Prospect Tournament Game Highlights: Red Wings 3 Blackhawks 2
The Red Wings beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in a fast paced, exciting, entertaining game that included 2 Anthony Mantha goals, 2 fights, and a very happy Wings team. the Wings now have 6 points in the tournament and with a win against the Dallas Stars on Monday can secure their appearance in the championship game on Tuesday. The first game rust and jitters were completely gone this afternoon and both teams came ready to play. It was an exciting and eventful game in which the Wings were both dominant and struggling to keep up with the Hawks.It was a good test for the rookie Wings team, especially the defense, but that's what this tournament is about, playing tough competition of your peers and learning from it.
72 Andreas Athanasiou - 71 Dylan Larkin - 39 Anthony Mantha
59 Tyler Bertuzzi - 83 Tomas Nosek - 37 Evgeny Svechnikov
54 Nick Betz - 78 Dominic Turgeon - 62 Zach Nastasiuk
82 Evan Polei - 80 Conor McGlynn - 85 Kurt Etchegary
75 Andrew Prochno - 51 Robbie Russo
53 Joe Hicketts - 97 Jalen Chatfield
64 Ty Stanton - 28 Vili Saarijarvi
Power Play (Then Wings had one power play the entire game)
Andreas Athanasiou - Anthony Mantha - Tyler Bertuzzi
Robbie Russo - Dylan Larkin
Zach Nastasiuk - Tomas Nosek - Evgeny Svechnikov
Joe Hicketts - Vili Saarijarvi
Penalty Kill (6 minor penalties = plenty of PK time to go around)
Tomas Nosek - Zach Nastasiuk
Vili Saarijarvi - Ty Stanton
Dylan Larkin - Anthony Mantha
Jalen Chatfield - Joe Hicketts
Andreas Athanasiou - Tyler Bertuzzi
The Wings came out a little slow for the first couple minutes of the game and Chicago had a couple dangerous scoring chances. However Jake Paterson, once again, came up big and gave his team the chance to get going. Coach Todd Nelson changed up his lines for this game and it took only 4 minutes for the line of Andreas Athanasiou, Dylan Larkin, and Anthony Mantha to score a goal and put the Wings up 1-0. That line was killer all game long and I am completely in love with it, putting AA and Larkin together isn't even fair to the other team, they have so much speed and and skill it's not even fair, plus their speed and pace help keep Mantha going and engaged. They made a killer top line and Mantha's 2 goals, Larkin's 2 assists, and Athanasiou's assist are all proof of that. But the newfound chemistry didn't stop with the top line, 36 seconds later, the newly formed line of Tyler Bertuzzi, Tomas Nosek, and Evgeny Svechnikov paid dividends and Nosek scored to put the Wings up 2-0 on the Hawks. The Blackhawks took one penalty in the period and the Wings took two and their second penalty kill carried over into the 2nd period.
The 2nd period didn't contain any goal scoring but it did feature 2 fights, a whole lot of action, and Jake Paterson stopping 2 breakaway attempts from the Hawks. The Wings took two minor penalties in the second period, a bench minor for too many men and Joe Hicketts for slashing and the Blackhawks outshooting the Wings 10-6 is thanks in large part to their power plays. The Wings penalty killers were up for the task though and successfully killed them both off. The Hawks had more chances in the second than they did in the first but Jake Paterson told them to go take a long walk off a short pier, no way were they getting one past him. As the period progressed, each of the Wings lines got better and Larkin's line was just everywhere doing everything. Watching Athanasiou and Larkin in full flight pass the puck and move it up ice is stunning, and Anthony Mantha had a great game playing beside them. The first fight of the period was between Ty Stanton and Sam Jardine after Jardine took Evgeny Svechnikov down on a nasty elbow to the head then trip him move. Stanton dropped the gloves with Jardine and got a couple swing in before they both fell to the ice. It wasn't much of a fight but I appreciate Stanton sticking up for Chevy and I'm glad he threw down. The second fight happened 10 minutes later when Jardine hit Evan Polei up high (in the head area) and Polei didn't appreciate it. This fight was 40 seconds of throwing punches and Polei received a standing ovation and loud cheers from the packed Centre Ice Arena crowd. Since this was Jardine's second fight of the game, he got a 10 minute game misconduct and was ejected.
The Hawks increased pressure in the 3rd period trying to get on the scoreboard and the Wings spent more time being hemmed in their own zone than they should have, thank both to the Hawks pressure and the Wings green defense being overwhelmed. Dylan Larkin took a frustrated hooking penalty 6:38 into the period and the ensuing Hawks power play encouraged their already increasing pressure. Just over halfway through the period the Hawks snapped Jake Paterson's 112 minute shutout when Tyler Hore picked up his own rebound as Paterson slid out too far and put the puck into the empty net behind him. With two minutes left, Dylan Larkin passed the puck to Anthony Mantha in the wings zone and Mantha went powering up ice and shot the puck through Austin Lotz to give the Wings a 3-1 lead. To keep things interesting, with 30 seconds left in the game, Robbie Russo got called for the penalty I hate most in hockey, delay of game- puck over the glass. The Hawks were on the power play and pulled their goalie and scored their second and final goal 25 seconds later.
The Wings took 6 minor penalties vs the Hawks 1, and the Hawks are a much more skilled team than the Carolina Hurricanes and both those things contributed to the Wings having a tougher game. This tournament is a challenge and we knew coming into it that our defense was very young and inexperienced so this is an opportunity for great learning and growth.
As a reward for their two wins and all the hard work the boys have put in, Coach Nelson has cancelled the team's Sunday practice, and there are no games scheduled either. A day of rest in the midst of 4 games in 5 nights is much needed and a welcome reprieve I'm sure. The Wings are back at in on Monday night at 7 pm when they take on the Dallas Stars.