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Florida Panthers Open Prospect Tournament with Lopsided Win

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Florida Panthers forward Justin Sourdif, center, warms up on Friday morning in Morrisville, N.C., as the Panthers opened their prospect showcase with a 6-1 win over the host Hurricanes. — Photo courtesy @FlaPanthers

The Florida Panthers cruised to a 6-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes to open their three-game prospect showcase tournament schedule in North Carolina on Friday.

The Panthers will hold a practice day on Saturday before returning Sunday afternoon against the Tampa Bay prospects at the Hurricanes’ PNC Arena in Raleigh.

Things started out sour for the Panthers when Justin Sourdif took a tripping penalty behind the Carolina net. Seconds later, Noel Gundler struck to give the Hurricanes an early 1-0 lead with 12:09 to go in the first period.

From there, it was all Panthers.

Liam Arnsby drove the net and put home an Ethan Keppen rebound minutes later to tie the game at 1.

Despite rumors that Jimmy Eat World’s “Sweetness” would be replaced as Florida’s goal song, it played after Florida’s first period goal.

The game remained tied as the Panthers started the second period with a power play.

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Invitee Sahil Panwar had multiple scoring chances to begin the second period, but Hurricanes goalie Patrick Hamrla came up with big saves on each of them to keep Florida’s power play off the board.

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Carolina took a too-many-men penalty just after the power play expired and it was more of the same story. Hamrla could not be beat.

On Florida’s fourth power play opportunity, Santtu Kinnunen finally broke through with a wrist shot that floated over Hamrla’s shoulder and into the net to give the Panthers a 2-1 lead.

Josh Davies extended Florida’s lead to 3-1 with a backhand move on the breakaway and the Panthers took a two-goal advantage into the intermission.

When each team switched goaltenders at the start of the third period, the floodgates opened for Florida.

Out was Hamrla and in was 2022 sixth-round pick Jakob Vondras.

The Panthers were able to solve him early.

Patrick Giles used his 6-foot-5, 217-pound frame to make a nifty move at the net after receiving a feed from Sandis Vilmanis to put Florida up 4-1.

Marek Alscher, a 2022 third-round pick, struck seconds later to extend the lead.

Vilmanis finished things off with a goal of his own a few minutes later to give Florida the five-goal victory.

CAROLINA HURRICANES PROSPECT SHOWCASE

Florida Prospect Roster — Forwards: Liam Arnsby; Tag Bertuzzi; Riley Bezeau; Ethan Burroughs; Xavier Cormier; Josh Davies; Patrick Giles; Riley Ginnell; Beau Jelsma; Ethan Keppen; Sahil Panwar; Kai Schwindt; Justin Sourdif; Sandis Vilmanis. Defensemen: Marek Alscher; Robert Calisti; Dennis Cesana; Braden Hache; Santtu Kinnunen; Evan Nause; Calle Sjalin; Nathan Staios; Zachary Uens. Goaltenders: Mack Guzda; Kolby Hay; Jari Kykkanen.

Game Schedule

Friday

Florida Panthers 6, Carolina Hurricanes 1

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Nashville Predators (Invisalign Arena), 1 p.m.

Saturday

Practice Day

Sunday

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Nashville Predators (PNC Arena), 10 a.m.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Florida Panthers (PNC Arena), 1 p.m.

Monday

Nashville Predators vs. Florida Panthers (PNC Arena), 10 a.m.

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (PNC Arena), 1 p.m.

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