Oshawa - Sep. 11, 2011 - Former Ottawa 67 and Oshawa General forward, Corey Cowick, propelled his team to victory during the opening contest in the annual NHL Rookie Tournament at the GM Centre in Oshawa, Ontario, on Saturday afternoon with a 4- 0 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
In front of a sparse crowd of approximately 350 spectators, the Ottawa Senators rookies outscored, out-hit and outlasted the Penguins. Goaltender Robin Lehner played the entire 60 minutes for the Ottawa Senators and made many good saves.
At 9:54 of the opening frame, Senators’ forward
Derek Grant wristed a lovely shot into the top right
corner behind Penguins’ goaltender, Patrick Killeen
on a nice feed from Cowick. At 17:08, Cowick tallied his second point of the night after taking a big hit
along the boards in the neutral zone, then drove to
the Pittsburgh net and drilled a rocket of a shot,
top shelf where they keep the peanut butter, behind
Killeen. Ottawa would head to the dressing room
at the end of the first period with a 2-0 lead.
At 2:04 of the second period, the game would witness its first and only boxing match of the afternoon. Senators’ defenseman Mark Borowiecki laid out Penguins’ forward Paul Thompson with a nice open ice hit. Thompson’s teammate, defenseman Alex Grant, immediately came to his defence. Borowiecki came out on top, scoring a narrow decision over Grant.
Both teams got back to playing hockey and finished the second period without scoring another goal. Notable Senators making an impact throughout the first two periods were defensemen, David Rundblad, Jared Cowan and Eric Gryba, goaltender Robin Lehner, and forwards Shane Prince, Mika Zibanejad, Mark Stone and Cowick.
At 9:39 of the final frame, Cowick recorded his second goal and third point of the afternoon, making the game 3-0. Once again, he fired a bullet past Killeen’s glove side. Ottawa would close out the scoring in the third with forward Andre Petersson registering his first goal of the tournament. The game would end 4-0 in favour of the Senators.
The announced three stars of the game were Derek Grant (3rd star), Robin Lehner (with the shutout, 2nd star) and Corey Cowick (with a three-point night, 1st star).
Thoughts from the Cheap Seats
2011 1st Rd Draft Pick, Zibanejad the Real Deal
What caught my eye, were not the slick stickhandling moves that this 18-year old phenom possesses, rather it’s the size, poise and confidence he carries during the game.
In the first period, Zibanejad in Dean Youngblood fashion, jetted down the left side of the rink across the blue line into Pittsburgh’s defensive zone and without even batting a worrisome eye, dropped the puck from his stick to his skate and in one fluid motion kicked the puck to his opposite foot and then back up to his stick, as the opposition approached. He was incredibly tough to move off the puck all afternoon and always seemed to find the open ice.
Zibanejad may need a full year to grow and to learn the North American game in Binghamton, but rest assured you will soon be seeing him in the NHL before too long.
Senator’s next game…
Will be Sunday, September 11th at 2:00 p.m. versus the Chicago Blackhawks at the GM Centre.
Until next time, play every game as if it is your last one…