Senators' Alex Formenton ends wild rookie camp game against Maple Leafs

Ottawa Senators prospect Alex Formenton scores the winning goal during the Toronto Maple Leafs versus the Ottawa Senators Rookie Showdown game on September 8, 2018, at Place Bell in Laval, QC (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

For hockey fans desperate to get their fix during the summer months, hearing that rookie camp is underway amongst NHL teams is quite the treat. It’s a good reminder that regular season puck is less than a month away. On top of that, it’s pretty freakin’ entertaining.

Saturday’s clash between the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs in Montreal, the second game of a three-day tournament that also features the hometown Canadiens, was a barn burner.

With both sides’ youngsters fighting to grab the attention of their big league squads, the Leafs were able to find the back of the net with less than 30 seconds remaining. Adam Brooks, a fourth round selection in 2016, slapped a loose puck between the pipes to put Toronto up 5-4 late.

Ottawa didn’t want to roll over just yet, though. The puck dropped at centre and then this happened.

The name Drake Batherson may be familiar. He was a real net tickler for Team Canada during the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship. He scored seven goals in seven games, including three in a 7-2 semifinal win over the Czech Republic, to help his country win gold earlier this year.

Not to be outdone, one of Batherson’s World Junior teammates decided to get in on the fun during overtime.

A Leafs’ shot off the post, a gorgeous pass on a break the other way by Batherson and an even better finish by Alex Formenton.

What a game.

With most eyes on 2018 first round round selection Brady Tkachuk, Formenton, who turns 19 next week, has made quite the splash at Ottawa’s rookie camp. He also found the back of the net in a 4-0 win over Montreal on Friday, a game in which Tkachuk scored twice.

Formenton will look to stick with the Senators this season after becoming the youngest player in modern franchise history to make his NHL debut back in October of 2017. That game against the Detroit Red Wings was the lone big-league action he saw last year before returning to the OHL’s London Knights.

Things are a little rough in Ottawa right now, to say the least. Erik Karlsson doesn’t want to stick around and season ticket numbers are way down. Prospects like Formenton, Tkachuk and Batherson should at least give Senators fans something to look forward to down the road.

We’ll just have to wait and see how far “down the road” is.

The rookie tournament ends Sunday when the Canadiens play the Leafs.

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