VANCOUVER – Pascal Laberge scored twice and added an assist as Team Orr beat Team Cherry 3-2 in Thursday’s BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.
Pierre-Luc Dubois added a goal and an assist for Team Orr.
Ty Ronning and Logan Brown replied for Team Cherry.
With Hall of Fame defenceman Bobby Orr and famed hockey broadcaster Don Cherry looking on as coaches, the event showcased 40 of the top draft-eligible players from the Canadian Hockey League, drawing a number of NHL scouts and general managers to Pacific Coliseum.
Past games have featured 13 future first overall picks in the NHL draft, including Nathan MacKinnon (2013), Aaron Ekblad (2014) and Connor McDavid (2015).
Just 11 seconds after Brown scored with 8:36 left in the third period for Team Cherry to tie the score 2-2, Dubois — ranked as the No. 7 skater by NHL Central Scouting for the upcoming draft — stole the puck and worked a nice give-and-go with Laberge to restore Team Orr’s lead in front of a crowd of 10,113.
WATCH: Don Cherry in Vancouver to coach Top Prospects Game
A centre for the QMJHL’s Victoriaville Tigres ranked as the No. 31 North American skater, Laberge snapped a 1-1 tie at 9:40 of the third on the power play with a quick shot between Zach Sawchenko pads.
Down 1-0 in a game that lacked the usual physical intensity for the first two periods, Laberge tied things up for Team Orr with 2:51 left in the second.
Laberge grabbed the puck in the high slot and walked around Team Cherry’s Alex DeBrinkat before ripping a shot past Sawchenko.
Ronning, the son of former NHLer Cliff Ronning, was only added to the game this week when Vancouver Giants teammate Tyler Benson was ruled out because of injury.
Ranked as the No. 82 North American skater, the 18-year-old was in the right place at the right time to pop a rebound past Carter Hart 3:09 into the first to give Team Cherry a 1-0 lead.
Evan Fitzpatrick, who started for Team Cherry before being replaced by Sawchenko in the second, made a two good saves on Team Orr forward Jack Kopacka with about eight minutes left in the first period before making another stop on Matthew Tkachuck moments later after a couple of nice moves.
Notes: The game was first played in 1996 at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. … Vancouver also hosted in 2005, drawing an event-record 16,331 at Pacific Coliseum.
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