Taylor Hall exhibited just why he is the mid-season favourite to become the first overall selection at the 2010 NHL entry draft.
The Windsor Spitfires speedster set up Ryan Spooner of Peterborough Petes for the game-winning, shorthanded goal with 8:05 remaining in the third period en route to Team Cherry’s 4-2 win against Team Orr in the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on Wednesday.
Playing in front of his Spitfire fans in Windsor, Ont., Hall snatched a loose puck out of the air, sped down the ice for a two-on-one rush and passed to Spooner, who lifted a shot over Team Orr goalie Louis Domigue.
"I out-coached [Orr] again," Cherry joked.
This was Hall’s seventh game since he returned from playing with Canada at the world junior tournament in Saskatoon two weeks ago.
"It’s been pretty tough for myself," Hall said. "It’s been tough to get up for games, but I have to remind myself to go out there and have fun."
Hall, Tyler Seguin and Cam Fowler each had a strong game.
They are the consensus top-three picks with the NHL draft five months away and it will depend on the team’s needs which player will be chosen first.
Hall is a left-winger, Seguin plays centre and Fowler patrols the blue-line with an offensive flare.
"Like [Cherry] said, this was the furthest thing from an all-star game," Hall said. "There was a lot of intensity out there."
Team Orr’s Nino Niederrater opened the scoring in the first period a goal from the slot before Emerson Etem tied the game in the second period.
Team Orr enjoyed a one-goal advantage after Jeff Skinner scored early in the third period, but Jordan Weal tied the game 34 seconds later.
Louis-Marc Aubry added an empty-net goal for Team Cherry.
Skinner, who plays for the Kitchener Rangers, is the leading goal scorer in the OHL, with 35 goals in 44 games.
"Everyone is here to prove to the scouts that they deserve to be drafted higher than they are ranked right now," he said.