The 10th annual GTHL Top Prospects Game is officially in the books, and what a contest it proved to be.
In the end, it was Team Graves-Primeau-Tucker who skated to a 4-3 overtime victory over Team Clark-Weaver-Corson — but not before a wealth of drama rushed forth in the final minutes to define the game. Despite trailing by a score of 3-1 with less than a 60 seconds remaining in the third period, Team Clark-Weaver-Corson received goals from Brennan Othmann and Brandt Clarke to give the game not only extra life and an extra frame.
However, Team Clark-Weaver-Corson’s excitement proved to be short-lived, as Ryan Del Monte drove hard to the goal with a defender in-tow before burying the game-winning goal — a tally which topped a immensely entertaining evening of hockey.
So, because game recaps can be slightly dull, let’s look at five players from the latest GTHL Top Prospects Game who stood high above their competition — and deservedly so.
The Top-Five Performers
1. Ethan Del Mastro
A standout on the blue line for his team, Del Mastro utilized his intimidating size and impressive strength to separate his opponents from the puck and was not afraid to hammer unsuspecting attackers who entered into his defensive zone. Poised with the puck all game long, Del Mastro consistently executed simple yet tactile plays with apparent ease and fuelled his team’s transition game.
Related: Ethan Del Mastro’s Prospect Profile
Perhaps the most impressive facet of Del Mastro’s game — in addition to his goal and overall play in the offensive zone — was his ability to read and disrupt plays devised by his opposition. On more than one occasion, Del Mastro dismantled dangerous plays occurring within his own zones before moving the puck to safety.
2. Brandt Clarke
Brandt Clarke was his usual self in the latest edition of the GTHL Top Prospects Game, playing a dominant and forceful role at both ends of the ice with a level of poise and consistency typically reserved for seasoned NHL veterans. A shutdown presence in his defensive zone, Clarke moved the puck well throughout the entirety of the game and refused to turnover the puck.
Related: Brandt Clarke’s Prospect Profile
However, it was in the offensive zone where Clarke once again shone. Clearly capable of moving the puck to his forwards with ridiculous ease and a threat to fire the puck as well, Clarke stood as a lethal presence on his team’s blue line all night long before finally bulging the twine to tie the game with mere seconds remaining in the third period.
3. Shane Wright
Although he wasn’t the best player in the game, Shane Wright continued to state his case as a truly exceptional player. As one of just three 2004-born prospects competing in the event, Wright was named as Team Clark-Weaver-Corson’s MVP owing to his tireless work-ethic and persistent play at both ends of the ice.
Related: Shane Wright’s Prospect Profile
After putting his team on the board with mere seconds remaining in the first period, Wright picked up his game and was downright unstoppable in the final 40 minutes of play. Quick and unpredictable, Wright played the majority of almost every shift in the attacking zone and was a driving force behind his team tying the game with virtually no time remaining in the third period.
4. Ryan Del Monte
Ryan Del Monte’s individual skill is undeniable, as evidenced by his two goals and MVP honours for Team Graves-Primeau-Tucker in this year’s edition of the GTHL Top Prospects Game. In fact, it was Del Monte who single-handedly drove his team to victory, as the second of the youngster’s two goals sealed the deal for his team in overtime.
Related: Ryan Del Monte’s Prospect Profile
Speaking to Del Monte’s impressive skill-set was the nature of his first goal of the game, as he sped down the right-wing before burying a shot high and to the short-side of goaltender James Norton. Then, in overtime, Del Monte struck once again — driving hard to the goal before receiving and placing the puck to the top-right corner of the net.
5. Liam Arnsby
Although he wasn’t a fixture on the scoresheet in this particular game, Liam Arnsby’s hard-nosed and uber-competitive style of play caught the attention of all of those in attendance. Relentless in his fore-checking and determined to finish each of his hits, Arnsby’s competitiveness forced his defenders onto their toes and into mistakes.
Related: Liam Arnsby’s Prospect Profile
In fact, it was Arnsby’s play which seemingly kick-started the effort level of Team Clark-Weaver-Corson — a number of his significant hits and energetic plays helped to fuel his team’s resurgence in the latter-half of the game.
Since their contributions were substantial and certainly worth noting, here are honourable mentions listed in alphabetical order whose play was also impressive.
- Andre Anania
- Zach Dean
- Braeden Kressler
- Samuel Moncada
- Joshua Rosenzweig