Ranger Prospects Nipped in Traverse City Opener

Sep 5, 2013

(Photo courtesy of BlueshirtsUnited.com)

The New York Ranger prospect team put 39 shots on net Thursday in its opener at the Traverse City, MI NHL Prospects Tournament against the Carolina Hurricanes prospects, but Carolina goaltender Daniel Altshuller made 36 saves to lead the Hurricanes to a 4-3 win.

Josh Nicholls, Andrew Yogan and Oscar Lindberg scored goals for the Ranger team. Victor Rask, Sergey Tolchinsky, Zack Mitchell and Brock McGinn tallied for Carolina. Mackenzie Skapski, a sixth-round Ranger pick in the 2013 NHL draft, stopped 21 out of 25 shots for the Blueshirts.

Rask’s goal at 11:37 of the first period was the only goal of the opening session, and Tolchinsky made it a 2-0 Hurricane lead at 9:23 of the second. Nicholls, a 21-year-old winger who was signed as a free agent by the Rangers March 5 from the Western Hockey League’s Saskatoon Blades, finally solved Altshuller on a Ranger power play at 15:24, assisted by Jimmy Oligny, a tryout invite from the PEI Rocket of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Mitchell restored the two-goal lead for Carolina only 2:52 into the second, but Yogan, wearing the captain’s “C” for the prospect team, made it a 3-2 game with 4:59 to play. Yogan played 43 games for the Whale as a pro rookie last season, notching seven goals and 12 assists for 19 points.

McGinn scored what turned out to be the game-winner for the Hurricanes 1:58 later at 16:09. The Rangers would then capitalize on a Brendan Woods tripping penalty, but Lindberg’s power-play goal would come with only five seconds left on the clock. Lindberg was set up on that score by fellow prime Ranger prospects Danny Kristo and Jesper Fast.

The Ranger team enjoyed an 18-9 shots advantage in the third.

Wolf Pack head coach Ken Gernander leads the Ranger prospect team back into action Friday afternoon at 4:00 against the Buffalo Sabres prospects.

Click here for a box score of Thursday’s game, courtesy of Pointstreak.com.