In today's opening game of the Traverse City tournament the Rangers prospects fell to Carolina 5-3. Since I could not watch the game I can tell you what I heard from the New York Rangers official website. The Ranger's got their goals from Daniel Bartek, Ryan Bourque and Roman Horak. Ethan Werek was the only other prospect with a point, registering an assist on Bourque's goal.
The New York Rangers official website had constant updates on the game, and here is what writer Jim Cerny-who will be on our radio show next Monday-had to say about the game:
Click after the jump to see what Cerny had to say!
Stajcer, the Rangers' second of two 2009 fifth-round draft picks, was solid in goal with 35 saves against a Carolina team that is considered one of the favorite's at this year's tournament. The Hurricanes outshot the Rangers 40-35 but did not get away with the win until the game was nearly over.
Stajcer kept his team in the game long enough for the Blueshirts to come back from a 3-1 deficit and tie the score with two goals in a six-second span of the third period. Two other 2009 draftees, fifth-rounder Roman Horak and third-rounder Ryan Bourque, got those goals.
Also starring for the Rangers on Sunday was 2008 first-rounder Michael Del Zotto. the defenseman set the pace for the third-period comeback and logged more minutes than any other Blueshirts player. Del Zotto is participating in his second Traverse City tournament after playing on last year's sixth-place Rangers team.
Del Zotto controlled the play and led the rush. His third-period spark helped the Rangers eventually take a short-lived lead in shots on goal midway through the third period.
One of the biggest knocks on Del Zotto was his poor defensive play and his inability to lead, things we expect to see from him this year in the OHL. This is a big first step for him to make the Rangers team in the next few years. It is also a good sign to see Werek and Bourque continuing their great play. Scouts said that both could have been 1st round picks and the Rangers were lucky to nab them both in this year's draft.
It was obviously a 2009 entry draft party seeing as how the Rangers 2nd round pick (Werek-assist), 3rd round pick (Bourque-goal), 5th round pick (Horak-goal), and their other 5th round pick (Stajcer-solid game in the net) all had a great game.
Keep coming to the Banter for updates on this tournament. We will have more information and analysis as we get it.