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2015 NHL Rookie Tournament: Toronto Maple Leafs Vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Recap

The NHL rookie tournaments are notorious for being very physical hockey matches. The on-ice battle between the Pittsburgh Penquins and the Toronto Maple Leafs was no different. In fact, at times the Hab and Pen rookie skaters seemed like they were trying to audition for a spot on their respective teams as the unspoken enforcer.

Starting the night, Toronto was winless in the tournament, while the Pittsburgh rookies had been far more successful in their campaign. But, tonight was the night for the Maple Leaf young guns.

Toronto jumped out to an early 3 goal lead, as a couple of the Penguins top line defensemen found their way into the penalty box for some of the rough play that characterized this game. Kasperi Kapanen, one of the most highly touted prospects on the Toronto roster, handled the puck with skill all evening, scoring two of the Leaf’s early goals, plus adding some excellent defensive plays.

Trailing by 3 goals, Pittsburgh’s top prospect Daniel Sprong found the back of the net to close the gap to 4 to 2 Toronto. But, the Maple Leaf rookies would tack on a pair of third period goals to push the advantage to 4 goals and end up finally winning a rookie tournament contest 6 to 2.

2015 NHL Rookie Tournament: Montreal Canadiens Vs. Ottawa Senators Recap

Four National Hockey League franchises joined up this preseason to play a round robin style tournament using their up and coming rookie players. The Pittsburgh Penguins, Chicago Blackhawks, plus a pair of teams from Canada, the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs made up the foursome.

On Saturday night the two Canadian teams squared off to finish the final in a series of three games for each. As was the case with nearly every match in this series, a lot extremely physical checking marked play, plus there were a number of intense staredowns as these young hopefuls tried to assert themselves as worthy of a roster spot on the team.

Both the young goalies were the stars of this evening, as Senator rookie netkeeper, Matt O'Connor, thwarted 47 of the Habs shots on goal, only allowing one to find the back of the net. The Habs goalkeeper, Zachary Fucale, was equally as miserly, and but for a sneaky second goal would have matched his counterpart at the other end of the hockey rink.

While the game was checkered with only a few quick breaks, although the Maple Leafs took nearly 4-dozen shots at the Ottawa goal, the most glaring thing taken from this hockey match was the intense level physical play. A lot of rough housing ended with Toronto’s designated rookie enforcer going after the Senator’s goal scorer Tim Bozon as the game ended.

The small crowd of hockey faithful did not have a lot scoring to generate excitement, but they did not go away without seeing their fair share of floor checking and physical hockey. Only three goals scored on the evening in the Senator’s win, but a few young skaters caught the eye of each team’s coaching staff as future hopefuls for the big club.

2015 NHL Rookie Tournament: Pittsburgh Penguins Vs. Ottawa Senators Recap

Fri, 16 Oct Senators @ Penguins 4:30 AM 16/10
Wed, 3 Feb Senators @ Penguins 5:30 AM 03/02
Wed, 6 Apr Penguins @ Senators 5:00 AM 06/04
All times are in India Standard Time
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