It was an early start today! The Flames and Jets took to the ice at an unreasonably early 10:30 am, which is a recipe for a slow start to a game.
Winnipeg Jets (4) vs. Calgary Flames (1)
The Flames coming off of a hard fought win over the Canucks in the Sunday afternoon affair were definitely showing the effects of their previous day’s efforts. The Jets on the other hand, were coming off of a rest day and had ample amounts of fuel in the tank to put forth their best effort. The Jets controlled the tempo, the shot clock (35-10), and the scoreboard.
Jansen Harkins: The Prince George Cougar was the best forward on the Jets today. He played a smart hockey game offensively and defensively. He took several key defensive zone faceoffs in addition to driving the offensive.
Dillon Dube: Flames forward was one of the few bright spots in today’s game. He is a solid forward prospect who can be used in all situations. He was rewarded for his efforts today as he scored the lone Flames goal.
The Flames effort: Either they played too hard yesterday (likely), or they celebrated too hard last night (doubtful). It felt as though the Flames were just going through the motions at practise today, unfortunately it was a game day and not a practise. Coming off of yesterday’s game, this performance is understandable.
The entire game: This game left a lot to be desired. If I were watching this game at home on the television I would have likely changed the channel early on.
Cristiano DiGiancinto: Let’s say Ugly, as in not pretty but effective in this case. DiGiancinto plays an agitator role, and he does it well. Sometimes it costs him 2 minutes for playing outside of the rules and sometimes he gets away with his crimes without punishment. There is no facet of his game that suggests a long NHL future, but he definitely knows how to get under the skin of the opponent.
Hunter Smith’s black eye: Yan-Pavel Laplante left an impression on Hunter Smith... a fully developed bruise under Smith’s left eye. Hope Flames organizational photos aren’t for a couple of days, otherwise Smith is going to be reminded of his tussle with the much smaller Canucks prospect.
Edmonton Oilers (5) vs. Vancouver Canucks (4)
If the morning game was the worst game of the tournament to watch, the afternoon game was the polar opposite! Each team held a 2 goal lead at one time (Canucks up 2-0 early, Oilers up 4-2 until the middle of the 3rd), and we saw the only overtime of the 6 game round robin.
Shane Starrett: The 3rd goaltender to take the net for the Oilers, Starrett turned away 42 of 46 shots en route to the victory. Sound positionally, the Free Agent signee took advantage of his opportunity to play and was one of the best players on the ice.
Jalen Chatfield: This guy is exciting to watch! In our second viewing of the former Spitfire, we saw the continuation of his high energy offensive potential. Any time he was on the ice, there was a chance that he would be rushing the puck into the opposing zone within seconds! Chatfield could be a game changer if he is able to take this confidence into the next levels.
Ostap Safin: The Czech forward showed outstanding separation and break away speed scoring a goal and coming very close on a couple of ocassions. His 6’5” frame and speed will have Oilers fans excited at main camp!
Butcher/Yamamoto/Gambardella: Talk about lines that can change a game quickly! The 2 smaller forwards pair nicely with the Young Star Oilers Captain to turn any possession into a legitimate scoring threat.
Canucks Pushback: It would have been easy for the Canucks to roll over and let the Oilers have to win today after allowing 4 straight goals. But credit to the Canucks for continuing to grind and earn a chance to win the game in overtime. The most notable moment of momentum changing was McKenze Stewart taking offense to a Evan Polei hit on Brett McKenzie and dropped the mitts with Polei. Stewart landed a flurry of fists early, Polei countered with a couple bombs of his own before Stewart added a few more punches prior to the referees breaking it up.
Canucks 2nd Period: With the ‘Nucks up 2-0, they fell away from what made them successful in the first period and it cost them 3 unanswered goals in the second stanza. In the first period the team used each other to generate offense by keeping the play in the Oilers end. In the second it became more individual efforts which led to turnovers, which led to quality scoring opportunities and ultimately Oiler goals.
Guillaume Brisebois & Cole Candella: This year’s edition of Carl Neill and Tate Olson, the pairing most certainly the weakest pairing that the Canucks deployed. Any time they were on the ice, it was a ‘hold your breathe moment’.
Austin Strand: I believe it was only 3 minor penalties, but it felt as though every time Strand was on the ice he invariable was heading to the Oilers penalty box for one infraction or the other. Not sure if they added too much espresso into his pre-game coffee or what, but he was a bit over the top all afternoon.
Michael Carcone: Hear me out! Yes he had 2 goals, he was a producer. BUT, and please let me explain... WHY WON’T YOU LET ME EXPLAIN?!?! Okay, I’ll get to it. Everyone wants to keep on scoring when they snag a couple early on in a game. But, at some point, you have to let the chances happen, not attempt to do it yourself every time you get your stick on the puck. He got greedy, and forgot about the other folks on his team. He’s an impactful player, but he lost sight of the common goal, and it was ugly!
Thatcher Demko: After having a solid showing in the opening night win, Demko was less stellar today in his 40 minutes of action. 3 goals against on 16 shots is not great, he’s going to need to erase this performance from his memory and move on.
Other Canucks Notes
Zack MacEwan and Aaron Irving (injuries) did not dress today.
Brock Boeser given the day off as well.
And that is all for this year’s Young Stars tournament. It’s been a great weekend of hockey from Penticton. Training camps are opening as early as tomorrow which means the regular season is almost here!