St. Louis Game Time PROSPECT
By Brian Weidler, "Game Time" Prospect Department
St. Louis overcomes opening-day Blues to finish third in Traverse City.
A pair of second-round draft picks -- 2008's Philip McRae (33rd overall) and 2011 choice Ty Rattie (32nd overall) -- played big roles in leading the St. Louis Blues to a strong third-place finish at the 2011 Traverse City Prospect Tournament.
McRae's goal at 18:04 of the third period -- his second of the game, and tournament-leading fourth -- sent yesterday's third-place game with Columbus to overtime, where another 2008 draft pick, Anthony Nigro (155th overall) sent the Blues home with a 4-3 win and the tournament bronze medal.
Stephen Macaulay (164th overall, 2010) also tallied for the Blues yesterday, answering a goal by former Blue jacket first-rounder Ryan Johansen, a teammate of Rattie and Blues' defenseman Brett Ponich at Portland (WHL).
McRae led all scorers in the tournament with a 4-3-7 scoring line (plus-3, 2 PM, 1 PPG) in seven games, and linemate Rattie tied with Johansen for second spot with six points (4 GP, 2-4-6, plus-3, 2 PM, 2 PPG). Nigro (4 GP, 3-0-3, plus-4, 2 PM, 1 SHG, 1 GWG) and 2009 draftee (108th overall) Tyler Shattock (4 GP, 1-2-3, plus-2, 6 PM, 1 GWG) also made strong showings on the scoresheet for the Blues, as did eternal prospect Jay Barriball (4 GP, 2-0-2, plus-3, 14 PM, 1 GWG).
Goalie of the Future ® Jake "The Snake" Allen finished with a 2.97 GAA and 92.0% save percentage, and lead the tournament in minutes played (181:51) and saves (104). Allen surrendered a total of nine goals in three games, winning twice after dropping the tournament opener to the Rangers. 2011 draft pick Jordan "Binnasty" Binnington (88th overall) picked up the other Blues' victory, posting 17 saves on September 11 to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes by a 2-1 score.
Defense prospect Cade Fairchild (96th overall, 2007) put up a nifty plus-5 mark in the tournament, good enough for a third-place tie with Johansen, and Nigro tied with several other players for fifth spot with a plus-4 mark.
Rugged LW prospect Cody Beach (134th overall, 2010) led the tournament with 21 penalty minutes, including fighting majors against Columbus' Dalton Smith (see Fan Shot) and the Rangers' big Dylan McIlrath.
After the jump, a recap of all four games for the Blues in Traverse City, and complete player statistics for the tournament.
Three straight wins after a disappointing opening-day loss.
The Blues made an inauspicious start to the tournament, dropping their opener to the New York Rangers by a 5-2 score. The game, televised on the NHL Network (MSG Network feed), revealed a Blues' squad that had clearly not had much time practicing together, as the Rangers outworked, outskated, and outhit the Blues at every turn. Only Allen's standout performance (31 saves on 36 shots against) kep the Blues in the game.
LINK to box score.
The next game was scheduled for the tenth anniversary of September 11, and the Blues honored the memory of alumnus Ace Bailey and the rest of the victims of that tragic day by posting a 2-1 win over Carolina. After Carolina's Mattias Lindstrom opened the scoring at 9:13 of the first period, Binnington shut the 'Canes down the rest of the way, and a pair of unanswered third-period goals by Ryan Tesink (162nd overall, 2011) and Barriball proved to be the margin of victory.
LINK to box score.
After a day off, the Blues resumed play on Sept. 13 with their strongest offensive showing of the tournament. Nigro struck early, beating Dallas goalie Tyler Beskorowany with an unassisted goal 1:20 into the game, and Shattock added a late goal to give the Blues a 2-1 lead after one period.
Then, the Barriball-McRae-Rattie line took over, combining for the next four goals to power the Blues to a 6-1 shellacking of the Stars. Three of the Blues' goals came with the man advantage, with Fairchild and Mark Cundari joining the Blues' top line to form an effective power-play unit.
LINK to box score.
The tournament scoring system awarded three points for a regulation win, two points for an overtime win, and one point for an overtime loss, so the Blues finished the round-robin portion of the tourney with a 2-1-0 mark and six points, good for second place in the Gretzky Division behind the Rangers at 2-0-1 (seven points). That set up yesterday's match with Howe Division runner-up Columbus.
After a scoreless first period, the teams traded goals and leads through the second and third periods. Macaulay and McRae gave the Blues a 2-1 lead early in the third before goals from Johansen and Oliver Gabriel put the Jackets in front with just over three minutes to play. McRae's second goal of the game with under two minutes to play sent the game into overtime, where Nigro's goal sealed the win for the Blues.
Allen was once again strong in the Blues' goal, turning aside 46 of 49 Blue Jacket blasts to lead the Blues to the win.
LINK to box score.
|38||McRae, Philip||C||4||4||3||7||+ 3||2||1||1||0||0||0||15||.267|
|61||Rattie, Ty||RW||4||2||4||6||+ 3||2||2||0||0||0||0||10||.200|
|54||Nigro, Anthony||C||4||3||0||3||+ 4||2||0||0||1||0||1||9||.333|
|84||Shattock, Tyler||RW||4||1||2||3||+ 2||6||0||0||0||1||1||5||.200|
|82||Fairchild, Cade||C||4||3||0||3||+ 4||2||0||0||1||0||1||9||.333|
|48||Barriball, Jay||RW||4||2||0||2||+ 3||14||0||0||0||0||1||6||.333|
|70||Tesink, Ryan||LW||4||1||0||1||- 1||2||0||0||0||0||0||9||.111|
|81||Macaulay, Stephen||LW||4||1||0||1||- 2||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.500|
|52||Villemaire, Maxime||C||4||0||1||1||+ 1||11||0||0||0||0||0||4||.000|
|67||Veilleux, Yannick||LW||4||0||1||1||+ 1||7||0||0||0||0||0||3||.000|
|72||Beach, Cody||LW||4||0||1||1||- 2||21||0||0||0||0||0||3||.000|
|63||Cundari, Mark||D||3||0||1||1||+ 1||2||0||0||0||0||0||10||.000|
|56||Ponich, Brett||D||4||0||0||0||+ 1||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.000|
|58||Shields, David||D||4||0||0||0||- 1||0||0||0||0||0||0||4||.000|
|19||Della Rovere, Stefan||F||4||0||0||0||- 2||18||0||0||0||0||0||6||.000|
|49||Sackrison, Andrew||C||3||0||0||0||+ 1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||.000|
|53||Therrien, Nicolas||D||3||0||0||0||+ 1||2||0||0||0||0||0||2||.000|