Buffalo – Alexander Holtz scored his second goal of the game in 17 seconds of overtime to give the New Jersey Devils a 4-3 win over the Canadians in the 2022 Horizons Challenge on Friday.
The Canadians were leading 3-2 when Holtz scored his first goal at 18:14 of the third half and the situation went from bad to worse after 22 seconds when Ryan Francis went into the penalty area for a break. That gave the Devils a 4-on-3 advantage in going into overtime and they benefited from a combination of first-round draft picks and defender Simon Nemec, who was the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s NHL draft.
The Canadians had taken the lead earlier in the third half with a goal by Owen Beck. he is He will return to junior hockey later this month, but is determined to make a good impression on Canadians
Beck took advantage of a turnover in the attacking area and scored an unaided goal at 8:59. Beck, who was a second-round pick (33rd place) earlier this year, scored goals in both of Montreal’s games here.
“I wanted to come here and make an impact and I felt like I did,” Beck said. “I did what I’m known for, which is winning fights and playing a strong 200-foot game trying to add to my inspiration, which a lot of people questioned last season.
“I worked a lot on my standoffs because that’s where it all begins,” Beck said. “You can’t do anything if you don’t have a disk.”
It looked like it might be a long night for understated goalkeeper Riley Mercer when the Devils opened the scoring with a powerful goal by Riley Walsh at 2:02.
But defender William Trudeau scored midway through the period and Philippe Messar scored in the first round with a powerful late goal to put Montreal ahead 2-1. The second goal was the same number of games as Massar, who is hoping to play for Laval this season rather than heading to OHL with Kitchener Rangers.
Late Xavier Barnet, who was one of eight unbelievable players in the Devils squad, scored the only goal in the second half to tie the match 2-2. The Laval native is coming out of the breakout season as a junior over their age. He had 51 goals and 106 points with the Sherbrooke Phoenix. The 5-foot-8 winger was overlooked for his size and also missed his half-year draft due to injury.
On paper, the Montreal squad was much weaker than the group that lost 4-3 to the Buffalo Sabers on Thursday.
Jordan Harris and Matthias Norlender were the only defenders in the fight for an NHL job when the main training camp opens next week. The inexperienced defense team was backed by Mercer, an unbelievable player who struggled last season in Drummondville.
Mesar was the only first-round choice in the Montreal squad – the Devils wore four outfits, including their entire first line, the Nemec – and they had five unbelievable players.
The Canadians will train on Saturday and play their last game on Sunday afternoon against the Ottawa Senators.
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