Prospects Recap: Hurricanes 5, Rangers 3
The Hurricanes’ rookie tournament squad hit the ice at 9:30 a.m. Sunday for a morning skate that looked more like a short, hard training-camp practice than a few minutes on the ice to loosen up the legs. The skate marked the first chance to get a glimpse of what head coach Jeff Daniels has in mind for line combinations for the first game of the tournament.
- Mike Murphy led the team onto the ice for the pre-game warmup at 2:30 p.m. As the reigning Canadian Hockey League goaltender of the year, and two-time Ontario Hockey League goalie of the year, he’s the obvious choice to mind the nets for the Hurricanes in this tournament. Murphy is competing for a job in Albany this season, so the ‘Canes coaches and management will want to see him get a significant amount of time between the pipes. Amateur tryout Alain Valiquette will surely see some time in net during the tournament, Murphy see the lion’s share of shots from Carolina’s opponents.
- Forward Nick Dodge will wear the captain’s “C” for the Hurricanes’ squad. Dodge is one of the oldest and most experienced players in the tournament, having played four years of collegiate hockey at Clarkson before turning professional and playing all 80 regular-season games with Albany in 2008-09.
- Drayson Bowman opened the scoring for Carolina in the tournament, finding the net behind Rangers goaltender Scott Stajcer with 1:40 remaining in the first period. Bowman was the recipient of Chris Terry’s cross-crease pass, set up by linemate Nick Dodge’s speed entering the Rangers’ zone.
- 1-0 Carolina after the first period. Shots: Carolina 13, NY Rangers 8. The Rangers took the only penalty of the period for too many men on the ice, and proceeded to kill off the Hurricanes’ power play despite some great chances by Brandon Sutter and Zach Boychuk.
- After the Rangers scored a somewhat fluky, goal – the puck found its way behind Mike Murphy off the back of the leg of a Carolina defenseman – Matt Kennedy returned the Canes’ one-goal lead late in the second frame. Zach Boychuk put a shot on goal that hit Rangers’ netminder Scott Stajcer in the mask and fell gently to Stajcer’s left. Kennedy then lifted the puck into the net. The goal was ruled unassisted. In an NHL game, where scoring plays are reviewed after each period to check for accuracy, Boychuk likely would have been awarded an assist after the fact as the Rangers never played the puck after Boychuk’s shot.
- 2-1 Hurricanes after two periods. Shots: Carolina 28, NY Rangers 20. Both goalies are playing well, but it’s obvious that Stajcer’s play has kept the Rangers in the game. The Canes’ team speed has helped to generate more quality scoring chances than the Rangers have had. The Rangers’ squad seems determined to play a physical game against what a appears to be a somewhat faster and more skilled Carolina squad.
- Crazy 1:02 of activity from 4:08 to 5:10 of the third. Zach Boychuk made it 3-1 Carolina when he and linemates Harrison Reed and Chris Terry entered the zone with speed and Boychuk buried the puck from the right post (Boychuk was skating with those two after Boychuk’s regular linemates helped kill off the Rangers’ first power play). Rangers forward Ryan Bourque (son of Hall of Fame defenseman Ray Bourque) then notched his first of the tournament 41 seconds later to make it 3-2 Carolina. The Rangers waited just 21 seconds to tie the game 3-3 when center Roman Horak scored. With 14:50 remaining in regulation – it’s a new game.
- After the Hurricanes’ fifth unsuccessful power play of the game, and with the Rangers somewhat winded after killing off the penalty, Jamie McBain made a point-to-point pass to amateur tryout invitee Elgin Reid whose floating point shot found its way through traffic and past Stajcer. The goal came with just 2:25 remaining in regulation. When the Rangers pulled Stajcer for an extra skater, Brandon Sutter scored into the empty net to give the Canes a 5-3 win.
- Final shots: Carolina 40, Rangers 35.