After months of anticipation, and a tune-up match yesterday for each
team, the Battle of Alberta will be rekindled in Penticton, B.C. at the
annual Young Stars Classic! The Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers both
had rough seasons in 2015-16, with even the much-heralded arrival of Connor
McDavid not enough to get the Oilers out of the depths of the draft
lottery. Now, they do battle once more!
The puck drops at 8:30pm MT and you can catch the action streaming live on Flames.com (and the Flames YouTube channel).
The Flames tykes beat Winnipeg 4-1 last night in a game where they out-played and out-shot the Jets for the balance. Jon Gillies went the distance and got the win in his first organized game since early November 2015. And the Flames got goals from Matt Phillips, Andrew Mangiapane, Ryan Lomberg and Austin Carroll, and pretty decent performances from guys like Matthew Tkachuk, Mark Jankowski and Oliver Kylington.
The projected lines, via the Flames site:
Tkachuk – Jankowski – Carroll
Mangiapane – Lomberg – Tuulola
Pollock – Dube – Phillips
Burke – Aagaard – Smith
Culkin – Andersson
Kylington – Bruce
Falkovsky – Morrison
Tyler Parsons starts, with Mason McDonald likely coming in mid-way through the game to get some work in. Parsons dressed as the back-up against Winnipeg but didn’t play. Given the team’s success against the Jets, it’s not all that surprising that they’re going with a largely unchanged line-up: McDonald dresses instead of Gillies, Bruce and Falkovsky replace Dyukov and Kanzig, and Burke replaces Kravchenko. Aagaard looked good yesterday, and it’ll be interesting to see how Burke – the WHL’s third-leading scorer last year – fares.
If the line-up doesn’t have any late tweaks, players that won’t play in the first two games include Nick Schneider, Aaron Hyman, Justin Doucet, Morgan Klimchuk and Mathieu Sevigny. Klimchuk tweaked his groin yesterday, and likely they’re just being cautious with a player that’s a past first round selection of the club.
The boys from up north beat Vancouver 4-1 last night with goals from Jesse Puljujarvi (who had two), Markus Niemelainen and Joey Benik. Former Providence College goalie Nick Ellis got the win and went the distance, right after his former teammate Gillies got the win and went the distance in the very same rink.
We haven’t seen lines yet, but reports from the rink are that Tyler Benson, Drake Caggiula and Puljujarvi won’t play tonight. Caggiula and Puljujarvi played yesterday, but reportedly Benson is nursing an injury.
Bob Green, Oilers Director of Player Personnel says Tyler Benson “banged up” his shoulder last week in WHL exhibition play- out tonight
— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) September 16, 2016
You can make all the “He must be an Oilers prospect with a shoulder injury right after being drafted!” jokes you want…and you wouldn’t be wrong to do so, but you gotta feel for a kid that came in the WHL with all kinds of hype and fanfare (and lived up to it when he was healthy) constantly having to find his way back from these sorts of things.
Of course, if you’re a Flames fan you’re probably just happy that the boys in red get to avoid playing against three of the Oilers best young players at this tournament.
Lines from the Oilers site:
Benik – Butcher – Russell
Shirley – Stadnyk – Descheneau
Christoffer – Platzer – Chase
Bauer – Foster – Soustal
Jenkins – Irving
Betker – Doetzel
Jones – Benning
Dylan Wells will start.
YOUNG STARS HISTORY
This is the sixth Young Stars tournament and the sixth time the Flames and Oilers have met at this event. The Oilers hold the overall advantage in the series, having won three of the previous five meetings in Penticton and each of the last two meetings at the event. The Flames haven’t beaten Edmonton at the Young Stars Classic since 2013.
SUM IT UP
It’s Calgary and Edmonton! Two teams that don’t like each other, from cities that don’t like each other!