Less Than Jake: Flames Lose on Virtanen OT Winner

For the third straight contest at the Young Stars Classic tournament, the Calgary Flames opened the scoring. For the second straight game, the Flames had a heck of a time holding a lead. Tonight, in the final game of the tournament, the host Vancouver Canucks battled back from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits to force overtime. Then they won in a pretty entertaining 3-on-3 overtime via a Jake Virtanen break-away goal.

The Flames finish the tournament with a regulation win, a regulation loss and an overtime loss – finishing exactly at .500 at the event.

An unlikely source opened the scoring for Calgary; try-out winger Julien Proulx took advantage of a broken play and fired a shot past Clay Witt to make it 1-0. The Flames out-shot Vancouver 9-5 in the first.

But like the other two games Calgary played, they seemed to let the opposition creep back in. Vancouver out-shot Calgary 14-6 in the second, with some big Jon Gillies saves keeping things close. Gillies was finally beaten late by Dane Fox with five minutes left in the second after a Kenney Morrison turnover in the neutral zone gave Fox a wide-open chance (and a rebound). Gillies played the first 40 minutes and made 18 saves. Morgan Klimchuk put Calgary up 2-1 late in the second off an awful line change by the Canucks and a neat passing play with Mason Marchment and Pavel Karnaukhov, leading to a wrister that beat Jackson Whistle.

The third was another back-and-forth period, albeit with Vancouver pushing the pace and slightly leading in shots 10-8. But all Vancouver needed was a good bounce; Patrick Sieloff tried a cross-ice pass behind the net to partner Kenney Morrison. Unfortunately, Sieloff hit the side of the net instead of Morrison, and Rodrigo Abols shoved the puck past Nick Schneider to tie the game up at 2-2.

A period of three-on-three overtime followed, with big chances off the rush going both ways. The Flames players got caught up ice on a scoring chance that rebounded out to center ice, where Jake Virtanen turned on the jets, grabbed the puck and beat Schneider for a dramatic OT winner.


I’m gonna go with the two Flames goalies. We know that Jon Gillies is pretty good, but Nick Schneider – who’s Medicine Hat’s starter in the WHL – got his first sniff of action and actually looked pretty good. Neither goalie got a ton of help from their defense, and both had to make a couple nifty desperation saves.

Honourable mention to Andrew Mangiapane, Bill Arnold and Morgan Klimchuk, who were all noticeable.


Players that suited up for all three Young Stars games: Bill Arnold, Austin Carroll, Pavel Karnaukhov, Andrew Mangiapane and Emile Poirier.

Didn’t play at all: Tomas Soustal and Louick Marcotte.


The Flames return home! Tomorrow’s the golf tournament, Wednesday’s the annual game against the University of Calgary Dinos, and then main camp kicks off at the end of the week.

  • Eric Roy’s controller got disconnected on that two-on-none shorthanded chance for the Canucks AND on the Virtanen breakaway in OT.

    Just a brutal effort there. Not what you’d expect from a kid trying to earn a PTO.

  • Willi P

    Finishing with 1 win and 2 losses is not a .500 record. I don’t care about the loser point. This is not the regular season and the NHL should get rid of the loser point anyway or go 3 regulation win, 2 OT win and 1 OT loss.

  • Kylington gets no credit for a solid game? He wasn’t as good as Andersson was against Winnipeg, but he was better than Andersson was against the Oilers.

    He was also noticeably better than his pairmate (Morrison). Really there was only one shift where Kylington’s defensive work made me cringe (beginning of the second period, the replay really drove it home). Otherwise he was strong on both sides of the puck.

  • FlamesRule

    Tough loss for the good guys, but unfortunately the canucks have much better prospects right now. Our team looked pretty uninterested for most of the night. Oh well, I’m sure they will learn from this.

    • RedMan

      Disagree with your first statement, agree though that they didn’t look good.

      Flames seem to get hit with injuries at these tournaments. Frustrating. good experience for some of the younger guys, especially Schneider, but no doubt the management learned a lot about what they have.

    • T&A4Flames

      Really? Aside from Virtanen and possibly Shinkaruk, there prospect pool is shite! We have a much better and deeper prospect pool. Not a lot played in this game though. Maybe that’s what you meant?

  • RedMan

    Bennett and Pointer had stretches where they seemed to he able to control play, but didn’t generate anything. I was hoping to see more out of both.

    Mangiapane… a pleasant surprise. Culkin or Kulak… CAnt remember always getting mixed up, looked good.

    Rasmuss very much looked like a future NHLer and Kylington, if he ever gets the defensive end figured out, is going to tear it up. That’s a big if though as he was prone to bad decisions in his own end.

    I had hoped to see Poirier show better, and in fact same with Bennett.

    This third game as a whole was lousy. Then again, Flames by far brought the most guys to the tourney, and did rotate in quite a few in this game, and it looked like it.

      • RedMan

        I thought they looked good, would stop just short of great. 🙂

        don’t get me wrong, i am veyr high on both players – just would have like to see a tab bit more.

        I still believe Bennett may be elite talent before he is done, and still hoping for Poirier to be a solid top sixer.

  • Burnward

    That one rush from Mangiapane left me shaking my head. I think it was early third, but he took a guy wide and the calm, subtle dekes he used were stupid smooth. Reminds me a lot of Ennis.