After a Sunday hiatus, the Carolina Hurricanes prospect team returned to the ice on Monday, downing Nashville 3-2 to sweep the Southeast Rookie Showcase.
Carolina wasted no time to strike, as Vasily Ponomarev took advantage of a careless pass from Predators defender Dylan MacKinnon to gives the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead just 57 seconds into the contest.
Early in the second period, Carolina extended their lead, as former first round pick Ryan Suzuki led a solo breakaway, finding the back of the net.
Nashville slashed into the Hurricanes advantage in the second frame, when Jakub Vondras let just one of the Predators’ first 21 shot attempts sneak by.
Vasily Ponomarev earned his second point of the afternoon in the third period, assisting Blake Murray in what served as the game-winner to give Carolina a 3-1 lead.
Another Nashville goal brought the game to within one, but the once again outstanding play of Ryan Suzuki and Ponomarev guided the Hurricanes to their third win in three tries in the Southeast Rookie Showcase.
“When we first started we said that it was all about the process and not the results. It was great for them to go 3-0, but more importantly, it was great to see our players understand the concepts, especially the forecheck,” said Hurricanes Assistant GM Darren York when speaking with Walt Ruff. To see where they were from the first game to the second game, and then the third [was great.].”
In their final contest, Carolina found themselves on the attack, pestering the Predators and showcasing their dominant presence. Drawing multiple penalties, including Ryan Suzuki on what could have been a second breakaway goal, highlighted the uncomfortableness that Nashville felt.
As the Showcase Series comes to a close two names standout for Carolina: Ryan Suzuki and Vasily Ponomarev.
Both forwards were clearly the two players in the showcase closest to playing in the NHL and that sentiment remains the same.
Ponomarev finishes the three game slate with one goal and four assists, while Suzuki tallied three goals and one assiss. Suzuki also shined in the shootout sessions, finding the back of the net on multiple occasions.
While Carolina has yet to release their training camp roster, Suzuki and Ponomarev are expected to be joined by a plethora of prospects in training camp when it begins on Thursday.