Senators Rookies Win 6-2, Finish Rookie Tournament Perfect 3-0

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Both the Sens and the Leafs entered Sunday night's game with a perfect 2-0 record; victory would secure tournament bragging rights. Notably for Sens fans, Shane Prince drew back into the lineup for Sunday's game. Chris Driedger started for the Senators in net, but his counterpart Antoine Bibeau, a 19-year-old prospect from the QMJHL, was the happier after the first period. Weathering an early storm from the Sens, the Leafs utilized their monolithic forwards (3 x 6'5", 2 x 6'3") to set a physical tone for the game while attempting to impose their will on the Sens smaller but quicker playmaking forwards. The Leafs first goal was the result of a brain cramp for Ottawa's defenders, who left Toronto forward Stuart Percy all alone in the slot. The first of many fights on the night followed, with David Broll (6'3", 235 lbs) taking on Senator Darren Kramer (6'1", 212 lbs). Broll got the better of Kramer, taking him down after a brief exchange of blows. Penalties played a big role in this game. The Sens managed to kill off another penalty - a strength during this tournament - but Toronto prospect and twin Matt Rupert slipped a goal past Driedger just after the penalty expired. Despite a strong start by the Sens, the Leafs controlled the second half of the period and went into the first intermission with a deserved 2-goal lead.

Shane Prince got the Sens on the board in the second, putting a rebound past Bibeau. Curtis Lazar drew an assist on the goal for his slick feed to Prince, who was waiting in the slot. The fighting continued as Tyler Biggs got the better of Ben Blood. Jean-Gabriel Pageau had his worst game of the tournament on Sunday night. He didn't play poorly, he just wasn't as dominant as he was in the two previous games. He did, however, draw the first Sens power play. After he was sprung by Mark Stone, he was hooked on a partial break by Toronto defender Trevor Murphy (who had trouble with the Pageau line all night). The Sens couldn't break through on the man-advantage and soon found themselves in penalty trouble again. Two calls in quick succession resulted in a 5-on-3 advantage in favour of Toronto for 1 minute and 52 seconds. A turning point in the game, Ottawa's on ice trio killed off the nearly 2 minute disadvantage. Captain Wacey Hamilton, who's been mostly invisible in this tournament, had two big shot blocks in the sequence and Cody Ceci, who's looked super on the power play, was well-positioned throughout the kill and had a key stick check. The 5-on-3 was followed by Vincent Dunn and twin Ryan Rupert exchanging blows. The Sens tied things up on their third power play of the game. Some nice interplay between Prince and Pageau led to J-P setting up Shane's second of the game. It was a huge goal scored with less than a minute left in the second period to send the teams to their dressing rooms tied at two. The Sens carried the play in the second, outshooting the Leafs 13-6 in the frame.

In the third period, the Leafs crumbled. The Sens broke the game open with 3 goals in about 2 minutes. Early in the period, with the Sens once again on the penalty kill, Mark Stone scored a shorthanded goal after stealing the puck from Murphy at the Leafs blue line then skating in all alone and snipping one top shelf on Bibeau. It was the Sens first lead of the game and they would continue to build on that total during the period. On the power play, Vincent Dunn notched his first of the game on a shot from the slot that trickled past Bibeau with Pageau on the doorstep. Less than seven seconds later Dunn scored his second goal off the draw. What had already been an aggressive affair turned nasty after the second Dunn goal; Matt Rupert drew a penalty for a series of stupid, frustrated slashes on Sens defenseman Chris Wideman, and Vincent Dunn was knocked down behind the Toronto net. In response, Pageau stuck up for his teammate and mixed it up with opposition. Andrew Hammond, who replaced Driedger midway through the second period, got lucky as Matt Rupert missed a great chance to slip one past the vulnerable goalie; instead he put the puck through the blue paint. Some nice give and go play between Stone and Dunn resulted in Ottawa's final goal of the game. Stone walked off the wall and fired a pass to Dunn in the corner; Stone skated into the slot, received  Dunn's return feed, and fired home his second of the game. Near the end of the game, Prince stole the puck in the neutral zone and broke in alone on the Toronto net, but a hook from behind denied him a chance to complete the hat trick. The game finished with some silliness, as Buddy Robinson tripped Bibeau behind his net. Robinson was subsequently pummeled by Andrew MacWilliam. Darren Kramer took an unsportsmanlike penalty and Dunn was ejected from the game while on the bench. Sens win, 6-2. Ottawa finishes the 2013 rookie tournament a perfect 3-0.

Sens Hero: Shane Prince

Prince had an awesome game. A dominant performance from start to finish, Prince's tendency to shoot paid off and got Ottawa back into the game.

Sens Hero: Mark Stone

Stone had his best game of the tournament against the Leafs. He and Prince were the best players on the ice. Stone played physical, he was a threat offensively all night, and scored a pretty shorthanded goal and had a nice assist to match. Stone's success on the penalty kill should help him in his quest to make the big club this season.

Sens Hero: Vincent Dunn

Dunn also had a great night. He was part of the dangerous Pageau line and scored two quick goals to seal the victory. Dunn's been given big minutes by Richardson in the tournament and tonight he came through for his coach.

Highlights via mapleleafs.com


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