Sept. 23, 2015 –
Source: Jen Fuller/Getty Images North America
The CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects game dropped the puck for the 4th straight year Thursday night. The game has become a showcase for United States prospects looking to be drafted this coming June. Many 1st round talents have come through this game and shined, this year should be the same.
The scoring started early Thursday at First Niagara Center as Luke Kunin scored 27 seconds into the game for Team Roenick. Kunin is a center for the Universty of Wisconsin. The goal set a record for the fastest goal in All-American Prospect history.
Next, London forward Max Jones would answer for Team Plante. Jones recently ended up at number 10 in TSN’s Bob McKenzie’s early NHL Draft rankings. Jones is a smart sniper who will look to climb the OHL scoring race.
Late in the 1st another OHLer scored. Sault Ste. Marie forward Tim Gettinger tipped in a shot from the high slot that sneaked by Evan Sarthou to give Team Roenick the 2-1 lead.
Gettinger and Jones were two prospects who really stood out in the first. Speed is a big factor to have in this showcase game, and this duo can move. Creating space and making plays will certainly stand out to the scouts.
Last year the game was a high scoring affair, so the 2nd period will need to produce in order to live up to expectations.
Another note in the 1st period, London Knights goaltender, and Team Roenick starter, Tyler Parsons left the game after taking a shot off the collarbone. He did not return.
The 2nd period started very quiet with little chances. Evan Sarthou had quite the game. The Tri-City Americans goalie stopped very close chances. Ryan Edquist backed him up.
He was replaces after Team Plante tied the game at the other end of the ice. JD Greenway, brother of 2015 draftee Jordan Greenway, came along the boards and made a terrific cross ice pass to Trent Fredieric who had an empty net to shoot at. JD Greenway is still uncommitted coming into the game, but I would not be surprised if he ends up somewhere after his game tonight.
Late in the 2nd we saw the pace pick up. Team Plante tied up the game with a cross crease goal. Willie Knierim was able to lift the puck over to Logan Brown who had a nice one time shot past Stephen Dhillon.
Knierim is headed to Miami University and Logan Brown will return to the OHL with the Windsor Spitfires after tonight.
Team Roenick then stormed back with two straight goals in quick succession with goals from the same line that scored the first one.
One of many London Knights on the rosters, Matthew Tkachuk buried his own rebound on his knees after a pass into the slot from Luke Kunin. Kunin had great vision to quickly turn around and find his man while defenders closed in on him.
More from Frozen Futures
The next faceoff came and Kunin won the draw. He stood his ground and trusted his teammates in Chad Krys and Matthew Tkachuk to work the puck up to the blueline.
Tkachuk was able to squirt the puck to Kunin who then had a burst of speed to get in alone with Edquist, get the puck in the net and give Team Roenick the 4-3 lead.
On to the 3rd.
Max Jones proved to everyone that, no matter what, he has a helluva shot. Early in the 3rd Jones had the puck close to his body and was at a bad angle; however, Jones was able to rip a HARD shot off into Dhillon. Jones had the same opportunity later in the 3rd, but this time he finished the job tying the game with his 2nd of the game. 4-4 .
The game looked as if it were headed for overtime. Then Boston University comitt Charlie McAvoy game down the right side and around the net where he found Boston College defenseman Luke McInnis who put the puck by Dhillon. Kieffer Bellows would then add an empty net goal.
So Team Plante takes the game 6-4, but Team Roenick takes home the line of the night with their first line of Matthew Tkachuk, Luke Kunin and Joey Anderson. The best player on Team Plante was Max Jones. His shot alone could net him plenty of goals this season, but he also brings speed and agility to the table.
The Most Outstanding Player Award went to the defenseman who scored the game winner. Luke McInnis, a Boston College product. A rather odd decision considering two players in Luke Kunin and Max Jones had multi goal games tonight.
All 42 players now will go off to their respective teams and leagues where they will look to reach the goal of hearing their name called this June right back in Buffalo, NY at the 2016 NHL Draft.