I can’t recall too many times I’ve sat down to watch hockey in the morning. International contests played on the other side of the world are one thing; a prospects game being played in B.C., though? Weird.
Evidently the Flames’ prospects also found it weird, as even though they took an early lead, they succumbed to the Winnipeg Jets’ prospects 4-1 in their final game of this year’s Penticton Young Stars Classic.
Early on, the line of Dillon Dube, Glenn Gawdin, and Spencer Foo showed off with some pretty passing – and not too long into the game had a goal to show for it.
Foo carried the puck up into the offensive zone and attempted a centring pass that failed. He picked the puck back up and carried it around the zone, eventually dishing it off to Rasmus Andersson at the blue line. Andersson chipped the puck up to Dube, who opened the scoring, putting the Flames up 1-0 in the first.
In the second period, however, the Jets completely took over. They scored their first goal of the game courtesy of a shot from the point bouncing off of Mason McDonald and eventually over his head, with Cristiano DiGiancinto getting credit for tying the game.
The Jets didn’t stop there, however, as evidenced by how roughly halfway through the game they were leading the Flames in shots, 19-4.
All that pressure paid off for the Jets, as Jansen Harkins dodged an attempted check by Kayle Doetzel in the Flames’ zone and, in keeping the puck, was able to get it past McDonald far side to put Winnipeg up 2-1.
While the Jets continued to dominate the second, the Flames seemed to come to life to start the third. However, in trading zone time with the Jets, it was Harkins who capitalized once again, picking up a rebound McDonald lost between his pads to make it 3-1.
The Flames couldn’t get much pressure going after that – taking five penalties through the game certainly didn’t help them – and surrendered a fourth goal on an empty net as the Jets prospects beat them, 4-1.
The Flames close out the 2017 Pentiction Young Stars Classic with a 1-2 record.
Why the Flames lost
They couldn’t get much going. While some players like Foo and Dube stood out for their ability to make plays, and Matthew Phillips seemed to be on the verge of creating something on pretty much every touch he had early in the game, Calgary had a difficult time sustaining pressure. That, combined with the Jets’ ability to completely take over for extended periods of time – I believe at the 55-minute mark it was said the Jets were outshooting the Flames 33-8, which, wow – made it a sloggish morning game the Flames couldn’t find their footing nor properly compete in.
I generally liked Foo and Dube, as well as Andersson and Juuso Valimaki. I’m tempted to give this one to Foo again for his particularly noticeable set up on the Flames’ lone goal, and that he seemed to be one of the Flames’ better-engaged players.
This and that
Gawdin seemed an appropriate match for Dube and Foo, and the trio combined for a number of pretty passing plays (albeit none ever really went anywhere). Phillips is certainly eager to make plays and has an enthusiastic game. Andersson was involved on both ends of the ice. Valimaki is sound defensively and has exciting powerplay potential. Hunter Smith is slow. Doetzel had a mixed game. And while McDonald got shelled, and had some pretty decent saves – including a handful on partial breakaways – that third goal against was pretty rough to give up, and may have been the backbreaker for this game.
Are you ready for some actual factual training camp?? Because that’s coming up, and a lot more names we’re much more familiar with will be popping up very soon.
As for the next game, we’ll see you back here in a week’s time, when the Flames and Oilers host each other in the annual tradition of split squad games without staggered start times.