Casey Mittelstadt's shootout goal gave Team Martin a 3-2 victory over Team Perreault Saturday in the championship game of the Sabres' French Connection Tournament that wrapped up development camp.
But the 1,800 fans that packed HarborCenter were there mostly to watch Rasmus Dahlin. The No. 1 overall pick hit the crossbar on the first shift of his first game and didn't score a goal but was nonetheless impressive with his smooth strides on the ice.
"He literally floats around out there, doesn't look like he's trying at all and he's gliding by guys," Mittelstadt said. "It's pretty cool. You can see how good of a skater he is and how good his hands are just from today. It's definitely really exciting and it's a big piece for us."
Dahlin played on Team Perreault and his club went 3-2 in the tournament.
"It was a fun tournament. We had a lot of fun on the bench," Dahlin said. "It went good."
The 18-year-old Swede said he was particularly looking forward to training camp in September and the start of exhibition games.
"I'm super impressed and I can't wait to see all the fans in one arena when the games start," he said. "It's been amazing. They've been great. I've had my jersey on and that feels crazy too. It's been awesome to be here.
"I'm just super impressed they even know who I am. I know they love hockey and I will try to win hockey games so you can give back to them."
A quick recap of the games:
Team Robert 3, Team Perreault 1: After Dahlin hit the crossbar on the opening shift, his team fell behind, 2-0, on goals by William Worge-Kreu and Matej Pekar and never caught up.
Team Hasek 2, Team Robert 1: Brendan Guhle scored the winner in a shootout. Rasmus Asplund's backhand feed to Chris Brown for the Team Hasek goal was one of the best passes of the day.
Team Perreault 2, Team Martin 1: Dahlin's team got its first win thanks to goals by invitees Brandon Biro and Connor Mackey. Lawrence Pilut scored for Team Martin.
Team Robert 3, Team Martin 1: With a game-long spat between Pekar and Mittelstadt the main talking point, Pekar's team got the last laugh. Mittelstadt got the Martin goal but Cole Coskey snapped a tie and Vasily Glotov hit the empty net.
Team Perreault 2, Team Hasek 1: Invitee Pascal Aquin (Charlottetown) scored the only goal in a shootout that saw Dahlin and Asplund both get thwarted.
Team Martin 1, Team Hasek 0: Mittelstadt got the game's only goal with a bar-down backhander on a breakaway that burned Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen.
In round robin play, Team Robert was 2-0-1, Team Perreault (Dahlin) was 2-1, Team Hasek was 1-1-1 and Team Martin was 1-2.
Semifinal I: Team Martin 4, Team Robert 0: Goals by Brett Murray, Pilut, Mittelstadt and Miksa Kukkonen claimed the first spot in the final.
Semifinal II: Team Perreault 3, Team Hasek 1: Aquin got the game's first goal on a breakaway with 1:05 left. Biro had the other two, the second into empty net. Guhle scored for Hasek.
Championship: Team Martin 3, Team Perreault 2: Mittelstadt's shootout goal clinched the championship after Andrew Oglevie's penalty-shot tally with 18 seconds left had tied the game.
Eric Cornel and Mittelstadt had scored for Team Martin in a 27-second span to provide a 2-0 lead but Victor Olofsson streaked in for a flip to the top corner to make it 2-1 with two minutes and Ogilvie got the equalizer.