After their first game at the Traverse City tournament – a broken mishmash of penalties and unsure play – the Blues have turned it around winning three games in a row. Today, the last day of play in the tournament, saw them defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets’ prospects 4-3 in some extra time. It wasn’t without some rough patches, as an elbowing major in the first period wasn’t enough to teach Jay Barriball a lesson – he was given a 10 minute game misconduct for elbowing again just two and a half minutes after the first one.
The Blues calmed down after that, killing off all penalties. A scoreless first period gave way to a second period tied at one after Stephen MacAulay with an assist from Tyler Shattock answered a Ryan Johansen Columbus goal.
The third period was a little more open in scoring. Philip McRae scored twice, the second time to ensure overtime – which was won with a Anthony Nigro goal 1:51 in.
The Blues finished 3rd overall at the tournament with a 3-1 record. Philip McRae proved to everyone that AHL experience can help, as he led the Blues with four goals and played like a pro on the ice.
The next step for any of these baby Blues is to receive an invite to the Blues’ training camp, which starts Friday. Unless they’re on the Rivermen, however, it’ll be difficult to crack camp. It’s already going to be rough enough for the roster guys fighting for spots.