Last night, the Calgary Flames got the YoungStars event off to a wonderful start. How? Well, they beat the Oilers by a 5-2 score and largely out-played their neighbours to the north. The challenge for the boys in red will be to continue that momentum one day later, as they face the Vancouver Canucks prospects at 8:30pm MT. While you can experience the action via a stream from the Flames website (or on Sportsnet 960 The Fan), bear in mind that the BC crowd will probably be cheering on the Canucks.
In other words, the boys are in enemy territory and will have to fight their way out.
Courtesy Sportsnet 960 The Fan’s Pat Steinberg, the lines for this evening:
- Max Reinhart – Josh Jooris – Linden Penner
- Michael Ferland – Sean Monahan – Dylan Smoskowitz
- Ben Hanowski – Markus Granlund – Emile Poirier
- Turner Elson – Corban Knight – Sven Baertschi
- Keegan Kanzig – Ryan Culkin
- Zach Davies – Tyler Wotherspoon
- Eric Roy – John Ramage
Joni Ortio gets the start. Sitting tonight are Kulak, Sieloff, Taranto and Gordon. Keep your eyes peeled for the Hanowski/Granlund/Poirier line, as they all had pretty strong showings against the Oilers. The Elson/Knight/Sven pairing also looks to be quite interesting.
Eric Roy gets his first taste of action tonight. The 5th rounder is a high octane offensive defender, so it will be interesting to see how he fares tonight.
Disappointing – try-out Smoskowitz isn’t playing on the same line as Hanowski.
The Canucks are coming off a 4-3 win against the Sharks in the late game yesterday but, surprisingly, aren’t making huge changes to their line-up. While no lines are available seemingly anywhere, we’re told (via the Canucks site) that Joacim Eriksson will probably start again after putting up a great showing last night.
Keep an eye out for the line of Bo Horvat, Hunter Shinkaruk and Zach Hall up front, while blueliners Frankie Corrado, Evan McEneny, Miles Liberati and forward Alex Friesen will suit up for the first time in the tournament. Notably not playing is Brendan Gaunce, although he’s merely a healthy scratch so fresh bodies can cycle in.
SUM IT UP
Both the Flames and Canucks are coming off morale-boosting victories last night. Now, one of them will have to taste the not-so-refreshing spice of defeat. Calgary’s gambling on Joni Ortio having a strong re-introduction to North America, while the Canucks are gambling that their young group of blueliners can hold back Calgary’s offensive onslaught.
Needless to say, the Canucks probably have a better blueline here than Edmonton did last night. The big question is “how much better?” Oh, and the whole Ortio thing. He wasn’t good when he was with the Heat, but he’s had a lot of success in Europe.