BRYAN WILSON – 09.16.2023
That’s more like it.
The Flames’ prospects edged out an overtime victory against the Edmonton Oilers’ youngsters on Saturday night,with a thrilling 4-3 decision at the Young Stars Classic in Penticton.
Ilya Nikolaev notched a pair of goals in the game, Matt Coronato tallied his first goal of the tournament, and Adam Klapka picked up the overtime winner.
Connor Murphy got the nod between the pipes for Calgary, and looked solid, making 21 saves to pick up the win.
CGY Goal Scorers – Ilya Nikolaev (2) – Matt Coronato – Adam Klapka
The Flames certainly had some pep in their step to start the game.
Although they didn’t convert on an early powerplay, they began to generate momentum that would eventually lead to the opening goal.
As the Oilers were exiting their zone, Nikolaev turned the puck over at the blue-line, skated into the top of the circle and ripped a shot blocker-side over the shoulder of Oilers’ netminder Zachary Bowen.
However, the Oilers would answer back shortly after on the powerplay, courtesy of Brady Stonehouse, who fired a low shot through traffic and through the wickets of Murphy to even the score.
Physicality and emotion – that’s what makes the Battle of Alberta a must watch event, and the second period was chalk full of both.
While the fans were kept entertained by a steady diet of extracurriculars, the Flames used the uptick in intensity to their advantage, eventually regaining the lead.
At the 12:49 mark of the frame, Mark Duarte sent a saucer pass from behind the net and placed it perfectly on the stick of Nikolaev, who hammered home his second goal of the game to give the Flames the 2-1 lead.
Shots were even at 16 apiece after 40-minutes.
The Oilers would answer back quickly in the third period, tying the game just 44-seconds in.
An initial point shot from Matvey Petrov redirected off the leg of Carl Berglund in the high slot and slipped past Murphy, and though officials would review the play, checking for a kicking motion, the goal would stand.
Later, the Flames had a powerplay chance at 8:23 and wasted no time converting, as Rory Kerins set up Coronato for a one-time chance, and he blasted home his first goal of the tournament to regain the Flames lead. 3-2.
However, the Oilers had their chance, in turn, on the man-advantage and capitalized. At the 12:31 mark, Petrov wired home a shot off the crossbar and into the net, tying the game 3-3.
Overtime would be required to determine a winner.
Calgary went back to the powerplay in the extra frame, after Klapka was hauled down on a partial break towards the net. On the ensuing advantage, the Flames worked the puck around the zone, and as Etienne Morin sent a shot towards the net, Klapka got his stick on the puck and redirected it in to win it for the Flames.
Calgary has an off day on Sunday, before facing the Winnipeg Jets for their final game of the tournament on Monday. Puck drop is 11 am (MST). Stream it live on CalgaryFlames.com.