Ice conditions derail Prospects Tournament, causing Red Wings’ downfall; Leafs-Jackets game rescheduled

Sep. 14—ACME — Balky ice didn’t interrupt the Detroit Red Wings, but a few turnovers did.

The Red Wings opened up the 2023 NHL Prospect Tournament with a 4-2 loss to the Dallas Stars, not long after the game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Columbus Blue Jackets was moved from one rink to the other mid-game because of ice conditions.

Dallas scored an empty-net goal with 1:11 remaining to make the margin look worse than it was in Thursday’s opening day of the NHL Prospect Tournament at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City.

“The biggest thing is just managing the puck,” said Grand Rapids Griffins head coach Dan Watson, who leads the Wings’ prospect team. “All four goals against were off turnovers. It’s trying to find a little bit of chemistry, depending on what our lineup and roster looks like for the next game.”

The Maple Leafs-Blue Jackets game was stopped eight minutes into the first period after a hole in the ice developed that went all the way down to the concrete near the Zamboni entrance. Columbus led 2-0 when the game was stopped and moved from the main Molon Rink across Centre Ice to David’s Rink.

From there, the team played two 26-minute periods to make up for the lost 12 minutes from the first period. The Molon Rink ice was repaired and ready for action by the time the Red Wings-Stars game started at 6:30 p.m.

“The message after the game was puck management,” said Detroit first-round draft pick Nate Danielson, the ninth overall pick in 2023. “It’s something we need to do a better job of that kind of cost us tonight, so it’s something we will definitely address tomorrow in practice and heading into the weekend.”

The Wings don’t have a game Friday, with ones scheduled for Saturday at 3:30 p.m. against Columbus and Sunday at 2 p.m. against Toronto. Watson said Friday’s practice wouldn’t be a hard one, since a lot of the players logged big minutes.

Elmer Soderblom, the massive 6-foot-8, 246-pound right wing from Sweden, put Detroit up 1-0 just 7:26 into the game, with Danielson drawing an assist along with 2022 second-round pick Cross Hanas. Danielson centered the second line with Cross and Soderblom, a 2019 sixth-rounder.

Watson said he was pleased with Soderblom’s production.

“With Elmer, the way he ended the season last year with that injury, he was moving pretty good for not really being able to train until August,” Watson said. “He was moving his feet. I liked to see the little push back he had after that high stick, scored a nice goal. So real happy with his progress here, and it’s something he can build off moving into the weekend.”

Danielson assisted on the Wings’ second goal, a power-play score from 2019 second-round pick Antti Tuomisto 3:35 before the second period’s end that pulled Detroit within a goal at 3-2. In between, Dallas received goals from defenseman Gavin White, right wings Matthew Seminoff and Chase Wheatcroft. Matej Blumel scored the empty-netter.

“We created a lot of offense and had a lot of chances to score,” Danielson said. “We didn’t bury all of them, which was unfortunate, but I thought for the first time playing here that our chemistry was pretty good and we played pretty well together.”

Sebastian Cossa, a first-round pick in 2021, started in net and made 14 saves on 16 shots over 30:08 in playing time. Jan Bednar, a 2-2- fourth-rounder, played the last 28:57 and allowed one goal on 11 shots.

Dallas netminder Remi Poirier played the entire game, stopping 32 of 34 shots.

Top-line right wing Carter Mazur, a 2021 third-round draft pick, left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury and didn’t return. He appeared to hurt an ankle before returning for one more shift and then departing.

“That’s a big loss and he’s a great player for us, so it’s tough to see him go down early,” Danielson said. “We did a good job as a group just sticking with it, and we kind of got some momentum there in that later half of the second period and really pushed the pace, so I thought we did a good job of (adjusting to) it.”

Red Wings brass — including Steve Yzerman, Nicklas Lidstrom and Kris Draper — watched the game from Centre Ice’s suite, with the Cincinnati Reds-Detroit Tigers game on in the background.

“I’m going to take it one day at a time and just focus on each practice, each game,” Danielson said. “But overall, I’m here to make the team.”

COLUMBUS 7, TORONTO 3: The Blue Jackets scored seven goals on Maple Leafs goalie Luke Cavallin in a 7-3 victory to open the Prospects Tournament.

Second-line right wing Jordan Damais scored twice and 2023 No. 2 overall draft pick Adam Fantilli, from the University of Michigan, produced a pair of assists in the win.

Defenseman Stanislav Svozil, right wing Cameron Butler, right wing Justin Pearson, center Hunter McKown and left wing James Malatesta also added goals for Columbus. Pavel Cajan stopped 20 of 23 shots.

Max Ellis, Ryan Tverberg and Topi Niemela had Toronto’s goals. Cavallin made 17 saves.

ICE CHIPS: On the top defensive pairing of William Wallinder and Tuomisto, both second-round picks in 2020 and 2019, respectively: “I like both their games,” Watson said. “They played a lot of minutes tonight. Both are on the power play. Both are on the kill, five on five. They’re going to play important minutes in this tournament.” … On Danielson: “He’s a real smart player,” Watson said. “He plays a 200-foot game. He makes plays, he sees plays, he anticipates the game well. He’s going to be a really good player. … He’s mature for his age.” … On 2022 first-round pick center Marco Kasper: “He’s finishing checks, you know, he’s got good stick detail. You know, he’s gonna find that offensive touch here for sure.”

Follow @Jamescook14 on Twitter.

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