Rookie Tourney Game #3: Leafs vs. Sens, The Conclusion

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    Photo Credit: mapleleafs.nhl.com

    The Leaf rookies finished the tournament with an unfortunate loss against Ottawa. The game ended in OT after Jakub Culek beat Owuya for his second tally of the night. All in all, it was an encouraging showing from the young Leafs, who battled to come from behind twice only to fall short in OT.

    Matt Frattin was building confidence throughout the tournament, and it was evident last night. Here is what he had to say about his goal, which was also his first point of the tourney:

    “The last two years I’ve been playing the point on the blueline in North Dakota. I moved back down there today and I told Gardiner I like that one side. I got him to shoot me a perfect pass right on the sweet spot and it was a good screen from Nicholls out in front and the goalie didn’t see anything.”

    Even though Owuya had 4 pucks pass him, I still thought he had a very impressive showing. Sure, the rebound control can’t be perfect after two games in North America, but he did flash the leather for some spectacular saves on a couple of occasions in a game that was pretty much shoot first, ask questions later type of ordeal.

    Clarke also had a good evening as he was fairly effective with a good scrap early on and a HUGE open ice hit on Peterson. Speaking of fights, Borowiecki and Devane went at it in the second and knocked each other out cold.

    Sondre Olden didn’t exactly look miles better game in and game out, something that’s not easy to do when you’re playing solid hockey throughout the tournament, but he did grab his first goal (PP) in the third period after his sneaky wrister from the top of the circle went past Lehner.

    The likes of Greg McKegg, Jesse Blacker and Jake Gardiner were once again highly impressive. Blacker’s game has really rounded out. He’s better defensively, works harder and will be an asset for years to come. Mitchell Heard finished the tournament with four points which tied with McKegg for the team lead. Atta boy.

    To conclude, I think we can all be happy with what the kids have shown in the three games played. Some new names popped up for the hype machine and some marquee names impressed, but what I’m most happy about is the fact that I don’t think anyone disappointed or underachieved by a huge margin. The future looks really bright, and I’m happy we took a moment to gaze at it.

    Here are the highlights from MapleLeafs.com. Also, be sure to check out Garrett’s piece about Schenn’s (hopefully upcoming) new deal.

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