Archive for September, 2011
Wednesday, September 14th, 2011
The Calgary Flames finished off the 2011 Young Stars Tournament in Penticton with a 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night. Sven Baertschi paced the team with a pair of goals, as his line with Max Reinhart and Patrick Holland was dominant for another night. Joni Ortio earned the win in net as the Flames prospects return home to Calgary for the start of main camp on Saturday.
The first period was all Calgary as Baertschi and tryout player Dustin Sylvester each scored before Edmonton made things close with a goal in the middle frame. The third period was a little more wide open, but it was Lance Bouma’s first of the tournament that ended up as the winner; it came off an Oilers giveaway, and Bouma did what he does best: crash the net.
1. Calgary. Sven Baertschi (Patrick Holland, Max Reinhart) 7:34 (pp)
2. Calgary. Dustin Sylvester (Greg Nemisz) 14:21
3. Edmonton. Tyler Pitlick (Curtis Hamilton, Antti Tyrvainen) 8:23
4. Calgary. Sven Baertschi 2 (James Martin) 6:06 (pp)
5. Edmonton. Anton Lander (Tobias Rieder) 10:20
6. Calgary. Lance Bouma (Roman Horak) 10:44
7. Edmonton. Martin Marincin 11:39
Baertschi is dangerous, there’s no question about that. He’s got great breakaway speed, he’s dangerous around the net, and he knows where to put himself. Playing with two smart players like Reinhart and Holland, and there’s going to be things created. What I liked about that line especially was how many defensive starts they had, and how many of those same shifts ended in offensive zone whistles. If they tracked Corsi, there’s would have been astronomically high tonight.
Strongest game of the tournament for Joni Ortio, as he made 21 saves en route to his first victory of the tournament. He was confident and was much more keen in challenging shooters, which is something he wasn’t doing earlier. Ortio made a couple nice blocker stops, a nice glove save and a huge pad save in the dying seconds to preserve the win.
Monday, September 12th, 2011
The Calgary Flames dropped to 0-2 at the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton thanks to a 4-3 overtime loss on Monday night at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks. Following their 6-1 loss to San Jose the previous night, Calgary’s prospects were a whole lot better and once again, there were some standout performances. The Flames close out the action Wednesday night against the Edmonton Oilers.
The Canucks opened the scoring on this one, but things were tight from start to finish. The Flames prospects were certainly a whole lot better, and if you eliminate some of the misfortune from Sunday, things were much closer. Calgary had a lead late in the third period thanks to the first goal of the tournament from Michael Ferland, but an even later goal from Vancouver sent us to overtime which is where things were settled.
1. Vancouver. Kellan Tochkin (Craig Duininck) 2:24
2. Calgary. Patrick Holland (Max Reinhart) 15:35 (pp)
3. Vancouver. Nathan Longpre (Yann Sauve, Bill Sweatt) 3:54 (pp)
4. Calgary. Patrick Holland 2 (Max Reinhart) 16:57
5. Calgary. Michael Ferland (Dustin Sylvester) 16:20
6. Vancouver. Nathan Longpre 2 (Antoine Roussel) 19:45
7. Vancouver. Antoine Roussel (Nathan Longpre) 0:16
The overtime winner was a strange one. The Vancouver skater was able to beat defender T.J. Brodie wide, but as Brodie got his stick on the puck, it kind of bounced up and eventually Roussel got credit for the goal. Brodie put it on himself following the game, essentially admitting he was at fault.
What a great game for the Flames top line, with Max Reinhart, Patrick Holland and Sven Baertschi running things virtually everytime they were on the ice. Reinhart was strong, showing a hard nosed approach to gaining the net front area while Holland is a very savvy and smart player. I know Baertschi comes away with no points, but he had a very strong night as well.
It was good to see Joni Ortio’s game a little better than it was the night prior; I know there were one or two interesting ones that got behind him, but I’m willing to let him develop slowly to the North American game. He’s young and there’s no urgency for him to be ready right now, either at the NHL or AHL level. The NHL is covered with Kiprusoff and Karlsson while Leland Irving will carry most of the mail in Abbotsford.
Sunday, September 11th, 2011
The top prospects of the Calgary Flames fell to the top young players of the San Jose Sharks 6-1 on Sunday night to open the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton. The Sharks scored two goals in each period and were bolstered by solid goaltending performances from Thomas Heemskerk and J.P. Anderson, as the Flames dropped to 0-1 at the tournament.
The Flames started off slow, but from about the five minute mark of the first period on, they were the team controlling the play. However, by that point it was already 2-0 San Jose, and the team couldn’t seem to buy a break offensively after that. Some unfortunate luck combined with some finishing issues and some difficulty moving to the scoring areas and things can very quickly turn into a frustrating game. San Jose’s goaltending tandem of Thomas Heemskerk and J.P. Anderson were also very good.
1. San Jose. Charles Inglis (Ben Thomson, Joe Antilla) 3:13
2. San Jose. Michael Sgarbossa (Brodie Reid) 4:45
3. San Jose. Trevor Cheek (Nathan Moon) 7:46
4. San Jose. Curt Gogol 16:07
5. San Jose. Brodie Reid (Michael Sgarbossa, Dylan Wruck) 0:57
6. San Jose. Sena Acolatse (Antoine Corbin, Joe Antilla) 7:51 (pp)
7. Calgary. Roman Horak (penalty shot) 15:35
Basically, it was a game where the Flames really controlled things for the first 30 minutes or so, but were down by 3-0 and 4-0 scores. In a lot of ways, it mirrored some of the issues the big club encountered for much of the last two seasons: possession, shots and chances but no rewards. And just like any other hockey team, frustration certainly started to set in as things went along.
It has to be said that Joni Ortio was not strong in net, as the Calgary keeper allowed all six goals, a number of them of the soft variety. The coaching staff attributed a lot it to Sunday being Ortio’s second game on North American ice, something that will very certainly need some work in the coming months. There’s a chance he might be back in net Monday, as he’s the one they need to give the most reps to.
Monday, September 5th, 2011
Monday’s annual Labour Day Classic was accurate only in the fact the game was played on Labour Day. The effort the home squad put on the field was anything but classic, as the Calgary Stampeders were humbled 35-7 by a hungry, strong Edmonton Eskimos squad. The win gives Edmonton the season series and draws the teams into a first place tie atop the CFL’s West Division.
Here’s postgame audio following the game:
- Postgame Interviews – with Stamps runningback Joffrey Reynolds and defensive lineman Devone Claybrooks
- Postgame Stamps Audio – with John Hufnagel, Hery Burris, Nik Lewis and Keon Raymond
- Postgame Eskimos Audio – with Greg Peach and Rod Davis
Stampeders Head Coach John Hufnagel summed it up in a fairly apt way following the defeat.
“Very disappointed with our football team, all three phases,” Hufnagel told the media. “Our offence after that one drive, we never did give our returner much of a chance to do something once he caught the ball, defensively we held the fort in the first half, we put our defence in poor field position and they did some good things; second half not so good and we wore down and Edmonton came down here a hungry football team and they took it to us.”
All three phases was accurate on this afternoon. Calgary just wasn’t good, and Edmonton was just that much better.
“I never saw it coming,” runningback Joffrey Reynolds told me. “I’m sure everybody in this locker room never saw it coming.”
After a good drive late in the first quarter where the Stamps drove down the field to open the scoring, things came to a screeching halt offensively for the remainder of the game. Quarterback Henry Burris was 9 for 10 passing at that point, including 8 for 8 on the scoring drive. The rest of the afternoon saw him go 4 for 13 through the air.
“I gotta play better,” Burris said. “I started pressing there towards the end when we weren’t getting some things done and got a couple interceptions but hey, it’s a long journey, there will be games like this throughout the season but we’ve gotta learn from this, put it behind us, because we’ve got a big game up there on Friday and we gotta come out there and play our ball because that definetely wasn’t our football.”
Reynolds put things a little more blunt.
“It was a horrible performance from our offence,” said Reynolds. “We didn’t do anything and we have a quick turnaround on Friday and for us it’s a big reality check and I just think we’ll see what this team is made of by taking a shot like we did today.”
The range of emotions in the Stampeders locker room ranged from fired up to ticked off to dejected. You can put receiver Nik Lewis somewhere closer to the former than the latter.
“Maybe it’s a wake up call for some people,” Lewis told reporters. “I’m going to go out and play like I play, I’m going to go out and do what I’m supposed to do, as long as they give me pay cheques I’m going to go out there and bring it like I bring it, so I can’t comment on everybody else in this locker room, but you know what you’re going to get out of me.
It’s not for me to comment on other players. Huf will do that and position coaches; I worry about Nik Lewis and as long I’m going out there and making plays, I’ll keep my job, and if you’re not making plays, see you when I see you.”
When pressed a little further on the subject, Lewis was vague but pointed.
“You see it,” Lewis said. “I ain’t gotta call it out, you see it. Do you not see it?”
Defensive lineman Devone Claybrooks likely put it best when it was all said and done.
“I just wanna apologize to the fans that come out and sold the stadium out,” Claybrooks told me. “We’re having a hard time putting together something at home which is a big letdown, but we’re regrouping and it’s one day at a time, one game at a time, and the next game is the most important game.”
For the guys in the Stamps locker room, you can bet Friday’s game in Edmonton is going to carry some weight.
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