Oshawa - Sep. 11, 2011 - It was a high scoring affair on day two of the annual tournament at the General Motors Centre in Oshawa with the Ottawa Senators sealing a second straight victory. The Sens scored a 6 - 5 win over the Chicago Blackhawks, while it was a second straight loss for the Blackhawks.
In front of another sparse crowd of approximately 300 diehard hockey fanatics, both clubs played a back-and-forth affair with very little emotion or excitement; that is unless you love a shootout.
Merrimack College graduate and recently signed free agent, Stephane Da Costa led the Senators with a natural hat trick. Mika Zibanejad had another strong game for the Sens, also with a three point effort. Zibanejad centered fellow rookies Shane Prince and Andre Petersson. Each time this line was on the ice, offensive scoring chances were created and made for the most excitement. They were the Sens best line.
Corey Cowick also had another strong showing with particular perfection on the penalty kill. At 12:24 of the first period with defenseman Mark Borowiecki sitting in the sin bin, Cowick fought off two defenders to the right of Chicago goaltender Johan Mattsson, carried the puck out to the hash marks and slid the puck between Mattson’s pad and right post, to give his team a 2 - 1 lead.
Chicago’s second round pick in the 2011 NHL entry draft, forward Brandon Saad, also had a second strong game for the Blackhawks and registered a goal and two assists in the contest.
Senators’ goaltender Robin Lehner was not dressed for the afternoon’s matchup as Matej Machovsky played the entire game. Machovsky is in camp on an amateur tryout with the Senators. Unfortunately for Machovsky, his defenders let him down in the third period that allowed Chicago to make the game much closer than it should have been.
Blackhawks’ forward Jimmy Hayes, originally selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs but traded to Chicago on June 26, 2010, made Machovsky look foolish on Chicago’s fourth goal at 19:30 of the second period. Hayes dipsy-doodled in front of Machovsky stickhandling forehand-backhand-forehand with the puck before roofing it past the crouching Machovsky.
The three stars of the game were Mika Zibanejad (3rd star), Blackhawk Jimmy Hayes (2nd star) and Stephane Da Costa (1st star with the natural hat trick).
Please be sure to read our very own, Our Hometown’s Hockey Country sports columnist Greg Smith for Ottawa Senators’ rookie analysis and commentary.
Thoughts from the Cheap Seats
Shane Prince, 2nd Rd Pick, 61st Overall in 2011 Draft
Shane Prince simply dazzled in game two of the tournament. This 5’11”, 183lb speedy and bone crushing forward played much bigger and heavier than his listed dimensions revealed on the roster sheet. The Ottawa 67’s (OHL) veteran forward was everywhere the puck was in this afternoon’s matchup. His line of Mika Zibanejad and Andre Petersson were nearly unstoppable against the Chicago Blackhawks.
While the Sens lineup may only have one or two open positions heading into training camp later this week, Prince can still play a final season in Ottawa at the junior level. Prince won’t be held back for too long, for if he continues to display the grit, offense and determination he did this afternoon, be sure to look for him with the Senators in the near future.
Senator’s next game…
Will be Tuesday, September 13th at 7:00 p.m. versus the Toronto Maple Leafs at the GM Centre.
Until next time, play every game as if it is your last one…