The Calgary Flames dominated the Vancouver Canucks, with a 6-2 victory in Penticton. Spencer Foo and Brett Pollock each had 2 goals, while Nick Schneider stopped 25 of 27 shots that he faced. The Flames now have 1 win and 1 loss through 2 games at the tournament.
The Line Up
Defense:— Matchsticks&Gasoline (@MatchsticksCGY) September 10, 2017
Valimaki - Andersson
Healey - Doetzel
Ollas-Mattsson - Ruopp
Nick Schneider was good right from the outset, as the Canucks fired a bunch of shots on net early in the game and he denied them all.
Less than 5 minutes into the game, there was a beautiful goal from the top line. Andrew Mangiapane made an artful zone entry and then dealt a slick pass over to Mark Jankowski, who found Spencer Foo in front, for a 1-0 lead. The Flames’ top line has a tremendous amount of skill and it was definitely on display in the first.
Less than 2 minutes later, Zach Fischer got the puck in the slot and wired a wrist shot past Dipietro for a 2-0 Flames lead.
Halfway through the period, the Canucks got on the board. Aaron Irving let a shot go through traffic which Schneider had no chance of seeing, putting the Canucks within 1.
That would be it for scoring in the first period. Spencer Foo almost found his second goal of the period, but he rang a shot off the post in close. Hunter Smith was doing his thing and had a huge fight on a late first period powerplay.
The Flames took a 2-1 lead to the dressing room, with a 13-8 lead in shots.
The Flames got caught scrambling midway through the second and the Canucks’ LaPlante banged in a rebound to tie up the game.
They bounced back very quick though. Adam Ruzicka picked up his rebound off the wraparound and slid the puck past Dipietro. Ruzicka had a strong game, showing good chemistry with Matthew Phillips.
The Flames got a 4 minute powerplay after Phillips was high-sticked. Spencer Foo blasted a bullet from the point after a nice passing play between Dillon Dube and Rasmus Andersson to put the Flames up 4-2.
The Flames led 4-2 after 2. Shots after 2 were 29-15 for Calgary after they fired 16 shots in the frame.
Brett Pollock scored a beautiful goal to put the Flames up 5-2. Pollock went end to end, dangled a Canuck and flipped the puck up over Dipietro. After a quiet first pro year, Pollock has looked quite good in the first couple games of this tournament.
The Canucks pulled their goalie with 8:26 to go in the third period while on the powerplay. Brett Pollock eventually found himself on the breakaway there and potted his second of the game into the empty net for a 6-2 lead.
That would be it for the scoring, as the Flames took a 6-2 victory over the Canucks, with Nick Schneider stopping 25 of the 27 shots he faced.
Flames 3 Stars
- Spencer Foo: Foo was a big threat in this game. He had 2 goals, hammered one off the post and had a couple more scoring chances. This is the start of Foo’s push to make the Flames and he is definitely laying some strong groundwork.
- Dillon Dube: Was in on a couple of goals, relentless on the forecheck and made some flashy plays. A very Dillon Dube sort of game.
- Zach Fischer: Scored a goal, helped set up another and was very physical throughout. He has been a pleasant surprise for me.
Notes On Various Players
- The top line was terrific. You would expect that they should be, with all 3 players having a decent amount of experience and Jankowski and Foo being two of the older players in the tournament. But they did not disappoint. They were dominant in the offensive zone and showed great chemistry. If they all end up in the AHL to start the season, it would be really cool to see them play together on a line. We shall see though, because Jankowski and Foo should both have really good opportunities to make the team if they show well in camp.
- Nick Schneider had a solid game, stopping 25 of 27 shots. He made some big saves and cannot be faulted for any of the goals he allowed. I think it says a lot that the undrafted goalie going back as an overage player to the WHL got the full game while 2014 second round pick Mason McDonald sat on the bench.
- Matthew Phillips likes to crash the net for a small player and actually finishes checks on people. He kind of reminds me of Paul Byron, with more skill. He had an assist on the Ruzicka goal and had a couple good scoring chances. Hard not to be excited about the player.
- I love watching Dube’s hustle. He is tenacious in the offensive zone and made some flashy plays at times. I still stand beside my assertion that he seems like a surefire NHL player.
- Hunter Smith is on his 4th tourney here. That is somewhat questionable, but what I really wanted to know, was why he was on the powerplay?
- Zach Fischer surprised me. He showed a lot more skill than I anticipated seeing from him. The physicality was definitely there as well. I will be keeping an eye on him going forward.
- Valimaki is a terrific skater and jumped up into the rush to the point where he was leading the rush a couple of times. He was also very good at moving the puck out of the zone. Kind of reminded me of a cross between T.J. Brodie and Mark Giordano in terms of style. Not bad at all.
- He did however get caught up ice a couple of times, so there is room for refining his decision making, but it really is not anything worth worrying about at his age.
- Rasmus Andersson had a very steady game and looked at home quarterbacking the powerplay.
- Josh Healey loves lining people up. He is a scary guy to play against. Limited offensive skills, but he makes a significant impact physically.
- The defense struggled at moving the puck outside of the top-pairing. Adam Ollas-Mattson was burned a couple of times in the game, his skating is going to need to come a long way to be able to keep up.
- Out of the invitees, Ben Hawerchuk was by far the most noticeable. He had a few good chances and was playing alongside Dillon Dube and Zach Fischer, so obviously the Flames were trying to get a good look at what he could do. Really has not produced in junior so there probably is not a lot there in terms of an NHL future, but he good be a player to add as a depth piece in the organization.
The Flames face the Jets tomorrow morning, hoping to leave Penticton with a winning record.