|FINAL | Rookie Showcase 2018 | Friday September 7, 2018
Place Bell, Laval, QC
Forward lines and defense pairings:
Fonstad – Vejdemo – Teasdale
McShane – Kotkaniemi – Alain
Hagel – Evans – Bitten
Pezzetta – Verbeek/Hillis – Katerinakis
Tyszka – Melancon
Sklenicka – Plant
Moravcik – Brook
Game Report written by Chris G
The Habs had a tough test as they faced the Senators in the opening game of the Rookie Showdown tournament at Place Bell in Laval. There were no athletes who have played in the AHL on Joel Bouchard‘s roster on this night.
There was one goal scored in the first period as Gregor MacLeod capitalized on a mistake by defensemen T.J. Melancon that led to a short handed breakaway. MacLeod set up his teammate Alex Formenton to put the Senators in the lead at the 13:32 mark of the period. Melancon tried to repair his mistake and ended up drawing a high sticking penalty on that same play. The Senators outplayed the Canadiens in that first period and outshot their opponents 14 to 5. Samuel Harvey was solid in that period as the Canadiens netminder.
The Senators continued dominating the Canadiens in the second period. In the first minute, Jesperi Kotkaniemi delivered a big hit on Brady Tkachuk. That didn’t stop Tkachuk from getting back into the play and getting wide open in front of the net to put a puck past Harvey. With 9:26 remaining in the period, Christian Jaros scored with a shot from the point. As scheduled, Harvey was pulled out of the game at that point after making 15 saves, replaced by Stephen Dhillon. With 1:45 remaining in the period, Tkachuk scored his second goal of the game during a 5-on-3 power play to give his team a three-goal lead into the second intermission.
As the game progressed, the physical play between both teams escalated. With 12:49 remaining in the third period, Jake Evans was stretchered off the ice following a hit in the offensive zone by Jonathan Aspirot. Evans was reportedly conscious when he left Place Bell to go to the hospital. Kotkaniemi and Will Bitten mentioned post-game that they didn’t like the hit, while Bouchard didn’t address it and wanted to focus on his player’s health.
Alexandre Alain was the Habs’ best player, while Kotkaniemi struggled in his first game. Bouchard wasn’t surprised that the Canadiens 2018 first-round draft pick had some difficulties in his debut, but was happy that he fought through it and acknowledged his mistakes. The coach also praised his team for not giving up.
The Canadiens face the Maple Leafs on Sunday afternoon at Place Bell.
▲ Alexandre Alain
▼ Jesperi Kotkaniemi, T. J. Melancon
|0 for 4||Power Play||1 for 4|
|NHL Three Stars|
|Post-game interview with Joel Bouchard
Post-game interview with Jesperi Kotkaniemi
Post-game interview with Alexandre Alain
Interviews conducted by Chris G for AHL Report
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