The Flames Summer Development Camp for their prospects has become a tradition, and it has grown in fan appeal as all seats were full and even more people lined around the glass today at Winsport to catch a glimpse of the Calgary Flames prospects.
It was the usual Team McDonald (Red) vs Team Nieuwendyk (White) with 15 skaters per team plus two goalies per side. The game was played in two 30 minute halves with a flood in between and shifted from 5 on 5, to 4 on 4, to 3 on 3, seemingly at random. After the first 30 minutes half of each roster participated in a shootout, with the other halves participating in a shootout after the final 30 minutes.
Team Red had top prospects Matthew Tkachuk, Mark Jankowski, and Rasmus Andersson while Team White had players such as Oliver Kylington, Brett Pollock, and Brandon Hickey. The goalies for Team Red were Mason McDonald and Nick Schneider while White countered with David Rittich and Tyler Parsons.
Not dressed today were Andrew Mangiapane, Riley Bruce, Daniel Pribyl, and Jon Gillies. Gillies was in the lineup card so I'm unsure as to why he wasn't dressed or on the ice today.
The first half started off rather interestingly as a poor decision by Ryan Culkin (Red) was made when he skated directly in front of his own net leading to a good chance for White. Camp invitee Spencer Foo (Red) would then score a pretty goal dangling around Rittich before tucking in a shot from behind the goal line to make it 1-0 Red.
Eetu Tuulola (Red) would get his first goal of the day soon after to make it 2-0. After Red extended their lead to 3-0, camp invite Sheldon Rempal (White) would streak in and wrist a shot over McDonald's shoulder to make it 3-1. Tuulola would then be awarded a penalty shot (all penalties in this scrimmage are automatic penalty shots) and would make no mistake with a nifty deke before sliding the puck between Rittich's legs for a 4-1 Red lead. Late in the opening 30, Adam Ollas-Mattson (Red) would benefit from 3-on-3 hockey getting fed a pass in front and sliding the puck into the net. The opening 30 ends with a 5-1 Red lead.
The first half of the shooutout would occur next with Rittich and McDonald as the respective goaltenders. The shots were as followed:
- Red: Tkachuk (No Goal), Culkin (No Goal), Foo (No Goal), Andersson (No Goal), Tuulola (Goal), Healy (No Goal), Smith (No Goal)
- White: Kravchenko (No Goal), Morrison (No Goal), Lindstrom (No Goal), Phillips (Goal), Kylington (No Goal), Rempal (No Goal), Pollock (No Goal)
Let me just mention that Matthew Phillips scored an absolute beauty of a goal, completely faking out McDonald before tucking the puck in back post. This kid has some serious skill, however he's still very small at 5"7, 160 lbs. He's got definite potential as his frame bulks up and looks solid for a 6th Round Pick.
After the ice was flooded, the 2nd half of the scrimmage kicked off with Nick Schneider in net for Red and Tyler Parsons in net for White. This half was a bit of slower pace as the shorter benches tired more quickly but both goaltenders played some really solid hockey especially Tyler Parsons denying a high number of Red scoring chances, including a few from his London Knight teammate Matthew Tkachuk.
Tuulola would finish off his scrimmage hat trick in the most entertaining of fashions. The play would start with Tuulola stationed behind the White net, he attempted to flip the puck up onto the stick and wrap it around into the net. However, the puck fell off about halfway through the move but Tuulola raced out to grab it. He then proceeded to snap an absolute laser right into the top corner of the net over Parsons shoulder to a rousing cheer from the crowd.
His goal would be the only scoring in the 2nd half as Red would win 6-1. A side note is that Hunter Smith fell hard into the boards after a collision and seemed to hit his face and had to head off to the bench to the training staff. Didn't look too serious but we'll find out more in coming days I'm sure.
The final half of the shootout went as follows with Parsons as the White goale and Schneider as the Red goalie:
- Red: Jankowski (No Goal), Ollas-Mattson (No Goal), Sevigny (No Goal), Dyukov (No Goal) Carroll (No Goal), Mattson (No Goal) Dube (Goal)
- White: Doucette (No Goal), Fox (Goal), Bowles (No Goal), Wilson (Goal), Harrison (No Goal), Kanzig (No Goal), Burke (Goal), Hickey (No Goal)
Final scores from today: Scrimmage 6-1 Red, Shootout 4-2 White
Goaltending stats: McDonald-Red (1GA, 1SOG), Schneider-Red (0GA, 3SOG), Rittich-White (5GA, 1SOG), Parsons-White (1GA, 1SOG)
Players that impressed me:
- As mentioned above Tuulola looked particularly good with the puck today however his play off the puck still needs to be improved. Three goals in the game and a shootout goal is nothing to scoff at though
- Dennis Kravchenko impressed me in the limited shifts I saw him playing today, he was moving the puck and driving the play.
- Matthew Tkachuk didn't make much of an impact in the first half but was buzzing around the net in the second half
- Tyler Parsons looked solid in net against a highly skilled red team
- Oliver Kylington looked quite good on the blueline for the White team
- Matthew Phillips reminded me of a player similar to Johnny Gaudreau with his plethora of moves and his small frame, only time will tell him he continues to develop into an NHLer
I'm sure I'm missing quite a few, but all in all it was a very entertaining scrimmage and it was good to see the fans filling up the arena for these kids. The Flames brass was also in attendance along with Glen Gulutzan and his new assistant coaches. That's it for on ice hockey until training camp, and now the slow grind of the offseason truly begins.