Brule leads Team Cherry to win in the Home Hardware Top Prospects Game

By Aaron Bell

Vancouver, BC — Gilbert Brule had high expectations for himself heading into the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.

The Vancouver native and top rated WHL prospect for the next NHL draft scored three goals and picked up an assist to pace Team Cherry to an 8-4 win over Team Davidson on Wednesday. The game drew an event record 16,331 fans to Pacific Coliseum.

“I put a lot of pressure on myself and luckily, the puck went in for me tonight,” Brule said after the game. “I was pretty happy with that. I was throwing the body a little out there. It was a lot of fun.”

Brule, who plays for the host Vancouver Giants, scored his first of the game early in the second period. He took a pass from Nicholas Drazenovic of the Prince George Cougars and fired a wrist shot over the glove of Alexandre Vincent of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens. Brule scored again late in the second period when he wristed a shot over the net and deposited the rebound behind Daren Machesney of the Brampton Battalion. Brule completed the hat trick with an empty-netter with 13 second left in the game.

  Team Cherry coach Don Cherry was surprised to be ranked sixth in the NHL Central Scouting mid-term rankings that were released last week.

“I don’t think hell be number six after this game,” said Cherry, who has won four of nine Top Prospects Games.

Kenndal McArdle of the Moose Jaw Warriors put Team Davidson on the board when he picked up a rebound off the back boards and put it past Team Cherry goaltender Carey Price of the Tri-City Americans with 17 seconds left in the first period. The Burnaby, BC native scored his second of the game with 11 seconds left in the second period.

“I was really happy with the way I played tonight,” McArdle said. “I thought I brought the game I (like to) play.”

Guillaume Latendresse of the Drummondville Voltigeurs opened the scoring with a little more that three minutes left in the first period when his wrist shot from just inside the blueline floated over Vincent’s glove.

  Marek Zagrapan of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens finished off a nice individual effort by Radek Smolenak of the Kingston Frontenacs to bump Cherry’s lead to two. Alex Bourret of the Lewsiton MAINEiacs added to Cherry’s lead late in the second period when he finished off a tic-tac-toe play with Benoit Pouliot (Sudbury Wolves) and Latendresse.

Devin Setoguchi of the Saskatoon Blades closed the gap when he redirected a point shot from Jean-Philippe Paquet (Shawinigan Cataractes) 48 seconds into the third period.

Brendan Mikkelson restored Cherry’s three-goal lead with a point shot seven minutes into the final period. Brule picked up an assist his third point of the game on the play.

Vincent gave up three goals in the first half of the game. He eight saves, including a sensational glove stop on Zagrapan, who was alone at the edge of the crease early in the second period.

Smolenak, who was added to the roster earlier this week as an injury replacement, and Zagrapan connected again to score Cherry’s seventh goal of the game with less than seven minutes left in the third.

Viatcheslav Trukhno rounded out the scoring for Davidson, picking up a pass from Jakub Kindl of the Kitchener Rangers in the slot and sliding a wrist shot by the leg of Jean Philippe Levasseur of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.

  Team Davidson captain Bobby Ryan of the Owen Sound Attack left the game with an apparent shoulder injury after colliding with Bourret behind Team Cherry’s net late in the first period. Bourret also laid a heavy hit on Sudbury Wolves defenceman Marc Staal in the third period.

“When you see these kids play, they play for keeps,” said Cherry. “They’re hitting and banging and thats the way hockey should be played. “


Game Summary

Team Cherry 8, Team Davidson 4

First Period
1. CHERRY Latendresse (Bourret, Lashoff) 16:50
2. CHERRY Zagrapan (Smolenak) 19:26
3. DAVIDSON McArdle (Bourdon, Trukhno) 19:43
Penalties: DAVIDSON Setoguchi (slashing) 9:57; DAVIDSON Kindl (Hooking) 17:59; CHERRY Heshmatpour (holding) 18:52

Second Period
4. CHERRY Brule (Drazenovic, Parent) 1:08
5. CHERRY Brule (unassisted) 15:36
6. CHERRY Bourret (Pouliot, Latendresse)18:41
7. DAVIDSON McArdle (unassisted) 19:49
Penalties: CHERRY Lashoff (hooking) 2:05; DAVIDSON Merkley (cross checking) 66:11

Third Period
8. DAVIDSON Setoguchi (Paquet, Durand) 0:48
9. CHERRY Mikkelson (Lawrence, Brule) 7:16
10. CHERRY Smolenak (Zagrapan) 12:07
11. DAVIDSON Trukhno (Kindl, Jones) 15:48
12. Brule (Davis) 19:47 EN

Penalties: CHERRY Bartulis (tripping) 3:43,

Shots on Goal
– Total
Team Cherry
– 27
Team Davidson
– 31

Goaltenders (Mins. GA/Shots)
Carey Price (29:29 1/17)
Jean Philippe Levasseur (30:31 3/8)
Alexandre Vincent (29:29 3/11)
Daren Machesney (30:31 5/17)


Players of the Game
CHERRY Gilbert Brule, Vancouver
DAVIDSON Kenndal McArdle, Moose Jaw Warriors

Referee Pat Smith
Linesmen Neil Ellingson, Nathan Wieler

Attendance 16,331

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