TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan -- Dallas Stars prospects rolled on day one of the NHL Prospect Tournament and leading the way was the line of Matt Fraser, Scott Glennie and Brett Ritchie.
Fraser scored three goals and Glennie and Ritchie each chipped in three assists as the Stars routed Carolina 8-2 Saturday afternoon at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City, Michigan.
"We felt good and we talked before the game about stuff we wanted to do, the players that we are and what we have to do to be successful,” said Fraser. “We played to our strengths and dictated the play when we were on the ice and that's what the game plan was going in."
“They showed good leadership in all phases,” Texas Stars coach Jeff Pyle, who is coaching the Dallas prospects, said of the Fraser-Glennie-Ritchie line. “Just calming the game down, doing all the little things well, the things that got them to where they are and will give them the opportunity to move up.”
The Stars struck just 30 seconds into the game and never looked back. After Glennie forced a neutral zone turnover, Ritchie set up Fraser and the big left wing drove the net and scored off a backhand shot.
"Matt Fraser gave us a nice goal on the first shift which gave a nice atmosphere and everybody just fed off it,” said Pyle. “It was a great effort by the guys. “
The Stars scored three more goals in the first, including Fraser’s second of the game, to build a 4-0 lead. His third of the game made it a 7-1 game in the third period.
“It’s nice to get a couple of goals out of the way,” said Fraser, . “They were getting pucks to the nets and I was the benefactor of it all. You’ve got to give them a lot of credit.”
Fraser, a 6-2, 207 pound left wing, is a free agent signing out of the juniors. He put his name on a contract last November and then put together an outstanding final junior season with the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League. He led the WHL in goal scoring and was tied for the goal scoring lead at the Memorial Cup.
“He has a collection of attributes that you are looking for,” said Stars scout Shane Churla. “He has size, he skates and he has an NHL shot. He was a guy that continued to evolve throughout his career and get better every year. As hardworking a player he is on the ice, he is that good a person off the ice. He’s involved in charities. He’s just a strong human being.”
But Fraser and his linemates weren’t the only ones with strong performances Saturday. Forward Matej Stransky, Dallas’ 6th round pick (165th overall) in the 2011, had a strong game as well. The skilled Czech forward, who plays for Saskatoon of the WHL, had one goal and two assists.
Defense prospect Brenden Dillon, another WHL free agent signing, picked up two assists in the game.
Defenseman Jamie Oleksiak, the Stars first round pick (14th overall) in 2011, had a solid debut game at the tournament and scored a goal off a wrist shot from the left point.
Other goal scorers were Matt Tassone, Matt Carter and Stephen Schultz.
Tyler Beskorowany got the start in goal and stopped 16 of 18 shots.
“I thought Besko played the puck really well tonight,” said Pyle. “He made some big saves when we needed them and kept them from getting close in the second, when had a couple of good shots and could have turned it around.”
Jack Campbell is expected to get the start in goal Sunday against the New York Rangers. That game will be carried live on the NHL Network beginning at 5 p.m. (CT).
Saturday's boxscore is here.