News / Vancouver

Team Orr beats Team Cherry at CHL Top Prospects Game

Vancouver Giants forward Ty Ronning scores in his first shift of the game, as he looks to 'turn some heads' heading into the 2016 NHL Draft

Pierre-Luc Dubois of Team Orr scores the winning goal versus Team Cherry during the CHL Top Prospects Game at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver on Thursday.

Jennifer Gauthier/Metro

Pierre-Luc Dubois of Team Orr scores the winning goal versus Team Cherry during the CHL Top Prospects Game at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver on Thursday.

Ty Ronning and Team Cherry didn’t get the win in the CHL Top Prospects Game in Vancouver on Thursday.

But for Ronning, the hometown player added to the event when his Giants’ teammate Tyler Benson couldn’t play due to injury, he hopes the experience can give him an extra boost as the local Western Hockey League team looks to make a run for a playoff spot.

Ronning scored on his first shift of Thursday’s showcase event, showing those deft hands that have helped him put up 26 goals in the WHL season so far. He also had a strong night with linemates Sam Steel of Regina and Vitaly Abramov of Gatineau in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

In fact, that trio spent a good portion of the night in the other team’s zone and could’ve easily factored more into the scoring.

“I think it was pretty cool. My hometown, all those fans cheering – I think it was the loudest cheer I’ve ever had. It’s something I’ll never forget,” said Ronning.

“I felt like I had a strong game. You can always improve. You know what? I tried to shoot every chance I got and tried to turn some heads, maybe. There’s a lot of critics … but just go out there and play your game and I had a lot of fun.”

Team Orr earned the victory, beating out Team Cherry by a final score of 3-2 before a crowd of 10,113 at Pacific Coliseum.

Pierre-Luc Dubois of Cape Breton (QMJHL) scored the winning goal just 11 seconds after Team Cherry had tied the game at two goals apiece late in the third period.

As dangerous as the Ronning-Steel-Abramov line was, Team Orr’s fourth line did the damage.

Dubois finished with three points, as did Pascal Laberge, who scored twice, including a beauty in the second period as he froze Alexander Debrincat with a move near the blue line, went in and snapped his shot for the goal.

Laberge added another on the power play in the third period.

JOHANSEN’S GAME TRENDING IN RIGHT DIRECTION, SAYS NHL SCOUT

The only thing to get in the way of a Johansen brothers reunion this week was a schedule conflict.

Ryan Johansen, traded from the Columbus Blue Jackets, was in town with his new team, the Nashville Predators, for a Tuesday meeting with the Vancouver Canucks. Younger brother Lucas Johansen, a defenceman with the Kelowna Rockets in the Western Hockey League, was also in town for the Top Prospects Game, but alas he was unable to see his older sibling at Rogers Arena.

While Ryan, at the age of 23, is already into his fifth NHL season, Lucas is approaching the upcoming draft as the 38th-ranked North American skater.

Currently in his second year with the Rockets, Lucas has scored seven goals and 26 points in 44 games, which leads all defencemen in Kelowna.

The book on him, from NHL Central Scouting, is that he’s developing into a defenceman that can be effective at both ends of the rink.

“He comes from the defenceman factory in Kelowna, so he’s got that in his favour there,” said Dan Marr of Central Scouting. (According to an NHL.com article published last March, the Rockets had 11 different defencemen on opening-night rosters for NHL clubs last season.)

“But his game is growing, it’s going in the right direction. He’s on an upward trend so the projection should be he’ll continue and chances are he’ll move up as the year continues.”

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