The Rookie Tournament is over as your Ottawa Senators rookies battled the rookies from the Toronto Maple Leafs organization last night. In a match of undefeated teams, to the winner went the bragging rights. In a very physical battle, the game showed the drafting and team philosophies of each team at work. With the skill that Ottawa has drafted and developed, Toronto brought their truculence to the ice.
With the intensity level high as the rookies embraced the Battle of Ontario spirit, the Sens struck first. Stephane Da Costa continued to display his deadly shot as he found a loose puck in the offensive zone and buried it. With his fourth goal in the tournament, Da Costa is primed for Ottawa’s main training camp.
Ottawa increased their lead over the Blue team as some good work down low by Louie Caporusso paid off as he centered the puck for a streaking Jakub Culek to put Ottawa ahead 2-0. Hoping to take their lead into the third period, Toronto managed to blast one by Robin Lehner and end his shutout streak.
With Toronto pushing to tie the game, they scored their second power play goal of the game early in the third as a seeing eye shot found its way past Lehner. With the game tied, the future of the franchise, Mika Zibanejad worked his magic and roofed a back-hander to put the Sens up 3-2 with time running out in the third. Throwing everything they had at Ottawa, the Leafs pulled their goalie and pulled off a great tic-tac-toe passing play to tie the game with under a minute to go.
Four-on-four overtime presented many exciting moments as both teams took some risks to end the game. One of the Sens most underrated prospects, Mark Stone sent the Oshawa crowd home as he deked out half the Leafs on the ice and snapped the winner home. The final was a 4-3 overtime win for the good guys.
+ The Pluses +
+ STEPHANE DA COSTA is on fire. With his fourth goal in two games, Da Costa is making Sens management look really good. Dominating this tournament was his first step in hopefully making the Ottawa roster.
+ MIKA ZIBANEJAD flashed his magic and showed how he can impact a game. He showed well in his Sens debut and looks ready for main training camp.
- The Minuses -
- There are no minuses when you beat the Blue Team.
*First Star ~ MARK STONE ~ with a amazing goal, Stone netted the game winner.
**Second Star ~ MIKA ZIBANEJAD ~ flying all game and never backing down, Z-Bad looked dangerous all night.
***Third Star ~ STEPHANE DA COSTA ~ continued his hot streak and looks confident on the ice.
Ottawa ends the tournament with a perfect 3-0 record and proved that the future is a little bit brighter. All the rookies from the tournament will now move on to Ottawa’s main training camp as the roster was released today. Camp kicks off on Friday and Ottawa’s first pre-season game will be on Monday as they suit up again against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
**Don’t forget to get your Tickets for SenShot’s Alfie Night in Ottawa on November 11th, 2011. Early Bird tickets are still available for a limited time. Click here for more details**
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