The Calgary Flames dropped to 0-2 at the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton thanks to a 4-3 overtime loss on Monday night at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks. Following their 6-1 loss to San Jose the previous night, Calgary’s prospects were a whole lot better and once again, there were some standout performances. The Flames close out the action Wednesday night against the Edmonton Oilers.
The Canucks opened the scoring on this one, but things were tight from start to finish. The Flames prospects were certainly a whole lot better, and if you eliminate some of the misfortune from Sunday, things were much closer. Calgary had a lead late in the third period thanks to the first goal of the tournament from Michael Ferland, but an even later goal from Vancouver sent us to overtime which is where things were settled.
1. Vancouver. Kellan Tochkin (Craig Duininck) 2:24
2. Calgary. Patrick Holland (Max Reinhart) 15:35 (pp)
3. Vancouver. Nathan Longpre (Yann Sauve, Bill Sweatt) 3:54 (pp)
4. Calgary. Patrick Holland 2 (Max Reinhart) 16:57
5. Calgary. Michael Ferland (Dustin Sylvester) 16:20
6. Vancouver. Nathan Longpre 2 (Antoine Roussel) 19:45
7. Vancouver. Antoine Roussel (Nathan Longpre) 0:16
The overtime winner was a strange one. The Vancouver skater was able to beat defender T.J. Brodie wide, but as Brodie got his stick on the puck, it kind of bounced up and eventually Roussel got credit for the goal. Brodie put it on himself following the game, essentially admitting he was at fault.
What a great game for the Flames top line, with Max Reinhart, Patrick Holland and Sven Baertschi running things virtually everytime they were on the ice. Reinhart was strong, showing a hard nosed approach to gaining the net front area while Holland is a very savvy and smart player. I know Baertschi comes away with no points, but he had a very strong night as well.
It was good to see Joni Ortio’s game a little better than it was the night prior; I know there were one or two interesting ones that got behind him, but I’m willing to let him develop slowly to the North American game. He’s young and there’s no urgency for him to be ready right now, either at the NHL or AHL level. The NHL is covered with Kiprusoff and Karlsson while Leland Irving will carry most of the mail in Abbotsford.
One Good Reason…
…why the Flames lost? An overtime goal. That’s about it, as this one was pretty tight, and it was another solid outing from the Flames youngsters. Clearly, the result matters to the guys on the ice and they were slightly peeved to let this one slip, but from this standpoint, the result really isn’t all that important. Certain players had impressive nights, and the team itself was better than the night before.
Patrick Holland had a great game, and I give him the honor on the heels of more than just his two goals. He was runner-up against the Sharks, and playing with Reinhart again, he was very strong. What I like about him is his vision and ability to play at both ends of the ice; offensively, he and Reinhart do a nice job in gaining and controlling possession, and Holland is a good foil to Reinhart. While Max shows an ability to take the puck to the front of the net, Holland has shown a good knack to know where the puck is going to be and how to feed that puck low.
Sum It Up
Hey, it was better than the night before, and that’s really all that matters. Some players haven’t done a lot of impressing to this point, but the fact is, we can’t read too, too much into games this early in the preseason. Still, it’s nice to see this group play better than the night previous, and it sure would be nice to see the Flames take out the Oilers on Wednesday.