Calgary Flames

Young Stars Classic Recap: Flames struggle with a lopsided loss to the Canucks

Calgary Flames hockey is back in action and it started in Penticton.

While we wait for the pre-season to begin on September 24th, we head over to Penticton to watch the kickoff of the Young Stars Classic. The tournament will last until Monday night featuring six games total and prospects from four Canadian NHL teams, the Calgary Flames, Winnipeg Jets, Vancouver Canucks, and Edmonton Oilers.

For the Flames, the top prospects playing this year include Matt Coronato and recent picks, Samuel Honzek and Etienne Morin.

Despite having some of their good young players in Penticton, the opening of the tournament was less than stellar for the group. No one puts a ton of stock into the tournament, but surely the team would have hoped for a slightly better result.

Flames lose Game 2 to Canucks by a score of 7-1

The Oilers and Jets opened up the day and the end result was a 3-1 victory for the Oilers. After that game concluded, the Flames and Canucks took the ice next. The game resulted a 7-1 win for the Canucks.

Yikes.

The Flames iced the lineup shown in the tweet below.

The 7-1 score shows exactly what you think, the Canucks dominated the game. Although it took until the second half of the first period for the Canucks to bury two goals, the Flames were sloppy and struggled to keep possession. Goalie Matt Radomsky was the only reason the game was even somewhat close after a period of being outshot 18-2.

The second period was a bit better and Lucas Ciona was able to deflect in a goal cutting the lead in half. Unfortunately that was as close as the Flames would get. Shortly after, the Canucks scored to make it 3-1 which took the team into the final frame.

The third period was disastrous for the Flames, everything that was intact fell apart and the deficit was tripled ending with a score of 7-1.

Lone standouts for Flames

In a blowout game, it isn’t surprising that losing didn’t have many standout performances but that isn’t to say the Flames had none, so let’s look at those first.

Former Seattle Thunderbird, Lucas Ciona had the lone goal for the Flames in this game. He stood out through his physical style of play and even showed it off with his goal. A drive to the net ended up as a deflection off his body and Ciona had found himself on the scoresheet. Ciona threw hits, forechecked, found himself in puck battles, and even got into a scrap to show off his power forward play.

The other player that stood out to us was Rory Kerins. Unlike Ciona, Kerins did not get on to the scoresheet but contributed in different ways. He set-up some nice chances, received some himself, skated hard and despite playing on a line with two first round picks, was the most noticeable amongst the three of them.

Night of struggles for Flames

This game can be summarized in one word for the Flames: struggle. Every player except for the two mentioned above had shown struggle in some way in last night’s game.

As you can tell from the score, the forwards lacked offence. The passes weren’t connecting and if one did, the finishing just wasn’t there. Neutral zone giveaways were a common trend and too much or not enough commitment led to possession not being regained. These problems were very likely due to a noticeable lack of chemistry that will be worked on.

The defence was just as bad as the offence. Many defenders made questionable decisions leaving strong opportunity for the attackers to capitalize. Lanes were left open leading to clear, quality shots that became goals sometimes. Giveaways also seemed to be a trend for defenceman, then they turned into rushes the other way for the Canucks.

Goaltending looked to be a positive after the first period, 2 goals on 18 shots while your team was getting hemmed wasn’t too shabby, but as the game went on the worse it got. Sure, it could’ve been a straight product of overall bad team play, but struggle was definitely there and 5 goals allowed after the first isn’t pretty.

Now we understand it is a prospects tournament, many of these guys have not had the time to build chemistry, and this won’t be reflective of most season’s, but it is still something to focus on.

Hockey season has begun

With pre-season starting in about a week, the Flames and three other Canadian teams have sent their prospects to Penticton to play in the Young Stars Classic tournament. The tournament will end on Monday and the Flames have dropped their first game 7-1 to the Canucks.

Heading into next, the Flames’ prospects are looking to improve their chemistry and overall play after many struggled and only a couple had good games.

The Flames are set to play two more games in this tournament the next happening on tonight, September 16th at 8:30pm MT against the Edmonton Oilers and the last on September 18th at 11am MT against the Winnipeg Jets.

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