The future looks promising for the Detroit Red Wings.
Nearly three months after their AHL affiliate Grand Rapids Griffins won the Calder Cup, a team of Red Wings prospects captured the 2013 Traverse City NHL Prospects Tournament with a 4-2 victory over prospects from the Buffalo Sabres.
It was the first time in 15 years that the Red Wings have won the Traverse City Tournament.
Anthony Mantha, who was the Red Wings' first round pick in this year's NHL Draft, scored two power play goals two minutes apart. His first came with 1:18 left in the first period after he knocked a loose puck home, and his second came 26 seconds into the second period when he deflected a shot from Xavier Oullet past Sabres netminder Nathan Lieuwen in Tomas Holmstrom-like fashion.
“I was up front on both, just kind of battled for the first one,” Mantha said. “On the second one, Ouellet just shot the puck for a tip and I managed to tip it.”
After the Sabres cut it to 2-1 in the third, Zach Nastasiuk, a second-round pick of the Wings in this year's draft, scored the game-winning goal at 10:01.
Buffalo managed to cut it to 3-2 later in the third, but Tomas Jurco put the game away with an empty-netter with 25 seconds left in the period.
“It was hard for us, and I think we played great even though we were tired,” said Jurco. “Each one of us is tired, so to play four games in five days and win it is great.”
Jared Coreau was the winning goalie as he stopped 23 shots. The Wings outshot the Sabres 40-25 in the championship game. They went 4-0 in the tourney, winning all games by at least 2 goals.
The Red Wings will begin their training camp in Traverse City on Thursday. Most, if not all, who played in the tournament are expected to be in attendance, including Mantha.
NOTES: The Wings were coached in the tournament by Griffins head coach Jeff Blashill.
“I learned a lot over here with the coaching staff,” he said. “It’s been a great week and I’m finding out what it takes to be a pro and go to the next level.”
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