Two forward prospects not known for their offense stole the spotlight from more high-profile names, and a local product shone in his debut wearing the Bluenote on Saturday in Traverse City.
2014 draftee and grinder C.J. Yakimowicz scored what proved to be the game-winning goal early in the first period, and 2015 draftee and grinder Liam Dunda chipped in an assist on Yakimowicz' goal as well as Colton Parayko's third-period clincher as the "Baby Blues" blanked the New York Rangers' prospects 2-0.
2015 draftee Glenn Gawdin, centering the line with Yakimowicz and Dunda, also earned an assist on the game-winner. The line combined for five points and a plus-6 mark in the victory.
Effingham native and 2015 draftee Luke Opilka was perfect in his Bluenote debut, turning aside all 19 shots from Ranger sticks to earn the shutout and the win. At the other end of the ice, the Blues peppered Rangers' goalie with 22 shots, and captain Parayko led the way with four shots on goal.
Here is the game recap in its entirety, as posted on the Blues' website (LINK):
Game 2 - Blues 2, Rangers 0
The Blues came out playing a much louder brand of hockey against the Rangers on Saturday night. Several players landed board-rattling hits and their offensive creativity produced chances that drew "oohs" and "ahhs" from the crowd. C.J. Yakimowicz got the Blues on the board six minutes into the first period and the club held a 1-0 lead through the second period. An eye-popping slapshot from captain Colton Parayko found the top right corner less than three minutes into the third period and the Blues finished with a 2-0 win. St. Louis native Luke Opilka was perfect between the pipes, stopping 19 shots.
The tournament takes a day off today, but the Blues will resume play on Monday at 2:00 Central against the Minnesota Wild in a game that will determine the second-place finisher in the Ted Lindsay Division.
LINK to Game Two box score at Pointstreak dot com.
LINK to Blues' tournament stats at Pointstreak dot com.
LINK to tournament standings at Pointstreak dot com.