The Blue Jackets opened the 2017 Traverse City Prospect Tournament against the Dallas Stars. And they started the game with their big line…and Abramov (oh c’mon I had to, the next shortest guy on the ice was 6’2″).
It didn’t take long to get on the scoreboard when Paul Bittner opened the scoring by finally netting a goal on his third attempt after cleaning up a Kole Sherwood shot. Just over four minutes later, the Jackets struck again off a goofy sequence when a shot would hit high off the glass and bounce off a shaky all day Landon Bow’s back and in with Monster signing Bobby MacIntyre getting credit for the goal. Back to back penalties to PLD and captain Jordan Maletta gave the Stars 1:11 of five on three power play time and Niklas Hansson hammered a shot to make it 2-1 CBJ.
Late in the first, The Magic Man (Abramov for those of you unsure of his nickname) started what would be a big night for the small Russian. Calvin Thurkauf got a loose puck and fired a shot that was stopped but Vitaly Abramov gathered the puck and slid it around Bow to end the period up 3-1 with the Jackets out shooting Dallas 14 to 7.
The second period staredt off chippy (this game was a bit of a powder keg waiting to happen but it never fully blew) when Stars captain, and two-time CBJ development camp invite, Gavin Bayreuther fired a shot after play was ruled offside. Pierre-Luc Dubois went after him for breaking the unwritten hockey rule. Dubois then stuck when he would take a between the legs pass from Abramov before firing from just above the crease.
The Stars got on the board again with a little help from the Jackets netminder. Due to a misplay by Matiss Kivlenieks, Nick Caamano got credit for the goal though i and others believed given credit for a goal that bounced off the post before finally going into the empty net.)
Just before the break, Abramov struck again when Calvin Thurkauf fired a blast that would be stopped before Abramov gathered the puck and had an empty net to shoot into. The second would end with the Stars on the power play and Jordan Maletta being in the box. In the second period, we had our first fight of the tournament as Kole Sherwood and cousin of Ohio Junior Jacket great Danny Dries Sheldon dropped the gloves out of a full line kerfuffle.
The third was kind of uneventful until a 43 second sequence when the CBJ would finish the touchdown and add the extra point. The Stars pulled their goalie VERY early (like 6 minutes left early) Vitaly Abramov passed to Sam Vigneault and he waited and waited before passing to Paul Bittner who fired from just above the circle for his second of the night. 43 seconds later the Beasts would combine when Calvin Thurkauf (The Swiss Beast) skated down the wing with a defender all over him before sliding a pass to the Dubeast who scored to make it 7-2 Jackets which is how the game would end.
The Jackets outshot the Stars 28 to 21. In the win Matiss Kivlenieks would make 19 for his first win.
-Jordan Maletta is the Jackets Captain in Traverse with probable Monsters teammates Justin Scott and Sam Vigneault serving as his alternate.
-The Jackets top D pair of Gabriel Carlsson and Ryan Collins were solid as expected but unexpectedly led offenses rushes. Fellow giant Doyle Somerby also showed a flash of unexpected skill.
-Jordan Maletta was given Scott Hartnell’s 43 and well he looked a bit like Hartsy against the Penguins as he threw hits and got into scuffles throughout the night.