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Insider Only Rookie Tournament: Zach Sill stars in 5-3 win

Pittsburgh 5 – Ottawa 3
Forward Zach Sill scored twice and goaltender Brad Thiessen made 23 saves, leading the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-3 win over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday afternoon at the John Labatt Centre in the opening game of the 2010 rookie tournament.
Dustin Jeffrey added two goals and Keven Veilleux also scored for the Penguins who scored three-second period goals, jumping out to a 4-1 lead after two periods.
According to the Pens Site, Penguins defenseman Alex Grant had to be removed from the ice on a stretcher, and was taken by paramedics to a local hospital following a nasty hit-from-behind he suffered courtesy of the Senators David Dziurzynski just 2:22 minutes into the first period. Grant was making a play on the puck in the near corner of the Pittsburgh defensive zone when Dziurzynski drilled him into the boards from behind.
Grant was released from the hospital on Sunday morning.
Post Game 1 Buzz
Notes from a team source on the scene: *Zach Sill who had a tremendous prospect camp in July, picked up where he left off, starring for the Pens offensively in game 1 of the rookie tournament.
Sill does a great of creating offensive opportunities by using his speed to the outside and is progressing as a high end energy player.
Sill centered wingers Ryan Schnell and Geoff Walker in the game and all three complemented each other very well in the win.
*Top forward prospect Eric Tangradi was quiet offensively but played a strong two-way game I’m told. Played hard, crashed the net with consistency and was a presence in around the net controlling the puck down low. He had an assist in the game.
*Top defenseman prospect Simon Despres was “dominant at times” against Ottawa. Appears to be coming into his own and strength wise, it’s night and day from where he was at this time last year. His body is starting to fill out and it’s starting to show on the ice I’m told.
Offensively his game is also evolving as Despres I’m told was tremendous on the breakout against Ottawa.

* Heard very good things about the play from Tom Kuehnhackl, the Penguins 2010 4th round pick. His hockey smarts have stood out and he’s a player the Penguins appear excited about. Made some great plays off the boards, creating odd-man rushes against Ottawa I’m told.
In watching Kuehnhackl at the July prospect camp, he’s one of those players who isn’t very noticable in drills but during scrimmages and games, he catches your eye due to the little things he does.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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