Oilers close Young Stars with 4-3 loss to Flames
Sven Baertschi scored twice while Joni Ortio stopped 22 for Calgary
Edmonton's Philippe Cornet battles with Calgary's Carter Bancks during second period action at the South Okanagan Events Centre Wednesday night. Calgary won the game 4-3. (Photo by Marissa Baecker / Getty Images).
STATS & SCORING
Camp invite Adam Brown got the start in goal for Edmonton, turning aside 25 shots in the loss.
Calgary was presented with the game's first power-play at 3:29 when camp invite Colin Smith clipped Flames netminder Joni Ortio, drawing a minor for goaltender intereference. The Flames tested Oilers keeper Adam Brown with three high-quality shots, but were unable to light the lamp.
Following the kill, the Battle of Alberta picked up. Antti Tyrvainen dropped with the mitts with Calgary's Turner Elson, chucking bombs and earning the decision in a highly-spirited bout.
The penalty box doors continued to swing when Curtis Hamilton was assessed a minor for hooking only 37 seconds later. This time, Calgary made good.
A one-time attempt by Sven Baertschi was cleverly turned away, but the Flames winger scooped his own rebound and slid the puck past Brown to put the visitors ahead 1-0 at 7:34.
With the Oilers down and in need of a spark, Tyler Schmidt and Calgary's Lance Bouma went toe-to-toe in the game's second scrap, evenly exchanging blows in an entertaining tilt.
It was the Flames, however, who pounced on momentum's side. At 14:21, Flames pivot Dustin Sylvester walked in on the Oilers' D, sniping a shot bar-in to establish a 2-0 lead.
Moments later, Edmonton got a chance to get back in it. Calgary's Elson was charged for intereference, putting the Oilers on their first man-advantage opportunity. The chance passed without incident (and a shot on goal) before the Oilers found themselves shorthanded once more.
With a little over two minutes to play in the period, Vibank, SK native Brett Ferguson launched the puck over the glass, causing a minor penalty to be assessed. Calgary's PP sputtered, but the Flames' 2-0 lead and 13-6 edge on the shot clock carried into the middle period.
The penalty-filled first period became an early theme in the second as well. Only 2:01 into the frame, Calgary's Joey Leach was assessed a minor for roughing, but the Oilers were unable to cash on the ensuing second power-play chance.
As the midway point approached, the Oilers closed the shot discrepancy to a 14-12 Flames advantage. On the Oilers' 13th shot, Ortio's shutout bid was snapped.
Calgary's Greg Nemisz made an ill-advised breakout pass through the middle that was subsequently picked off by Tyler Pitlick. The 6'2", 195-pound centre then blasted a missile up top, bringing Edmonton within one at 8:23.
1:08 later, a too many men penalty to the Flames put the Oilers back on the power-play, but the score couldn't be equalized.
With 7:44 on the clock, Flames goal-scorer Baertschi snuck behind coverage and was sent in alone on a breakaway. He snapped a quick wrister, but Brown made a sensational glove save to preserve the 2-1 score.
Penalties to both teams continued to slow the pace in the period's closing moments, but the Flames' 2-1 lead carried into the third. Calgary was also in possession of a 19-17 edge on the shot clock as time expired.
The Oilers' comeback quest stalled at 5:18 when Tyler Pitlick was sent off for cross-checking. The Flames wasted no time, extending to a 3-1 lead when James Martin's point shot was tipped home by Baertschi.
It didn't take long to see a response. On a partial odd-man rush, Tobias Rieder orchestrated a tremendous play, sending a cross-crease pass to Anton Lander who popped the puck up top to restore his team's one-goal disadvantage.
Almost as quickly, the Flames' two-goal lead went back up on the scoreboard. Lance Bouma scored to make it a 4-2 game 24 seconds later, but Martin Marincin drew his team within one at 11:39. A game that began with such a humble pace quickly morphed into a who-can-score-last Battle of Alberta matchup.
With the Oilers down 4-3 in the final minute, Brown was pulled for an extra-attacker. Edmonton peppered Ortio with several point-blank pucks, but were unable to record the tying marker.
Calgary escaped with a hard-fought 4-3 victory and a 29-21 decision on the shot clock.