Young Stars Classic Recap: Calgary Flames lose 5–3 to the Winnipeg Jets, go 0–3 in tournament

This has been a very forgettable tournament for the Flames, and while they did manage to score more than one goal in their final game, they dropped a 5–3 decision at the hands of the Winnipeg Jets in Penticton. The Flames lost all three games in the prospect tournament, and will now head home to begin training camp. Let’s break it all down.

The rundown

The Flames came out flying in this one, peppering the Jets’ goalie Domenic DiVincentiis with shots. Chris Sedoff broke the 0–0 deadlock with a beautiful shot from the point.

The Jets would answer back. Daniil Chechelev made a number of very good saves, but Brad Lambert would tap the puck into the open side to tie the game at one. This is how the period would end.

Midway through the second period, the Flames got their wires crossed, and the Jets took advantage. Chaz Lucius would score from alone right in front of the Flames net to give the Jets the lead. The Flames went into the third period looking to find a spark to end the tournament on a high-note.

The third started with a bang! Jakob Pelletier finally got on the board, redirecting a Jeremie Poirier point shot to tie the game up.

Unfortunately just seconds later, Cole Perfetti beat Chechelev on a rush opportunity to put the Jets back up. However, the Flames were not going to let go just yet. The Flames showed resilience and were hungry to answer back.

It would be Emilio Pettersen, making an unbelievable play and using his smooth skating to create space and put the puck past the Jets’ netminder to make it 3–3.

However, that’d be the Flames’ last goal of the 2022 Young Stars Classic, and the Jets had a few more. Greg Meireles deflected a point shot past Chechelev after a battle with Poirier. This would put the Jets up 4–3. They would add one more into the empty net late in the period, picking up the win by a 5–3 score.

The Flames outplayed, outshot, and out-chanced the Jets in this one, but Winnipeg was better able to convert on their looks and got some outstanding stops from their goalie.

Flames that stood out

This was far and away the best game from the Flames’ young stars. Top to bottom, the team was rolling. They created a ton of looks, had some really great chances, but just were not able to finish the way that they would have liked.

The top line of Connor Zary, Jakob Pelletier, and Walker Duehr was flying for the Flames. Each player was excellent in their own right, with Pelletier recording a goal off a redirection from the point, and the other two combining for chance after chance all game long. Duehr was particularly impressive, and had a way of putting his shoulder down and just driving to the net to create chances in front. Were it not from excellent netminding and some bad bounces, this line could have had multiple goals.

The other player who particularly stood out in this one was Jeremie Poirier. On the scoresheet, he contributed with a primary assist on the Pelletier goal, but it was the little things he did all game long that were even more impressive. Poirier had numerous attempts on net where he would create a rush himself by just using his hands to deke around a defender and create a chance, but would not be too assertive on chasing the rebound. Instead he would circle back to his defensive position and let his teammates gain control. This is a veteran offensive defensive play.

There is a reason Poirier was the team’s top power play quarterback throughout the tournament. He had a phenomenal three games in Penticton and showed that he is really something special for this team.

Daniil Chechelev had some good moments, but was on the wrong end of four goals against. He really impressed with a number of quality saves, but looked a bit shaky in the crease. This was his first game in the crease for the team, and was fine but not outstanding for this team the way that Dustin Wolf was against Vancouver as well as against Edmonton. Chechelev will be in a tough fight to earn an AHL role this season.

What’s next for the Flames’ prospects

At the end of the day, this was a fun tournament for the Flames’ prospects to play in and for the team’s management group to see what they have in their prospects. Most of the prospects had never played together, and were in a situation where they were learning a new playbook with a new coach on a new team. That sort of thing takes both time and practice which the team simply did not have.

It’s not worth putting too much stock in the 0–3 record from the Young Stars Classic. There were some really good individual performances and some that could have been better, but the real show begins this week. The Flames open up their preseason action on the September 25 with a split-squad game against the Vancouver Canucks.

For some Flames prospects that will be a nice fun few days before going back to their junior teams. For others that are Stockton-bound, this is the time to shine. They will have a chance to impress the Flames’ coaching staff in order to be considered for a call-up throughout the season.

For a very small handful—Jakob Pelletier among them—this will be their chance to earn a roster spot for opening night. With a number of bodies vying for a spot on the big club, this will be a very tough competition. Let the games begin!

Photo by Marissa Baecker via

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