White falls to Blue

Written By Kris Baker on Monday, August 6, 2012 | 8/06/2012

Sean Kuraly (SJS) struck for a pair of early goals Sunday, and John Gibson (ANA) stopped all 21 shots he faced as Team Blue avenged their opening day loss with a 4-3 win over Team White at USA's National Junior Evaluation Camp.

Sabres prospects Jake McCabe and Logan Nelson did not factor into the White scoring. McCabe showed his active two-way game and physical side while earning regular shifts on both PP and PK. He made some nice break-ups. He was whistled for a hit from behind on Johnny Gaudreau. Also of note was a key hustle play to get a clear while killing off a 5x3 in the third period.

After playing wing in Saturday's win, Nelson was moved to center on a line with Tyler Biggs (TOR) and Jimmy Vesey (NAS). He fared well at the dot, save for a few losses when opposite Alex Galchenyuk (MON), and showed quick feet and an ability to convert loose pucks into plays at the net.

After Kuraly beat Anthony Stolarz (PHI) for a pair of goals in the top half of the first, Vince Trocheck (FLA) connected on the power play for White after a nice cross-ice feed from Joakim Ryan (SJS) at 11:22. White would cash-in another cross-ice look at 17:17 when J.T. Miller (NYR) hit Stefan Matteau (NJD) for a one-timer to even the score heading into the first intermission.

Vesey gave White the 3-2 lead at 4:22 of the second when he capitalized on a bounce off an official's leg to beat Jon Gillies from the right side. Blue took control from there, starting with a Colin Blackwell (SJS) tally off a Jacob Trouba (WIN) rebound at 12:52 to tie the game. Steven Fogarty (NYR) capped the middle frame by cutting to the middle and scoring a heavy wrister at 18:34. Fogarty's mark made it 4-3 Blue, and eventually held up as the game winner as Gibson shut the door in the final period.

What happens next for McCabe and Nelson will be settled following Monday's White/Sweden tilt. McCabe is the only defender in camp with a goal but could use a strong game to stand out on the crowded blueline. Nelson has played like he belongs but needs to get on the scoresheet. He missed a golden opportunity on a re-direct early in Sunday's loss and hasn't received any power play time in the two games.

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