TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – Another beautiful day in Traverse City. Another opportunity for the young players in attendance to make an impression at the 2021 Traverse City Prospects Tournament. For the young men of the Columbus Blue Jackets, that message was heard loud and clear on Sunday night.
Essentially, for the most part, they understood the assignment. Find consistency and you will succeed. And succeed they did, notching a blowout 7-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. How did they get there, though?
One thing the Blue Jackets did early and often on Sunday night’s marquee matchup was score goals. Out of the four goals scored in the first, three of them belonged to the Blue Jackets.
The first belonged to Peter Reynolds, a free-agent invite, who was involved in what was basically a four-on-one rush. The play started with a turnover by Hayden Verbeek, thanks to some stellar board work by Stanislav Svozil. A rush down ice, a few passes around, and Reynolds knocked it home at just 2:34 into the game.
About three minutes later, a short-handed goal would expand their lead to 2-0. Kirill Tyutyayev mishandled a pass from Chase Pearson, which bounced right onto the stick of Yegor Chinakhov. He took off towards Detroit goaltender Jan Bednar with plenty of support. Chinakhov found Cole Sillinger coming across the goal crease, who then tapped it home on the backhand.
Josh Dunne would then take his turn at 13:01. This goal started on another turnover by Detroit. Dunne would skate from the left circle into the slot and had a lightning-fast release on the backhand. Detroit was not giving any sort of pushback at this point. Every time Detroit got the puck, they were immediately swarmed by the Blue Jackets.
Though, Detroit finally found a response at 15:45 of the first. Pearson, who had been getting down low on Columbus goaltender Emerik Despartie all period, finally had luck go his way to get Detroit on the board.
The period would be called shortly after this goal following a scary incident involving Jared McIsaac, who took a hard hit from James Malatesta along the boards. He was provided immediate care from the medical staff of both teams, along with EMTs that were on-site. McIsaac was transported to a local hospital, but, thankfully, was released shortly after this game ended.
However, until another ambulance could arrive, the game needed to be put on pause for the safety of the players.
The second picked up with a couple of power-play goals. The first went to Detroit’s Pasquale Zito, who, quite frankly, has been having a rough go this tournament. He was able to deflect a shot in on a high tip to bring the Wings to within one, 3-2.
Chinakhov would answer with a power-play goal of his own about 9:30 later. Get used to this description, because I think this is going to become a theme for his goals:
In the opening seconds, Chinakhov was drifting above the right point, all alone. Dunne won the faceoff and passed it to Jacob Christiansen, who immediately fed Chinakhov for a blistering one-timer past the goaltender.
I’ll save you the trouble. Chinkahov would have two more very similar-looking goals left in him this game. The first was on even strength at 4:33 of the third. The hat-trick goal came at 13:11 of the third.
Detroit would only score one final time in this game. This one would be courtesy of Cross Hanas at 12:10 of the third period. Just after another Detroit power play, he somehow managed to force a goal, thanks to a little help from the crossbar. Of course, that tends to happen when you keep putting the puck on next.
Boyd would close out the scoring for the night with the 7-3 tally coming in at 14:42 of the third. Yet another Detroit turnover resulted in a three-on-one breakout. Boyd carried the puck in the whole way and popped it in backhand.
One thing the Blue Jackets excelled at, and the Red Wings lacked, was consistent effort throughout the game. With it being Detroit’s final game of the tournament (they finished with a 1-2 record), one would think maybe you may see some more effort. After all, this was their last chance to impress.
However, only skating 10 forwards and seven defensemen proved to be too much to overcome for the Red Wings. Over the course of the game, they also lost T-Bone Codd to injury after a collision with teammate, and former Cleveland Monster, Wyatt Newpower. That left them with eight forwards and seven defensemen. You could see the minutes wearing on their bodies, who had also competed in a physical match against St. Louis the night before.
The Blue Jackets did not let up one iota, however. All night long, they kept coming at Detroit, just like a thunderstorm that keeps rebuilding. At no point did they let up on the increasingly tired Red Wings squad.
Nowhere was this seen more, than on the stat sheet. Just take a look at the shots on goal. You can see the dramatic drop-off for Detroit, yet the Columbus count just kept rising as the game progressed.
|Team||1st Period SOG||2nd Period SOG||3rd Period SOG|
|Detroit Red Wings||11||5||5|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||9||11||15|
With the victory over the Red Wings, Columbus moves to 3-0 on the tournament. While no championship is being awarded at this iteration of the Traverse City Prospects Tournament, there is still much left to play for when the Jackets take on the Toronto Maple Leafs at 1:00 p.m. at Centre Ice Arena.
Will Chinakhov continue on his red-hot goal-scoring streak? Will Toronto find vindication for their 4-3 OT loss on the opening night?
Stick around for tomorrow’s edition of the Traverse City Diaries.
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