The Blue Jackets closed the round robin portion of the 2017 Traverse City Prospect Tournament with a spot in the championship game already clinched. Due to this fact, the Jackets rested its top D pair of Ryan Collins and Gabriel Carlsson.
And the Blues capitalized. They opened the scoring when Adam Musil scored in the slot. Just over a minute later, Pierre-Luc Dubois would strike when Calvin Thurkauf fired a shot that snapped off Stephen Dhillion’s mask with PLD picking up the rebound to make it 1-1. The Jackets outshot the Blues 16 to 9 in a chippy period.
The second period would start off rough for the CBJ. They took three penalties in a five minute period before the Blues would take a penalty and give the Jackets a small power play. Calvin Thurkauf drew the ire of the Blues when he leveled Jordan Kyrou which led to a kerfuffle. And that would lead to the Blues upping the physical play…not that they needed any help with that. During a Blues power play, Adam Musil jumped Thurkauf and dropped his gloves but Thurkauf would not engage, although Dubois and Jacob Graves would find dance partners with PLD earning a coincidental minor. A scary moment in the second when defenseman Scott Savage took a puck to the face after it rode up his stick and hit him. The Blues struck on a power play off a deflected shot that d-man Jake Walman got credit for. The shots ended up tied at seven for the second period.
The third period was a sloppy affair as was most of the game before Mackenzie MacEachern went to the box. While on the power play, Paul Bittner scored his third of the tournament off a bang bang tic tac toe play to tie the game at two. Late in the third, Blues first round pick Tate Thompson skated down the wing and fired a shot past Matiss Kivlenieks to make it 3-2. Kivlenieks would spend the last two minutes on the bench but neither team would score. The game ended with score of 3-2 even though the Jackets out shot the Blues 33-23. Matiss Kivlenieks would take the loss, making 20 saves.
As for tomorrow, the Jackets opponent is still to be determined as of this writing. Either way, the Blue Jackets will play at 7pm tomorrow night. The Jackets will try for their 3rd championship in four years along with being an all time high 5th championship.
— Calvin Thurkauf and Paul Bittner continued their strong Tournaments with Thurkauf currently tied for the points lead along with having the tournament lead in assists.
— Nathan Billitier made his tournament debut with Carlsson and Collins sitting.
— I know it has to do with his style of play but PLD will need to work on his discipline, especially with Torts as his coach.