Youth trumps experience in Pros vs. Prospects game
In the sixth edition of the Texas Tornado’s Pros vs. Prospects game, the Tornado defeated the Pros, 4-3. The Pros roster featured Joe Nieuwendyk, Ed Belfour, Jere Lehtinen, and a host of other former NHLers (A complete list can be found below).Four different players scored for Texas, while the Pros picked up two goals from Lehtinen and another from Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan. Joakim Jutras and Hunter Leisner split time in goal, though Jutras started and did not allow a goal on 11 shots. The victory marked just the second time the Tornado have come out on top in the exhibition contest.
Jordan Greenberg got the Tornado on the board at 15:11 of the first period. With the puck along the left-wing boards, Greenberg fed it to Jack Prince behind the net, who quickly returned the favor with a centering pass back to Greenberg. The Plano native’s quick snapshot beat Pros goaltender Dan Blackburn and gave the Tornado a 1-0 lead.
Greenberg’s goal was the only one of the first period, but Skyler Spiller doubled the lead with a goal of his own early in the second. Spiller skated down the left wing boards and into the faceoff circle before unleashing a wrist shot past Blackburn and in for a goal.
Later in the second, the Pros cut the Tornado lead in half on, as Gulutzan himself put it, his “first goal in ten years.” The Stars head coach took a pass from former Star Stu Barnes and ripped it past Leisner to make it a 2-1 game.
Before the period could come to a close, Texas regained their two-goal lead as the Tornado captain picked up his second point of the night. Prince was set up behind the net and took a pass from Jordan Greenberg. As he’s done so often this season, Prince banked the puck in off of Blackburn’s pads from behind the goal line, which made it a 3-1 score.
The third period was the Jere Lehtinen show, as the career-long Dallas Star picked up a pair of goals in the final frame. On a play similar to the one which Spiller scored, as Lehtinen came into the zone on the left-wing side. Instead of taking a wrist shot, though, Lehtinen drove towards the goal and beat Leisner as once again, the Pros trailed by just one.
Later in the period, however, Taylor Herndon once again gave Texas a two-goal advantage. As he skated into the zone, Herndon got to the faceoff circle and fired a wrist shot in between the blocker and body of Blackburn. Blackburn got a piece of the puck, but not enough to keep it from trickling over the goal line.
With the Tornado again leading by two, Lehtinen made it a one-goal game with a bomb of a slapshot the beat Leisner with just under six minutes left. A late power-play for the Pros gave them an opportunity to pull the goalie and get a six-on-four advantage. The Tornado defense held strong, though, and did not allow the game-tying goal.
The Tornado return to regularly-scheduled play on Friday, when they travel to Corpus Christi for a pair of weekend games against the IceRays. Both Friday and Saturday’s games are scheduled for a 7:05 start.
Pros Roster: Steve Dykstra, Gerald Diduck, Brent Swarbrick, Brad Cooper, Stu Barnes, Frank Provenzano, Brad Jellis, Billy Huard, Ed Belfour, Glen Gulutzan, Landon Wilson, Paul Jerrard, Joe Nieuwendyk, Jere Lehtinen, Bob Bassen, Scott Morrow, Richard Sleavin