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Post-Game: Flames fall to Jets in Penticton finale

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.

The rundown

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.

Red Warrior

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.

Up next

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.

  • everton fc

    I watched the game – at lest 80% of it. My observations:

    “The Good”; Valimaki. Dube. Gawdin. Foo, to me, disappeared in the 2nd, and reappeared in the mid to latter parts of the 3rd. Still, they were a good line and Gawdin should be signed and given a shot to play in the main camp. I think Fischer has been great. Smart player, skates well, plays both ends of the ice well, and has control of his aggressive side. He seems mature out there. I think he’ll end up in Stockton. They could use him, if there’s room. Healey likes to hit. He did okay. Andersson stood out as a leader. The rest of the defence was pourous. Doetzel has looked shakey, surprisingly. He’s really not a prospect anymore. Should have looked more like an everyday AHL player.

    I never heard Dove-McFalls name mentioned. Nor Morrison. Nor Pollock. Nor Ruzicka. Nor Helgelsen. Nor Rassell. Not often, or at all. Hawerchuk played hard. He never quit. Ollas-Mattsson is awkward, and it seems his passes are not crisp. Soft player. I wish Rassell would have had more opportunities with better linemates…

  • ThisBigMouthIsRight

    Well, This game certainly had that “Beer League” feel to it… yikes! Shots 36-10 (I can’t figure out why they lost?) Still the Flames iced some very good Hockey Players mixed in with a bunch of guys that just happen to play Hockey (IMO). Excellent evaluation Ari, I’d like to also add a “shout out” to a couple more Flames prospects that I thought had noticeable (in a good way) contributions to this (attempt of a) game, ~> Zach Fischer, Josh Healey & to a lessor extent ~> Adam Ollas Mattsson and Brett Pollock. Cheers!

  • cberg

    Pretty much agree, except I didn’t think Gawdin did much this game, or the previous ones so there’s no way I’d be looking to sign him, even for Stockton. The good were Foo, Dube and Anderson, Valimaki they moved away from Anderson for a while to test Doetzel, who also didn’t do much. Phillips was unimpressive to me the whole tourney, perhaps he’ll develop into something but very perimeter at best. Fischer WAS pretty good, and Hawerchuck had a couple of moments. All in all a snooze fest. Did they even have 10 shots the whole game? They really seemed to shuffle things around, giving guys a chance, and based on this showing it’ll be a last chance I’m afraid. Better to know sooner than latter.

  • OYYC

    The Flames were in a bad spot coming into this game. Both teams were playing their 3rd game in 4 days, and then throw a 10:30am start time into the mix. But the Jets had a day off yesterday, and that figured to figure into things eventually. The Flames sat arguably their 2 best forwards in Mangiapane and Jankowski, so that wasn’t going to help either.

    Through my eyes, the best players on the team for this game remained the best players. The fringe prospects really didn’t show anything at all. The game day set up shouldn’t really be used an excuse, but it looked like it played a factor. Next stop, real training camp and we’ll see if the top prospects can keep things going.

  • WillyWonka

    Dube looks like he has a lot of potential and upside. There is no doubt that in 2 years we will see Andersson and probably Valamaki in the NHL full time
    Foo looked better with Jankowski and Mangiapane then with guys he was with today

  • The Doctor

    God that was an ugly game for the most part. It’s rare when i really regret watching a hockey game, but this was bad. Agree with the others that our 5-6 top guys were ok to good, the rest of them were invisible/useless. Not having Janko and Mangiapane obviously hurt. Also, it seemed to me that a number of those Jets prospects were big, bigger than our guys and used that to muscle our guys off the puck a lot.

  • Cheeky

    Good to hear that our top end prospects did well in this tournament. Even though the result wasn’t good, these games mean as much as a raw carrot….bring on main camp!

  • Raffydog

    So the Flames, who are said to have one of the deepest prospect pools in the league by many on this site, go 1-2 in the prospects tournament…….interesting that.

          • abbeef

            Gambardella (sp?), Yamamoto, Safin, Maksimov, Butcher, Polei. (6 players under contract with the team)

            Butcher 1st in tournament scoring
            Maksimov and Gamberdella tied for 2nd in tournament scoring.

            3 of the top 4 scorers in the tournament were Oiler prospects. Also the Oiler prospects strongest point was their d (top 6 were all prospects) and goaltending (all prospects). Don’t try and make it sound like the invites carried the team.

            Saying all this 3 games doesn’t make or break a teams prospect depth. Ignorant statements just bother me.

          • TheoForever

            AHL for Polei and Butcher according to ON. The article didn’t count them as Oil, so 4, not 6.
            I used #5 below, if counting Butcher who is decent. Polei had 1 AHL game, didn’t count him.

          • TheoForever

            so, beef go be ignorant on your own site, your prospects suck, get over it.
            2 of our top 5 d prospects were present, and they are better than anything you got.

          • hulkingloooooob

            Oh my abba beef, get over yourself. These theee games are NOT meaningful (in terms of points/wins/loses) but rather for the purpose of evaluation. I guess you’re preparing for trolling pre season or something? Go elsewhere please…

          • abbeef

            I said that the games arent that important. I was just correcting the implication that the Oiler team was carried by invites. It was filled by invites but the prospects were what carried the team.
            I never said anything negative about the flames either. I didn’t know adding facts to refute an incorrect narrative was trolling. I enjoy hockey talk so I added my 2 cents, sorry I offended you with accurate information about a team you were talking about (and nothing negative about your team).

    • TheoForever

      Rated highly by those outside the organization, and like puckhead said most of them weren’t playing in this game.
      So, what are you saying?
      Ohh, and your evaluation of Janko from yesterday what a joke, every expert says that Janko is ready for NHL and was the excellent in all aspects.

    • Azim

      So the Raffydog, who is said to be an actual human with among the soundest intellect in the Raffydog family by the many thoughts in his head, tries to make a point based on a three game sample sized on games with actual scores that don’t matter. At all … interesting that.

    • Derzie

      Our resident negative nellie deserves some credit for this one. He’s not wrong. You can’t help but feel let down after this tourney. Huska didn’t get the best out of these guys or if he did, back to the drawing board. On paper, we look good but Edmonton & Winnipeg have better farms on the ice.

      • TheoForever

        Most guys were walkings for Oilers, and didn’t Winnipeg win as many meaningless games as Calgary.
        As for Huska not getting the best out of the players, nothing new. Still wining is better.

      • Flaming1

        That’s what worries me about the regular season. Are we overvaluing our talent? Edmonton was by far the best team in this tournament.
        I thought everyone here said they had no talent?

      • cberg

        If you look at all of the games, and especially 1 and 3, a bunch of the invites and lessor prospects were played major minutes and in major situations, I would presume to test them out and give them some play before things get more serious starting later this week. This tournament is an evaluation tourney and the key result is getting these guys a look and skating prior to main camp. As an example, in the 2nd period today I think Smith must have played many, many minutes… it seemed like half. Hey, you want to see how he does because his time is coming to a close and unless there’s some drastic changes he’s done. So is that indicative of the Flames? Not so much. Nobody likes to lose, but really, if you accomplished what you needed to it was a successful tourney. I think we did.

        • TheoForever

          This is a very good assessment. In this tournament, every year Flames give a chance to many different players, sometimes they change goalies after a period even if the goalie was good. Winning those games is secondary and evaluation is most important, this was expressed by Flames management in the past.

      • Hockeyfan6778

        There is absolutely no reason to feel let down. I mean winning is always good but as all the experts say these tournaments men nothing. It’s everyones first time back on the ice with no practice and usually not knowing who they play with. These tournys don’t prove anything.

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    I am glad that neither Janko nor Mangi played today or posters would using this loss as a platform for condemning their NHL readiness. To me it shows how valuable the players have become and in Janko’s case how much he brings.

    • HOCKEY83

      Mangy is not making the team this season and they know how good Janks is. I think sitting those 2 was more a test to see how Foo could handle playing without the big line.

      • Baalzamon

        He might. There’s a wing spot open, and IMO Mangiapane is a better player than Foo or Lazar. And that would enable Versteeg to move back to his natural side.

      • Jumping Jack Flash

        I had Mangi as a dark horse for the main training camp…I might have been too optimistic but I still believe he will be an NHLer. Does anyone else feel that Stockton will have a tough time replacing Janko at Center.

  • The Fall

    This tournament is about relative competition: how well do your best work against and with plugs of all ages.

    General Player Notes:

    Val is the real deal. He deserves a nine game look as soon as feasible. I was not expecting to be so impressed. He is poised and extremely efficient. He uses his body to get his stick into the play while maintaining position for transition play at all times.

    Foo came as advertised. He tries to score every time he’s on the ice.

    Janko looks like a T2 throwing aside the human survivors. He’s huge, fast and patient. He loves to shoot.

    Ras isn’t NHL ready. He will be.

    YeastMode showed huge growth. The year of pro hockey really looked good on him: strong and determined. He’s a great playmaker. My only hesitation is his shot. He needs to develop a snipers release: fast and deceptive. He is an absolute steal as a sixth round pick.

    Dube is great. But he need to learn to get the puck to the net.

    Hunter Smith is awful. And it’s strange they’re are two Heat players named Hunter.

    The new jersies look good in game play. Not great, but good.