Fans treated to feisty Prospects game
Tom Wilson made sure NHL scouts noticed him during Wednesday night's CHL/NHL Top Prospects game at Prospera Place.
Wilson, a 6'4" agitator with the Ontario Hockey League's Plymouth Whalers was easily the most recognizable player in a game featuring some of the top junior players eligible in the June NHL Entry Draft.
In 41 games with the Whalers Wilson, ranked 33rd in the latest Central Scouting ranking of North American skaters, has seven goals, 15 assists, eight fights and 122 minutes in penalties.
He got the crowd into it early with a thunderous open ice hit on Gianiuca Curcuruto behind the net just 90 seconds into the game then pasted Lukas Sutter into the boards in the second.
Sutter's teammate DaltonThrower took exception and he and Wilson tossed the mitts and engaged in a lengthy, spirited fight.
"I just wanted to come in and play my game. That big hit at the beginning was to get the boys going and let the other team know it was going to be a hockey game," says Wilson.
"I just wanted to be a physical presence out there."
Wilson says he thinks he did enough to catch the eye of the scouts in attendance and move himself up in the draft.
As for the game itself Brandon Troock of the Seattle Thunderbirds scored the game winner with 25 seconds left in regulation time on a power-play leading Team Orr to a 2-1 victory over Team Cherry in what was the lowest scoring game in the 17 year history of the Top Prospects game.
"When I came off the bench I knew there was only about 30 seconds left and I saw (Derrick) Pouliot coming up the middle with the puck so I just tried to get my feet moving and call for the puck on the outside," says Troock of the game winner.
"As soon as I got over the blueline I had a step on the D-man so I knew I was taking it to the net and try to get a greasy one."
Troock cut cross crease and tucked the puck past Matthew Murray in the Team Cherry net.
The defenceman he victimized was Rockets Damon Severson.
"I thought I had a strong game overall but the one thing I would take back was that last play and the last goal. I thought I had the guy taking him wide and he kind of cut in at the last second and caught me by surprise," says Severson.
"It's kind of unfortunate for us but I thought the game went well."
Severson also questioned the penalty call that put his team a man down with less than two minutes left in regulation time of a 1-1 tie. It was just the fourth minor penalty called in the game.
Troock also assisted on Griffin Reinhart's seeing eye goal from the left boards in the second period.
Rockets captain Colton Sissons got that play started when he grabbed a loose puck in the corner and sent a pass to Reinhart on the half wall.
Sissons says the the game was as intense if not more so than he thought it would be.
"Guys were on the body and it was a pretty tight checking game. There wasn't a whole lot of glorious chances in that game," says Sissons.
"The guys were trying hard and on the body. I was trying to do my thing and I felt pretty strong out there."
Sissons credits the lack of scoring and scoring chances to the fact everybody seemed to be playing responsibly at both ends of the rink.
Most of the scoring chances came at the Team Cherry end of the rink. If it wasn't for the play of Murray, especially in the final period, the score could have been more lopsided.
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