ prospects now have a 2-1 record. The third game was one of those “pad your stats” type of games. After going back and forth and trading goals in the first twenty-three minutes against the Dallas Stars’ prospects, and with the game tied 3-3 early in the second period, it was all Maple Leafs prospects for the rest of the game.
The Maple Leafs’ prospects scored three unanswered goals to chase the Stars’ goalie with just under four minutes to go in the second period. After building the lead to 6-3, the Maple Leafs’ prospects essentially shut down what appeared to be a thoroughly demoralized Dallas top prospects’ team in the third. Nick Robertson capped the scoring by adding an empty net goal with just five seconds left in the game. By the way, the Maple Leafs’ prospects also hit three goalposts: it might have been a bigger score.
Literally no one had a bad game for the Maple Leafs. All four forward lines were buzzing. The worst critique about the Maple Leafs’ top prospects was that there were a few shaky defensive moments in the first period.
However, on the whole, the game was wide-open, fun-to-watch hockey. The Dallas’ prospects reminded us of the Maple Leafs’ main team prior to last season. They had lots of offensive power, not too much defense. The poor Stars’ goalie got little protection and might actually have been happy when his coach relieved him.
Robertson and Semyon Der-Achintsev were all over the ice tonight. Robertson scored two goals, one into an empty net. SDA assisted on one goal with a nice pass to Robertson from the corner after gathering his own rebound off the post. SDA also assisted on a goal by Noel Hoefenmayer.
Jordan Frasca, a 20-year-old center who scored 15 goals and 28 assists with the Kingston Frontenacs last season, had a great game and had three assists. One assist came on a goal by 6-foot-9 center Curtis Douglas; one on defenseman’s Matt Hellickson’s third goal of the tournament; and, one on a goal by Ryan Chysowski, the former Medicine Hat Tigers’ captain who signed his first professional contract with the Toronto Marlies this past June.
Joseph Duszak, the 24-year-old Marlies’ defenseman, had his best game of the tournament. Like Frasca, he also assisted on three goals – Hellickson’s, 22-year-old defenseman Hoefenmayer’s, and Robertson’s empty netter.
Ian Scott looks better every game. For a young goalie, he’s sound positionally and plays a very calm game. He faced 19 shots in the see-saw first period, and gave up two Dallas power-play goals.
Jeremy Mckenna, the 22-year-old right-winger from PEI, scored his third goal of the tournament and continued his workmanlike play in the corners and in front of the net.
During the first part of the game, neither Mikhail Abramov nor Pavel Gogolev seemed very present on the ice. However, they then combined on a really nice end-to-end rush that resulted in McKenna’s goal.
Future NHL All-Stars Semyon Der-Arguchintsev and Pavel Gogolev. pic.twitter.com/LLGivdAV4Z— Sergei (@berezin_goal) July 29, 2021
Cedric Pare, a 6-foot-4, 22-year-old center who’s spent five seasons in the QMJHL, had one assist; however, he was a key part of the dominant play of Frasca and Chysowski during the game.
At only 5-foot-7, 18-year-old Colby Saganiuk was by far the smallest player in the game. But he can really skate and was buzzing all night. He assisted on Douglas’ goal, which made for some great amusement watching him celebrate with the 6-foot-9 Douglas after the goal.
The Maple Leafs’ prospects played their last game in the tournament in a rematch against the Columbus Blue Jackets’ prospects, who beat them 4-3 in overtime during their first game on Thursday. Tempers flared during the game, and the Blue Jackets’ top prospects scored a wild, 7-6 overtime win over the Maple Leafs’ top prospects.
We’re working on a review of that game for our next post. As a note, because there were no box scores for the game and the video quality was not the greatest, we had to sort out some of the goals and assists ourselves [OK, Stan did the hard work], so these might not be 100% correct every time.
[Note: I want to thank long-time Maple Leafs’ fan Stan Smith for collaborating with me on this post. Stan’s Facebook profile can be found here.]