There's nothing like a Saturday night hockey game featuring two rival franchises to solidify the return of hockey to Canada! Tonight, the prospects from the Edmonton Oilers renewed acquaintances with the Calgary Flames's best young players.
The Flames biggest roster change from Friday night was having Tyler Parsons and Mason McDonald play 30 minutes each, thus replacing Jon Gillies in net. Coming off a 4-1 win, it's easy to see why they would keep their roster changes to a minimum.
On the other hand, the Oilers made substantial changes. They decided to give Ethan Bear, Drake Cagguila and Jesse Puljujarvi the night off, which allowed a few other players to see some action. Considering this is a chance for teams to see the talent of their young players, it makes sense. Likely some fans were disappointed that Puljujarvi was not in the lineup, but the Oiler faithful will have more than 80 chances to see him play this year (barring injury).
EDMONTON OILERS (4) vs. CALGARY FLAMES (3)
Pace: This game had a great pace to it, back and forth, end to end action. Both teams played a fast physical game for the entirity of the game.
Penalty Killing: Both teams successfully killed off 5-on-3's and really minimized the number of quality scoring chances given up while killing penalties
Joey Benik: The former Penticton Vee forward contributed 2 goals on the night including this beauty.
Mason McDonald: It's hard to come into a game after sitting on the bench for an hour and a half. McDonald gave up that gem of a goal on his first shot faced to make it a 2-1 lead for the Oilers. He never really found his groove and ended up taking the loss in net for the Flames
Edmonton's 3rd Period: The shots were 23-23 after 40 minutes, and the Oilers held a 3-1 lead early in the third only to be outshot 18-8 in the third, and ultimately seeing the Flames tie the score and force Overtime.
Tonight the second generation hockey player scored a goal, was active in puck rotation, took a double minor penalty for spearing and drew a high sticking call against the Oilers. His play tonight is a much better reflection of what he is capable!
Tomorrow's game is a matinee featuring the Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets at 2pm Pacfic. It will be lived streamed on Canucks.com