The Calgary Flames rookies hosted the Edmonton Oilers rookies on Monday night in a rematch of their prospects clash from Saturday night. And like Saturday night in Edmonton, their outing at the Saddledome was even, and occasionally sloppy. The Flames grinded out a 4-1 victory.
The opening period featured a bevvy of Flames penalties and a couple goals, one for each side.
Edmonton got on the board first on a two-man advantage – the Flames had Cameron Whynot and Martin Pospisil in the box. With all that time and space, Raphael Lavoie buried a feed from Xavier Bourgault to give Edmonton a 1-0 lead.
The Flames answered back on a power play later in the period, though. After a nice passing sequence, Ilya Nikolaev fed Martin Pospisil at the front of the net and the big Slovakian forward poked the puck past Oilers netminder Ilya Konovalov to tie the game at 1-1.
The Flames took the lead early in the second period off the rush, as Cole Huckins found Ryan Francis on the left wing with a really nice deceptive cross-body pass. That gave Francis oodles of time, and he beat Konovalov with a wrister to make it a 2-1 Flames lead.
Pospisil and Jakob Pelletier added empty-netters late in regulation to make it a 4-1 Flames victory.
Why the Flames won
The Flames were much more consistent in this hockey game than they were on Saturday. Some of that may be fewer jitters. Some of that may be more practice time. Some of that may just be they’re more comfortable playing with the players they’re paired with. But rather than starting strong and falling off as the game wore on, the Flames were even-keeled and played a pretty structured game.
He had the game-winning goal, so let’s give it to Francis.
Honourable mention to Dustin Wolf, who was quiet in net in all the ways you would hope for your goaltender to be quiet.
Via our pal Pat Steinberg:
Pospisil – Zary – Duehr
Pelletier – Nikolaev – Zavgorodniy
Pettersen – Francis – King
Ciona – Kerins – Huckins
Solovyov – Kuznetsov
Poirier – Poolman
Moro – Wilson
Not dressed for the Flames were G Carter Serhyenko, D Johannes Kinnvall (injury), D Cole Jordan (precautionary), F Mark Simpson and F Reid Perepeluk.
Connor Zary left the game midway through the first period after blocking a shot off the inside of his left leg on a penalty kill. He did not return.
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) September 21, 2021
Who looked good?
Much like Saturday’s game, the Flames’ top few lines looked pretty effective. Among the players that stood out included Wolf, Jeremie Poirier, Nikolaev, Pospisil, Francis, Emilio Pettersen and Jakob Pelletier
Main training camp opens on Wednesday (with medicals) and Thursday (with on-ice action)! The Flames open their pre-season schedule this coming Sunday at home against Edmonton.