White delights at Top Prospects

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:40 AM ET

With all that talent on the ice, they were bound to score a few goals.

The Home Hardware Prospects Game may not be a typical non-aggressive, low-intensity all-star affair, but they were filling the net with surprising regularity last night in front of 13,596 at Rexall Place.

Undoubtedly the goaltenders taking part in the annual showcase for Canadian Hockey League draft-eligible players have had better nights - or they wouldn't have been here in the first place.

But last night they were lit up like kindling in a fireplace as Team White - led by honourary coaches and ex-Oilers Glenn Anderson and Grant Fuhr - skated to an 8-4 victory over Team Red - with former Calgary Flames Lanny McDonald and Mike Vernon helping call the shots.

"It's obviously a tough situation for the goaltenders," said Fuhr. "You know there is going to be some offence in the hockey game. But in a sense, it's a chance for them to shine a little bit ... there are some very talented goalies and it's a good stage for them to go out and show the skills they have because it may not be the most defensive struggle you'll see."

The night previous, Team White was soundly dominated in the skills competition. But in the game, they were the dominant ones from the drop of the puck. White jumped out to a three-goal first-period lead and never looked back.

They were led by Zach Boychuk of the Lethbridge Hurricanes, who won his team's most-valuable-player honour with a goal and two assists.

"Right from the first shift it seemed like our line was going to have a lot of chemistry," Boychuk said. "It was nice that our line was able to get a couple of goals. The team played really well tonight."

Kelowna Rockets defenceman Luke Schenn, Jared Staal of the Sudbury Wolves, Jamie Arniel of the Sarnia Sting and Josh Bailey of the Windsor Spitfires all scored in the first period for White while Mikkel Boedker of the Kitchener Rangers responded for Red.

Bailey picked up Boychuk's scraps on the fourth goal as the Hurricanes forward fought off Regina's Colten Teubert heading to the net, then undressed Saskatoon rearguard Jyri Niemi in front, creating a rebound opportunity.

"I think there was lots of intensity out there," Boychuk said. "I thought there might be a little more defence, but we opened up the game a little bit and it worked out well for guys like me."

In the second, Peterborough D-man Zach Bogosian and Spokane's Mitch Wahl scored for Team White, while Steven Stamkos of the Sarnia Sting, an early favourite to be the top pick in the draft, and Rimouski's Philipe Cornet countered for Red.

Boychuk, Bailey, and Brandon McMillian of the Kelowna Rockets rounded out the scoring in the third period.

Stamkos finished with a goal, an assist and a fight to be named his team's MVP.

"I didn't realize it was Yann Sauve; we played with each other at the Under-18s and we're pretty good buddies," Stamkos said of his late-game fight. "It's just something that happens in the heat of the moment and then you laugh about it after. I thought it was a great game. Both teams came out hard it was a great pace."


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