In the Nashville Predators Prospects third and final game at the Estero FL Prospects Tournament, they defeated the Washington Capital Prospects 4-2 finishing in first for the tourney. The prospects were impressive throughout the three games and the future is bright for the Preds.
The first period was scoreless and both teams had good chances. The Preds starting goalie Juuse Saros looked good early and throughout the game. Max Gortz had a couple of nice chances for the Preds in the first. Viktor Arvidsson and Yakov Trenin who have both had good tournaments stood out too. As a matter of fact, the announcers at the game mentioned how impressed they’ve been with Trenin at the tourney. “A big guy with speed,” they called him.
At the end of the period, Eric Robinson took a high stick double minor but the Predators were able to kill off the first part to end the session. The Predator Prospects outshot the Caps 10-9 and the game looked fairly even.
The Caps were still on the power play to begin the second and Juuse Saros made a couple of beautiful saves but the Caps McGauley was able to push one by him from the slot right at the end of the double minor. The Predators quickly answered with a power play goal by Yakov Trenin on a rebound of a shot by Kevin Fiala. Anthony Richard got the secondary assist.
That was followed with a goal by the Preds Max Gortz who flipped in a shot from the left wing unassisted. That gave the Baby Preds a 2-1 lead. Later in the period, Viktor Arvidsson was robbed on a breakaway and both Trenin and Fiala had near misses. Saros stood tall in the net which is hard with his 5’11” stature, but he stopped a breakaway and a point-blank shot late in the period which ended with a 2-1 Predators lead. The Capitals led shots 24-20 after the second.
Early in the third, Jonathan-Ismael Diaby took a stick to the face and drew a double minor penalty on the Capitals. During the first penalty, Kevin Fiala took a rebound by Garrett Noonan and put it into the net. That was right after another near miss by Arvidsson who should have probably been given an assist too. Later in the period, Fiala took the puck and danced around three Capital players before setting up Arvidsson in the slot for a slapper that was stopped.
The rest of third was back and forth with Saros keeping the Caps off of the scoreboard until they got a goal on a two on one break with five minutes left making it 3-2 Preds. The scoring was capped off by a long empty net goal by Trevor Murphy from our own zone with assists by Vladislav Kamenev and Jack Dougherty for the final 4-2 score. The Preds were outshot in the game 33-29.
In a five round bonus shootout, the only goal was scored on a nasty shot by Kevin Fiala as Juuse Saros stoned all five Capitals shooters and made it look easy.
Our thoughts on the game and the Tournament are pretty similar. Juuse Saros was our MVP and looks like a future NHL goalie. He is quick and positions well and doesn’t give up rebounds. He gave up five goals in a little over two and a half games of play.
Yakov Trenin and Viktor Arvidsson both really stood out all tournament too. Arvidsson led the Predators in scoring with a goal and four assists. Both were always around the net and caused havoc for opponents. Kevin Fiala showed his skating ability and quick hands both on passes and around the net.
Anthony Richard was impressive with his speed and Max Gortz and Garrett Noonan kept showing up on the score sheet along with Vladimir Kamenev. Pontus Aberg was another player that kept showing up. A couple of these players may start the year in Nashville, but things are looking bright for Milwaukee and the future of the Predators.
The Predators Prospects finished the tournament with two wins and a loss and should be crowned winners of the tournament with one game to go. They could be tied by Tampa Bay but beat the Lightning two days ago.
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