Sebastian Cossa, Detroit Red Wings’ Future Star Goalie, Faces Challenges in Traverse City Tournament

The outing wasn’t worth much more than an object lesson.

The Detroit Red Wings endured a tough afternoon in their second game of the prospects tournament, as a three-goal lead turned into a 10-7 loss to former Michigan star Adam Fantilli and the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City. The Blue Jackets outscored the Wings, 7-2, in the second period.

“I thought our start was fine, and then that second period certainly got away from us,” Grand Rapids Griffins coach Dan Watson said. “The emotional side of it, some undisciplined penalties — their power play certainly made us pay. You just try to claw back. We made it 9-7, had a power play, didn’t get anything off that, so that’s the way it kind of ends up.

“The second period wasn’t who the players are or who this team needs to be.”

The Wings prospects play their final game of the tournament Sunday against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Carter Mazur, who suffered a lower-body injury in Thursday’s 4-2 loss to the Dallas Stars, is unavailable pending tests.

Goalie Sebastian Cossa stops the puck during the Detroit Red Wings development camp with draft picks and free agent invitees at the practice rink at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit on Tuesday, July 4, 2023.

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Goals from Cross Hanas bookended a bloodbath in the second period. The Wings grew their lead to 4-1 when Hanas scored off assists by William Wallinder and Nate Danielson (the Wings’ top pick in this summer’s draft) but then the Blue Jackets scored seven unanswered goals. Fantilli, the Hobey Baker Award winner who the Blue Jackets had the good fortune to draft his summer at third overall, showed why he is so highly regarded, scoring one goal and setting up two others in that second-period spurt. He also scored in the first period, stick-handling his way through the Wings’ penalty kill and potting a backhand that beat Cossa stick-side.

Fantilli completed a hat trick when he scored into an empty net with 1:51 to play, about a minute after the Wings pulled Lukas Matecha.

Cossa gave up six goals on 21 shots, ceding his net at 7:40 of the second period. He didn’t get much help from his teammates, but after the first couple goals went in, Cossa couldn’t recover.

“I thought he battled hard in the first period,” Watson said. “Then you could see the way some of the goals given up — it wasn’t all on him, certainly, but it’s trying to find that consistency from game to game. It was a tough one here for him.”

There is a lot riding on Cossa for the Wings, who went so far as to move up in the 2021 draft to select the 6-foot-6 Canadian at No. 15, ahead of Jesper Wallstedt, projected as the first goaltender to go in that draft. (The Minnesota Wild took Wallstedt at 20th; he already has played 38 games in the AHL and represented Sweden in the 2023 World Championship.)

Cossa, 20, gave up two goals on 16 shots in 30:08 minutes in Thursday’s game.

In addition to Hanas, Danielson (three assists) and Amadeus Lombardi (two assists) also had multipoint games. Elmer Söderblom has two goals in two games.

Hanas, 21, dates to the second round (55th) of the 2020 draft and is among the older players at the tournament, but the games are an important stepping stone for him after missing the second half of last season because of injury. He had an assist in the loss to the Stars, and pointed to a much better compete level in that game as a reason for what happened Saturday.

“When the wheels fall off like that, and they get all those goals, it’s tough to come back,” Hanas said. “The coach called a timeout and we regrouped a little bit as much as we could on the bench and then our next goal was just to win the rest of the period, get out of the period, and regroup.

“Games like that, you have to have some small victories here and there and try to get yourself back on track.”

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Red Wings G Sebastian Cossa struggles at prospects tournament

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