By Brad Vandenberk
On a day when the NFL started its 2011-12 season in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the Chicago Blackhawk prospects were at it again in game 2 of the annual Prospect Tournament in Oshawa, Ontario. This time the opponents were the Ottawa Senators.
Johan Mattsson was the starter between the pipes for this match. Shawn Lalonde, Ryan Stanton, Peter Leblanc, Andrew Shaw and Rob Flick were on the ice for the opening faceoff. [Sunday’s complete line up]
The teams wasted no time getting started. As in the previous contest against the Leafs, the Hawks found themselves trailing early. 5:01 into the opening frame, Ottawa’s Andre Petersson found the back of the net with a backhand over Mattsson’s pad, making it 1-0.
It didn’t take the Hawks long to get the equalizer. 39 seconds after the Sens’ opening tally, Flick won a faceoff in the Sens’ zone. Shaw got the puck and set Peter Leblanc up in the slot. With a quick shot over the blocker of the Senators netminder, Matej Machkovsky, it was 1-1.
Chicago drew the first penalty of the game when Ottawa was sent off for Interference. Although this was suppose to be the Hawks’ chance to show their power play, they were quickly fooled by a short handed goal by Ottawa’s crafty forchecker, Corey Cowick. Mattsson was out of position trying to play the puck which ended up on a Sens’ stick and then to the back of the net making it 2-1.
Still on their power play, the Hawks soon after made no mistake and found the back of Ottawa’s net. Phillip Danault put a shot on the net with Brandon Saad there to knock in the rebound tying the game at deuces.
Not to be outdone, with 8 seconds remaining in the opening period, Saad scored his second goal of the period. With a point shot from Joe Lavin, Saad found the puck in traffic at the front of the net. The puck went high over the goaltender, giving the Hawks a 3-2 lead at period’s end.
The head coach must have made one heck of a pep talk during intermission because the Senators came out flying to open the 2nd period. Just 1:47 into the 2nd, Ottawa defensemen, Stephane DaCosta walked in from the point and put a high shot on net, beating Mattsson; tying it up at 3-3.
Not even a minute later Simon Danis-Pepin was called for tripping. The Senators were dominant on this power play attempt. With 15 seconds left in the penalty, DaCosta again, let a slap shot go from the point, which eluded Mattsson, giving Ottawa the lead with 15:35 remaining in the period.
Later, Mattsson was run over by Ottawa forward Matt Puempel, who got sent to the box for goaltender interference.
During the Hawks power play, Mattsson decided to play the puck out of the trapezoid, sending a Hawks player to the box for a delay of game penalty. As both teams come to even-strength, Ottawa’s DaCosta walks in from the point, once again, letting a low slap shot go. A screened Mattsson could not see a thing. The tally gave DaCosta the natural hat trick. This puts the Sens up 5-3 with 11:08 remaining in the second period.
Again, with under a minute to go in the period the Hawks would strike again. First, a Senators forward headed to the box for slashing with 1:23 left to play. Lalonde controlled the puck at the point, sent it over to the right wing to Saad who found Jimmy Hayes alone in front. Hayes had lots of time to quickly go forehand/backhand and put the puck in the top shelf with 30 seconds remaining on the clock. The teams headed to their dressing rooms with the Senators up by a goal; 5-4.
The start of the 3rd period did not live up equal the pace set in the beginning of the second. However, Mattsson did display why he was drafted by the Hawks this year, with some great saves. The Hawks did get another attempt on a power play, but could not tie the game.
At the 3:17 mark of the 3rd period Ottawa regained their 2 goal lead with a shot from Mika Zibanejad that trickled its way passed Mattsson, making the score 6-4. 30 seconds later Hayes was again “Jimmy” on the spot. With a Joe Lavin point shot that bounced to Leblanc who found Hayes at the side of the net for the easy tally. This put the Hawks just 1 goal back with 2:49 remaining in the game.
The Hawks called a time out to design a play that would tie this game and send it into OT. But, as the announcement was about to be called out “one minute remaining in this period,” Phillip Danault was accused of tripping and sent off putting the Hawks down a man again. The game ended with the Ottawa Senators winning the game 6-5 and making the Chicago Blackhawks 0-2 in this tournament.
The 3 stars for the game were:
3. Mika Zibanejad
2. Jimmy Hayes
1. Stephane DaCosta
Brandon Saad had a huge game with 2 goals and 1 assist. He was not mentioned as one of the 3 stars.
Jimmy Hayes showed he can be a big force in front of the net with 2 nice goals down low.
Joe Lavin gave a great defensive performance, again, while adding another assist.
Shawn Lalonde showed his maturity with another strong effort. He also added an assist on the power play tally by Hayes.
Rob Flick had a very noticeable game. He had a few chances, especially one that hit the post.
Coach Ted Dent kept his lines the same throughout the game, allowing his players to gain some chemistry.
The Hawks were 1 for 4 on the power play.
The Senators outshot the Hawks 34-27.
There were a few Hawks who were not dressed for the game: Jeremy Morin did not play for the second straight game. Philippe Paradis was also not in the line-up. He left Saturday night’s game versus Toronto with an injury and did not return. Other scratches Sunday were Chris DiDomenico and Dylan Olsen. This allowed Neil Manning, Peter Leblanc and Paul Zanette a chance to impress.
The Hawks will now get a day to rest, but will be on the ice Monday for an open practice at the General Motors Center.
The last game for the Hawks will take place Tuesday afternoon at 2pm against the 0-2 Pittsburgh Penguins.