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Penticton Young Stars Classic game 2: Calgary Flames vs. Edmonton Oilers prospects recap

No wonderkin Connor McDavid tonight but comeback fueled by getting under the skin of the Flames helped vault the Oilers to a 6-3 victory.



After they decimated the Canucks prospects last night, the Edmonton Oilers prospects were looking to send a message against their arch-rivals. And it showed, well, after they found their game. Meanwhile the Calgary Flames prospects were looking to build off of a very impressive showing against Winnipeg.

Without players like Oliver Kylington and Morgan Klimchuk, the Flames put in an acceptable effort this evening. Again several names from last night’s victory continued to impress as they make strong cases for their careers.

First Period

The everlasting theme of Sam Bennett’s relentless forecheck opened the game for the Flames. It never seems to stop for him as he’s always somewhere, doing something sensible. Despite that, the Flames looked a tad disorganized in their own end to start, a byproduct of just being a little unfamiliar with their peers.

Mason McDonald was being tested primarily by the Oilers‘ Connor Rankin as he had a couple chances in the period including easily dancing around invitee Jason Fram. The Flames struck first however as Pavel Karnauhkov excellent pass to Hunter Smith all alone in front to make it 1-0.

As the period continued, the Oilers looked flatter and flatter, allowing Bennett and linemate Emile Poirier to create a superb scoring chance. Thanks to some offsetting penalties, the Flames took advantage of the four-on-four play as Bill Arnold would feed Andrew Mangiapane a perfect pass making it 2-0.

Second Period

Edmonton came out buzzing to start the period after their lackluster first period as things got a little heated. Unfortunately undisciplined play lead to the Oilers heading to the powerplay. Thankfully a superb forecheck by Ryan Lomberg generated a call against Edmonton sending the game back to four-on-four. The Oilers were able to solve McDonald as Josh Winquist's patience for the right shot made it 2-1.

Calgary started to come alive again, showing shades of the first period as Bennett drew yet another penalty. As the Flames headed into a five-on-three, Rasmus Andersson showed off his patience, feeding a perfect pass to Arnold to make it 3-1. Penalty troubles again hit the Flames prospects as Keegan Kanzig took a seat for taking an unnecessary penalty. The penalty kill continued to show a very aggressive pace and dictate the way Edmonton attacked. Despite killing the penalty, Hunter Smith took another unnecessary call.

The PK again, was clicking again as the Flames were able to create two-on-one plays and draw penalties too. From what was seen on the Flames power play: it was capable. Puck cycling worked and they drove to creating decent chances. The Flames PK fell apart late, even with the prior positives as Joey Laleggia put away a perfect point shot with a screen in front making it 3-2.

Third Period

The final period was a continuation of decisions and consequences that didn’t work out in favor of Calgary. Kenney Morrison’s delay-of-game call at the end of the second allowed the Oilers to start the period with the man-advantage. Bryce Van Brabant being sprung on a breakaway was one of the few positives in the period, though tripping himself up a bit on it wasn’t a positive end result.

Penalties began to run rampant again, as the Flames got another chance on the powerplay to extend their lead. Nothing quality transpired, though the Oilers would tie the game with a defensive zone breakdown by the Flames on the PK. Even with the shortcomings in their own end, McDonald was stable, providing some structure and support in net. The Oilers got lucky again as Leon Draisaitl was tripped up on a breakaway, which resulted in a penalty shot, which resulted in a 4-3 game at that point.

As the play fell apart with Calgary trying to equalize, things went even more sideways. A scrum after a chance in front of Jordan Papirny resulted in Darnell Nurse and Andersson fighting. From there the Oilers on two occasions added empty net goals to win 6-3.

Flame of the game

How about Bill Arnold who had a stellar two-point night in the loss? Lots of elements of his offensive game are underrated, but they showed up tonight. Arnold was capable in all ends of the ice, in all situations too. His overall individual effort was very impressive and shows exactly why he excelled in the NCAA. Plus that pass on the Mangiapane goal was delicious eye-candy.

Stray Observations

Up Next

The Flames prospects close out the Young Stars tournament on Monday against the Vancouver Canucks at 3:30 PM MST. Hopefully the Flames can regain some discipline in their game and avoid penalties like they did tonight, which led to their undoing.

After that, the Flames training camp will be closing in shortly as the 2015-16 season is fast approaching.

by Mike Pfeil