The Blue Jackets prospects are off to a 2-0 start in Traverse City at the annual prospects tournament with their eyes on the championship game.
In their first game of the tournament, the Blue Jackets defeated the Chicago Blackhawks prospects 4-3 behind the strong play of Cleveland Monsters (AHL) goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks, who stopped 18 of 21 shots, and the Blue Jackets penalty kill, which successfully killed off all six penalties against.
Scoring goals for the baby Jackets were Samuel Dove-McFalls, Keoni Texeira, Kevin Stenlund and captain Sam Vigneault. Vigneault's game winner was a shorthanded tally.
In the second game, the Blue Jackets knocked off the St. Louis Blues by a score of 5-3.
Defenseman Jordan Sambrook, a late add to the prospect team, made an immediate impact in his first game by tallying a goal and an assist.
Vigneault and Stenlund both scored for the second consecutive games,
— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) September 8, 2018
Goaltender Joseph Raaymakers, who played on Liam Foudy's London Knights team in 2017-18, made 17 saves on 20 shots in his Blue Jackets debut.
Defenseman Garret Cockerill and assistant captain Eric Robinson also tallied goals in the victory.
The Blue Jackets will play the Carolina Hurricanes tonight with a chance to advance to the championship game. Due to the team's 2-0-0 record in round-robin play, the Jackets need just one point against Carolina to clinch their pool and move onto Tuesday evening's championship game for a chance at winning the Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup.
The Blue Jackets lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in the championship game a year ago in an overtime thriller. Their sixth trip to the championship (four wins, one loss previously) would be the most of any team in the tournament's history.