The Blues' entry in the 2015 Traverse City Prospect Tournament got off to a rocky start on a rather auspicious date. The Columbus Blues Jackets' prospects -- most drafted by Jarmo Kekalainen and John Davidson -- took it to the "Baby Blues" on September 11 by a final score of 5-2.
Here is the game recap in its entirety, as posted on the Blues' website (LINK):
Game 1 - Blue Jackets 5, Blues 2
The Blues got off to a sluggish start in their first tournament outing, conceding the game's first goal on their opening shift. However, the Blues' battery was jumped halfway through the first period when captain Colton Parayko went on an end-to-end rush and gave the Blue Jackets' goaltender his first real test. Shortly after, Columbus took their second penalty of the period and the Blues capitalized. From the right-side boards, Parayko fed Robby Fabbri in the slot, who saucered a backhander to Samuel Blais, who deposited the puck beneath the crossbar and tied the game at 1-1.
The Blues' momentum carried over to the second period as they grabbed a 2-1 lead after St. Louis-born Zach Pochiro tipped in Dmitrii Sergeev's slapshot from the point. Penalties stymied their progress, though, as Columbus converted twice with a 5-on-3 advantage and carried a 3-2 lead into the third period.
St. Louis was unable to recover in the final stanza. The Blue Jackets added two more goals, including an empty-netter, to secure a 5-2 win.
The game report posted on the Pointstreak.com site (LINK) credits only Jaedon Descheneau with an assist on Blais' goal. They do get Sergeev's assist on Pochiro's goal, however.
2011 draftee Niklas Lundström got the start for the Blues in net, turning aside 29 of 33 Columbus shots in 59:49 of ice time. Tryout defenseman Darren Raddysh was the only Blues' prospect to post a positive (plus-1) on the plus/minus board, with first-liners Blais, Robby Fabbri, Jordan Schmaltz and captain Colton Parayko all posting a minus-2 for the game.
The Blues managed just 22 shots against Columbus netminder Joonas Korpisalo; Blais led the way with five shots on goal for the 'Note, while Parayko sent four shots Korpisalo's way.
The Blues will take on the New York Rangers' prospects (the "Baby Blueshirts") today at 6:30 PM Central Time. The Rangers also dropped a 5-2 decision yesterday, to the Minnesota Wild. Tryout goalie Jacob Smith took the loss for New York, and will probably give way to another goaltending tryout, Taylor Dupuis, for tonight's game.