Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Prospects Topple Red Wings, Occupy First Place

Mike Murphy has been described as the "talk of the tournament" for his outstanding play in net
(Photo from NHL.com)

The Carolina prospects defeated the young Red Wings tonight at the tournament in Traverse City, taking over first place in the "Eastern Conference." The 5-3 comeback win came in exciting fashion.

The first period was scoreless (thanks to Mike Murphy) with no penalties, but things exploded in the second.

Detroit took a 1-0 lead 4:40 into the period. Shortly after, Jamie McBain was penalized for his second hooking penalty of the tournament, allowing the Wings to go up by two on the power play.

Although the Red Wings dominated in the shot column 25 to 9 at the halfway point, Carolina refused to quit. Matthew Pistilli linked up with Brandon Sutter to bring the Canes within one at the 10:56 mark of the second period.

Minutes later, with a power play opportunity of their own, the Hurricanes tied the game on a goal by Matt Kennedy, his second of the tournament, assisted by Stefan Chaput and Beau Schmitz.

Detroit scored a demoralizing goal with one second remaining in the period, reestablishing the lead going into the third. But again, the Canes bounced back. About a minute and a half into the third period Harrison Reed knotted the game at 3-3 on a tally assisted by Stefan Chaput.

Moments later, a roughing penalty by the Red Wings brought out the Carolina power play unit for the second time. The Canes quickly capitalized, as Zach Boychuk, assisted by Drayson Bowman and Jamie McBain, seized the lead at 4-3.

At the eight minute mark, Jamie McBain was sent back to the box on an interference call, but the penalty kill came through.

Carolina stayed strong through the third period and Chris Terry sealed the deal with an unassisted goal with 1:22 left.

Goaltender Mike Murphy registered his second win of the tournament, stopping 33 of 36 shots.

The win places Carolina in first place in the "Eastern Conference," which consists of the New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings and Atlanta Thrashers.

The team has one conference game remaining against Atlanta on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. A win would guarantee the Canes a spot in the championship game.

Updates: The Hurricanes' website has a rundown of the game. Hockey's Future also has a recap, as well as some high praise for netminder Mike Murphy, described as "the best player of the tournament." Brandon Sutter adds his two cents.