Prospects break ice on pre-season

Senators prospect Patrick Eaves took to the ice Monday as the seventh annual rookie tournament...

Senators prospect Patrick Eaves took to the ice Monday as the seventh annual rookie tournament kicked off at the Bell Sensplex. (Ottawa Sun/Sean Kilpatrick)

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 1:12 PM ET

Ottawa NHL fans have waited 16 months for this.

They are rookies and prospects, but they will be wearing Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs sweaters tonight at the Corel Centre.

After almost a year and a half since the last NHL game here (it was April 18, 2004 and the Senators beat the Leafs in double overtime in Game 6 of the opening round of the playoffs), NHL hockey fans will be itching for a fix.

The game will be part of the seventh annual rookie tournament involving prospects from the Senators, Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes.

It got underway yesterday with four of the clubs practising at the Bell Sensplex (the Habs prospects will practice in Montreal this morning and then bus in this afternoon).

The tournament will begin this afternoon when Carolina and Florida play at 4:30 p.m. at the Corel Centre.

The Senators rookie team, which includes top picks like forward Patrick Eaves (29th overall, 2003) and defenceman Andrej Meszaros (23rd overall, 2004), will play the Leafs top prospects at 8 p.m.

Eaves, 21, was a finalist for the Hobey Baker after an outstanding junior season at Boston College and was named Hockey East's player of the year.

Meszaros, 19, had a strong rookie year with the Vancouver Giants of the WHL. He was named the Giants' top defenceman and rookie of the year.

The Senators rookies will be coached by Dave Cameron, the coach of the Binghamton Senators of the AHL.

All practices and games will take place at the Corel Centre through Thursday when they will shift to the Civic Centre for Friday and Saturday.

Tickets for the tournament games can be purchased at www.CapitalTickets.ca, by phone at 599-FANS or toll-free at 877-788-FANS.

They are also available at all Ottawa-Gatineau area Sports Experts locations and at the Corel Centre and Civic Centre box-offices.

Ticket prices are $6.50 per day (two games each day) or $11.50 for a tournament pass (all 10 games), including taxes but excluding convenience charges.

The doors open 30 minutes prior to practices and one hour prior to games. The complete game and practice schedule is available at ottawasenators.com.

TODAY'S SCHEDULE

(AT THE COREL CENTRE)

- 9-10 a.m. Florida practice

- 10-11 a.m Carolina practice

- 11-12 p.m. Ottawa practice

- 12-1 p.m. Toronto practice

- 4:30 p.m. Carolina vs. Florida

- 8 p.m. Toronto vs. Ottawa


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