McCabe, Reinhart and Team Blue Overshadow Eichel's Debut

It was a near sell-out crowd at First Niagara Center as 17,115 fans packed in to get a first glance at Jack Eichel. However the opposing Team Blue stole the show as they won the game by a final score of 5-2.

Several players on Team Blue had strong games, but leading the way was Jake McCabe. He played great and it was obvious he was the veteran of the group. Dan Bylsma commented on McCabe’s game, “McCabe played a great game.. one of my top three players tonight for sure.” McCabe finished with two assists including a strong pinch on the first tally of the night. McCabe described the play, “Pinched down.. saw a blue jersey in the middle of the ice I just kinda threw it off my backhand.” Tyler Andrew received the pass in the slot and buried the shot up high.  

Jake McCabe had an impressive night. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Jake McCabe had an impressive night. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Justin Bailey also had a strong showing for the Blue Team. Dan Bylsma talked about Bailey’s performance tonight, “I thought he played a strong game.. using his size in the offensive zone, driving to the net.” Bailey scored in the first period on a play in which he recovered from tripping over his own feet.

Jean Dupuy, skated next to Bailey tonight and also created good scoring chances for Team Blue. Also chipping in some energy on Team Blue’s fourth line was Justin Kea. He forechecked hard, had an assist, and him & Josh Chapman both landed solid punches in their firsr period fight.

The line of Sam Reinhart, Hudson Fasching, and William Carrier was very impressive tonight. Reinhart looked smooth and at ease out there, he finished with two goals and an assist. Carrier showed off his speed and had nice dish to Reinhart for his second of the night on a two on one in third. He also got the opportunity to show off his slick hands when he tucked in a rebound from a Reinhart shot. Hudson Fasching made a strong move in the slot and set Reinhart up with a perfect pass on this play. Dan Bylsma declared, “That line was the best.”  

Samson Reinhart finished the night with two goals and an assist. Twitter @BuffaloSabres

Samson Reinhart finished the night with two goals and an assist. Twitter @BuffaloSabres

Jason Kasdorf was very impressive in his 30 minutes of action, as he made several really nice saves. Jonas Johansson picked up where he left off when he got his ice time. In the second period had a Eichel penalty shot, Johansson was patient, didn’t take the bait on Eichel’s stick handling, and the play ended in a nice save. Eichel described the play, “I was looking five hole and he made a good save, he read it pretty well.”

Eichel failed to get on the scoresheet but enjoyed the experience, “There were things I wanna get better [at], overall it was a great experience to play in front of the fans.” At times Eichel appeared to be fatigued and Bylsma commented, “That’s not as explosive as he can be.” Eichel and the rest of the prospects will have tomorrow off to rest, before taking part in a three on three tournament Sunday.

My three stars of tonight’s game are:

3.) Jason Kasdorf

2.) Samson Reinhart

1.) Jake McCabe

Honorable mention.) Justin Bailey