Sunday, September 12, 2010


Can you sense it? That slight chill in the air? That is a sure sign that hockey season is upon us. Actually, it's already here. The Toronto Maple Leafs annual Rookie tournament got underway last night against the rookies of the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. Sure wins and losses don't count, and no points are awarded for the victory, but the young Leafs started the tournament in style with a 6 - 3 win. For a team that had nothing to do in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft this year, the Leafs scouts were looking pretty smart last night, as the top 3 picks of the 2010 draft scored Toronto's first three goals. Brad Ross and Sondre Olden put the Leafs up 2 - 0 early in the contest, and then Greg McKegg scored a highlight reel goal to restore the Leafs two goal lead to 3 - 1. Rounding out the scoring en route to the three goal victory were Jerry D'Amigo, Kenny Ryan, and Simon Gysbers. Goaltender Jussi Rynnas played his first ever North American hockey game, and despite an understandably shaky first period, was very solid in the final 2 periods stopping a total of 31 shots. Most of these young players are eligible to return to their junior teams, and are likely to do so, but all put in a great effort in their first outing wearing the Maple Leafs sweater. Two players who really impressed, and are likely to start the season with the Marlies are Simon Gysbers, and Jerry D'Amigo. At 6'4 and 200lbs Gysbers looked like a tower out on the ice and was very solid on the defensive side of the puck, while also chipping in offensively with 2 assists. Jerry D'Amigo showed speed, grit, tenacity, and some great hand eye co-ordination with his tip in goal. With his effort it is no wonder why Leafs management is so keen on this kid. The Maple Leafs rookies will skate back into action tonight against the youngsters of the Pittsburgh Penguins at 7pm on Rogers TV.

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