Rookie tournament recaps: Sunday, September 12

Since we’re all hungry for something resembling real hockey, here’s the rundown of today’s action at the rookie tournaments going on across North America. That makes it sound sexy, doesn’t it?

Traverse City Tournament – Traverse City, Michigan

Minnesota 5 – Columbus 1

Oliver Gabriel scored first for Columbus, but it was all Minnesota after that. Casey Wellman had a goal and an assist and goalie Darcy Kuemper stopped 24 shots. Columbus has lost both games so far in the tournament, meanwhile the Wild are rolling right along and playing great, something good to see from a team whose farm system is seemingly a bit lacking.

Dallas 4 – St. Louis 1

The Stars’ rookies bounced back after dropping their first game of the tournament nicely, putting up four goals. Tristan King had a goal and an assist for Dallas, meanwhile goalie Tyler Beskorowany made 26 saves in the win. St. Louis’ Josh Shalla had their only goal. Blues prospect Stefan Della Rovere, obtained from Washington in the D.J. King trade got on the board with a fight.

Carolina 1 – NY Rangers 0

Carolina’s impressive tournament continues and in dramatic fashion as Zac Dalpe scored the game-winning goal with under a minute left the third period to give the Hurricanes the win. Mike Murphy stopped 33 shots in getting the shutout for Carolina. Cam Talbot stopped 25 of 26 shots for the Rangers in the effort.

Tampa Bay 4 – Detroit 3 (F/SO)

It was the game that wouldn’t end… Until the 16th round of the shootout. Tampa’s Matt Butcher finally ended the marathon shootout. James Wright had a goal and an assist for Tampa Bay while Tomas Tatar continues to be impressive for Detroit adding a goal and assist for the Red Wings.

London Prospects Tournament – London, Ontario

Ottawa 7 – Chicago 3

The Senators were down 3-1 at one point in this game, but rattled off six unanswered goals to take out the Blackhawks. Seven different goal scorers hit the sheet for the Senators while goalie Brandon Foote stopped 26 shots in the win.

Pittsburgh 2 – Toronto 1

Dustin Jeffrey scored the game-winner late in the second for Pittsburgh as the Pens won this one in a lively, fight-filled affair. Brayden Irwin scored for Toronto. Former Northeastern goalie Brad Thiessen got the win for the Penguins while former Cornell standout Ben Scrivens took the hard-luck loss. Leafs prospect Nazem Kadri was held out due to injury precautions.

Young Stars Tournament – Penticton, British Columbia

Edmonton 4 – Vancouver 1

This game was all about the Oilers troika of young stars as Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall and Magnus Paajarvi all suited up for Edmonton and didn’t disappoint. Paajarvi scored two goals while Eberle scored a goal and an assist while Hall assisted Eberle’s tally to lead the way. How big a deal was this in Penticton to see this collection of talent? A sold-out crowd of 5,200 packed in to watch it. Not bad.

San Jose 4 – Anaheim 1

Experienced rookie Benn Ferriero had three assists for the Sharks as they took out their California rivals. Ferriero, a former Boston College standout, played in more than a handful of games for the Sharks last year and he’ll be hoping to crack the Sharks lineup full-time this year rather than ride the San Jose-Worcester shuttle all season.

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    Video: Getzlaf, Perry, Kesler lose cool in scuffle with Kassian, Oilers

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    In the first round, Zack Kassian reminded the hockey world why he came into the league with considerable hype as a first-rounder, as he scored some big goals for the Edmonton Oilers.

    Of course, there’s a reason why Kassian has 522 penalty minutes in 313 career regular-season games. He can be a nasty presence who straddles the line.

    He did as much late in Game 1, getting into it with Ryan Kesler, and then things really got out of hand. Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and others were involved in “histrionics.”

    (Who wants to start a Patreon to find out what Getzlaf and Andrej Sekera were saying to each other, by the way?)

    It looks like the players involved were only whistled for roughing minors rather than fighting majors. This caps a tough night for Anaheim, who lost 5-3 and saw Kevin Bieksa suffer a troubling lower-body injury.

    King Leon: Draisaitl collects four points vs. Ducks to give Oilers a Game 1 win

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    So far, the Edmonton Oilers had been showing that they can win tight, low-scoring playoff games. And then the third period of Game 1 against the Anaheim Ducks happened.

    The two teams entered the final frame tied 1-1, with smaller breaks and bounces being the story. Then just about everything happened in the third, with Leon Draisaitl guiding the Oilers to a 5-3 win to take a 1-0 series lead.

    Draisaitl ended up with a goal and three assists, extending his point streak to three games (seven points during that span).

    He wasn’t the only Oilers player to raise some eyebrows, and actually, the other two starring members were a lot more surprising. Mark Letestu seemed to make the early difference with two power-play goals, while low-scoring defenseman Adam Larsson found the net twice, including on the game-winner.

    Phew, that’s a lot to absorb, right? This video captures the wildest scoring stretch of that period, even if there would be more:

    While Connor McDavid hasn’t been bad, he’s been quiet – by his lofty standards – so far in the Oilers’ run, and that was mostly true on Wednesday. He ended up with a mere secondary assist in this one,

    Yet, that might just be part of the good news for the Oilers. They advanced after McDavid had spotty series against the Sharks, and they just gave the Ducks their first postseason loss of 2017 with Draisaitl and others stealing the headlines.

    Things got nasty at the end of this game, with key Ducks such as Ryan Getzlaf being prominently involved. Such moments make it clear that Anaheim isn’t likely to bow out of this one easily (and perhaps not gracefully?) but that should only make for a captivating Game 2.

    That Game 2 airs Friday at 10:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN; you can watch online or via the NBC Sports App. Click here for the livestream link.

    Keep an eye on Oilers’ Slepyshev (the Ducks certainly should)

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    The breaks and breakaways frequently went the Edmonton Oilers’ way as they eliminated the San Jose Sharks in Game 6 of their first-round series. Those results have been more of a mixed bag for Edmonton against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 1 tonight, though.

    Anton Slepyshev is a great example of those ups and downs.

    In Game 6 against the Sharks, Slepyshev used his speed to score a breakaway tally that ended up being the game-winner. (See here for those friendly breakaways.)

    Slepyshev’s been burning the Ducks with his speed on Wednesday, but the Oilers have been burned in the process. For one thing, John Gibson turned aside this big chance shortly after Ryan Getzlaf gave Anaheim a 1-0 lead:

    Later on in that same second period, Slepyshev got a step on the Ducks defense again. This time, he didn’t just fail to score; he took a goalie interference penalty for bumping Gibson.

    With Ryan Nugent-Hopkins being among those hitting posts, it might feel like it’s all against the Oilers this time around, but crossbars/postsanother theme from Edmonton’s Game 6 win vs. San Jose – have more or less balanced out.

    And, one break really went Edmonton’s way: a Ducks defender broke his stick on the Oilers’ 5-on-3 opportunity, opening the door for a crucial Mark Letestu goal:

    The end result is a 1-1 tie, but give the Oilers credit for not getting rattled. If Slepyshev can keep up his efforts, his speed could be a factor in a series that looks like it could be a real tug-o-war.

    Jake Allen takes blame for Predators’ game-winner vs. Blues

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    Let’s be honest: the St. Louis Blues owe a lot to Jake Allen‘s work against the Minnesota Wild in that first-round series.

    He probably bought himself a significant amount of goodwill for that outstanding work, but Allen isn’t resting on his laurels. He admitted that “a little mistake by me cost” the Blues the 4-3 decision against the Predators, leaving St. Louis down 1-0 to Nashville.

    The goal in question was Vernon Fiddler‘s unlikely 4-3 tally, which came after an unsuccessful poke check attempt by Allen:

    Now, to be fair, that wasn’t even the only failed poke check that turned into a goal, as Pekka Rinne also got beat after making such an attempt:

    Then again, Allen is wise to score points with teammates for taking the blame. As far as his team, head coach Mike Yeo believes that it was the second period that really made the difference.

    Regardless, Allen and the Blues hope to carry over the momentum from their third-period dominance in Game 1 to Game 2 to tie the series 1-1.

    That contest airs on NBCSN at 8 p.m. ET on Friday. (You can also watch online and via the NBC Sports App; here’s the livestream link.)