Blue Jackets and Hurricanes prospects shining bright in Traverse City

Callum Booth, left, and Nicolas Roy, right, talk to each other while the floor after being chosen by the Carolina Hurricanes during the fourth round of the NHL hockey draft, Saturday, June 27, 2015, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
AP Photo/Alan Diaz

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — The Columbus Blue Jackets prospects booked a trip to the championship game of the Traverse City Prospects Tournament with a 3-1 win against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday.

There is still another round-robin game on Monday, but with the tournament’s 3-2-1 point format, Columbus can’t be caught and holds the tiebreaker over Minnesota after Saturday’s win.

At the midway point of the tournament, Columbus and the Carolina Hurricanes have had the most impressive showings.

The Blue Jackets have outscored their opponents by a 10-3 margin. Carolina, which will need to clinch a final berth on Monday against the Chicago Blackhawks, have outscored their opponents by a 10-2 edge.

Carolina picked apart the New York Rangers 4-0 on Saturday. The Hurricanes had a 33-19 edge in shots and the score could have been higher if Rangers goalie Alexander Georgiev didn’t have a stellar first period.

It’s been a well-rounded effort for the Hurricanes prospects. Nicolas Roy, Janne Kuokkanen, Andrew Poturalski, Nick Schilkey and Jake Bean all have three points. Martin Necas also has two points in the tournament.

The goaltending has been just as good. After Callum Booth made 34 saves in a 6-2 win against Detroit, Jeremy Helvig stopped all 19 shots he faced against New York.

Bounce back

The St. Louis Blues opened the tournament with a five-goal meltdown against the Minnesota Wild.

On Saturday, they flipped the script and mounted a three-goal comeback against the Dallas Stars in a 7-6 overtime victory.

Dallas led 6-3 in the third period when Klim Kostin, the 31st overall pick in the 2017 NHL draft, scored on the power play with an assist from 2016 first-round pick Tage Thompson.

Two minutes later, Thompson had another power play assist, setting up Jake Walman for a point blast to cut the lead to 6-5.

Thompson then tied the score at 17:31 of the third on an assist from Kostin.

The teams were relatively even in overtime, but the Blues finished off the comeback when Thomas Vannelli scored with 38 seconds remaining.

Odds and ends

  • Sean Allen, a free agent invitee playing for St. Louis, leads the tournament with nine penalty minutes. He’s the only player on the leaderboard who’s only played one game.
  • Blue Jackets winger Vitaly Abramov leads the tournament with 10 shots in two games. He’s tied for the tournament lead with five points, all of which came in one game against Dallas on Friday.
  • St. Louis Blues head coach Mike Yeo helped raise more than $30,000 for Hurricane Harvey relief through a charity auction. He is donating the funds to the American Red Cross. Yeo coached and played in Houston in his career and his two children were born in Texas.
  • Only two teams, Dallas and St. Louis, have started the same goalie in back-to-back games at the tournament. Those teams also have the two lowest save percentages in the tournament. Why the trust in one goalie? Both teams have a free agent invite as the backup.
  • Alex Debrincat scored the goal of the day on a snipe in the third period to lead Chicago to a 4-3 victory against Detroit. The Red Wings are 0-2 and have struggled to put together consistent starts.

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