By Brad Vandenberk
The Chicago Jr. Blackhawks continued their rookie tournament in London, Ontario with a Saturday matinee game against the Ottawa Senators. The Sens were winners in their first tournament game on Thursday afternoon, beating the Pittsburgh Penguins prospects, 4-1.
Brandon Whitney played his first game of the tournament in net for the Hawks. Ottawa countered with Andrew Hammond.
Johnny McGuire and Adam Henry also made it into the lineup, replacing Chris Desousa and Bobby Shea.
The opening period had both teams showing off their speed. Joakim Nordstrom looked good once again for the Hawks playing alongside Philip Danault and Mark McNeill. Defenseman Joe Gleason finds a wide open Drew Leblanc, but Hammond keeps the Sens alive.
The Hawks have the entire momentum early on. David Gilbert splits two Ottawa d-men and slides a pass over to Maxim Shalunov, who fires it wide.
The Sens get on the board first when “rookie” Jean –Gabriel Pageau has a puck ricochet off his stick from a Vincent Dunn shot on net; it beats Whitney giving the Sens the 1-0 lead.
The Hawks then get a 2-man advantage and a chance to tie the game. There is a lot of movement on the power play but the Hawks are unable to even the score. Later, explosive defensemen Dillon Fournier, gets run over by Danny Hobbs trying to exit the zone.
The Hawks finally tie it up when Adam Henry comes off the point receiving a pass from Joakim Nordstrom, who fires it off an Ottawa defender’s face and past Hammond. Adam Henry got credit for the goal, as he appeared to tap the puck over the goal line. Que Chelsea Dagger; that’s right, it echoed throughout the Gardens. The period ends with the score tied 1-1, and the Hawks leading in shots 15-9.
When the team’s returned to the ice for the middle frame, it didn’t take long for the first and only fight of the game. Three minutes in, McGuire and Darren Kramer drop the gloves, bringing the crowd to its feet. Kramer took McGuire down with minimal punches thrown.
The Broadhurst brothers were flying around the ice finding each other with passes from tape-to-tape. The penalties began to pile up for either teams, when finally the Sens make the Hawks pay.
NHLer, Pageau, finished a 2-on-1, putting the Sens back in the lead on the power play.
Viktor Svedberg was one Hawk who began to show his frustration and took a roughing penalty. The second period ends with the Sens up 2-1 and the Hawks holding the slight edge on shots 21-19. The Sens changed their goalie half way through the game going with Francois Brassard to finish the contest.
Svedberg opened the third period heading back to the penalty box for interference. During his penalty, Ludwig Karlsson and Peterssen break in on a 2-on-1 and beat Whitney to increase the Sens lead to 3-1.
The big Swede was quick to make up for his ill-fated time spent in the box.
Mark McNeill challenges Ben Harpur on the blue line knocking him down and freeing the puck up. Just then, Phillip Danault grabs the loose puck and breaks in on a 2-on-1 with Svedberg. The giant Swedish defenseman took Danault’s pass and lifted it high blocker side and into the back of the net, cutting the Sens’ lead to 3-2.
With 21 seconds left in the game the Hawks pull Whitney, adding the extra attacker. The Blackhawks take full advantage.
Maxim Shalunov, at the side of the net, puts home a rebound off a Gilbert shot off the post. And overtime is required once again.
Pageau puts on a clinic in OT, dancing around Henry and the Hawks D, but Pageau sends the puck over the net. Garret Ross tried tipping a shot from Gilbert’s stick to no avail. As the 5 minute extra frame begins to retire, Pageau and Mark Stone try and end the game but Whitney saves the attempt forcing another shootout.
Shalunov was the second shooter making a few dekes and beating Brassard giving the Hawks the lead.
Peterssen also scores on Whitney, tying the shootout.
Nordstrom can’t gain a handle on his attempt.
Finally Curtis Lazar beats Whitney giving the Sens the victory 4-3.
–Alex and Terry Broadhurst were very noticeable playing together with Byron Froese. They seemed to have the puck on their stick all afternoon.
–David Gilbert drew penalties and used his speed to get around defensemen and had the game tying goal come off his stick.
–Mark McNeill and Philip Danault play well together. They are developing a great chemistry during this tournament.
–Dillion Fournier is going to be a treat for the Hawks in the future. He is very poised on the blue line and can take it to a different level if he so chooses.
J. Nordstrom P. Danault M. McNeill
G. Ross D. Leblanc P. Mullane
M. Shalunov D. Gilbert J. Mcguire
A. Broadhurst T. Broadhurst B. Froese
D. Fournier D. Olsen
A. Henry V. Svedberg
T. Brown J. Gleason
The final game of the tournament with see the Hawks play the Penguins on Sunday at 2pm.
Follow me on twitter at @CMM_Brad for in game tweets.