The Oilers rookies had the power of three on their side as they made a clean 3-0 sweep of the 2016 Young Stars Classic in their final game of the tournament with a 4-1 victory over the Jets.
With three consecutive Young Stars championships, the Oilers managed to work their way out of what appeared to be a slump at the start of the game, putting on an impressive display in the end.
It wasn’t a promising start for the Edmonton team, as Winnipeg flew into the period, applying full pressure in the first five minutes, keeping the Oilers contained to their defensive end.
“We didn’t come out too strong, but we figured it out and we battled our way back and it was a great effort by everybody,” said Oilers forward Patrick Russell to Edmonton Oilers.com.
With very few opportunities on net, Jets forward Kyle Connor was first to get on the board, capitalizing on a chance in the Oilers defensive end after his teammate Jack Roslovic fed him the puck. Rocketing a shot above Oilers goaltender Kevin Bouchard’s glove, Winnipeg took a 1-0 lead.
“Hats-off to the coaching staff, because they’ve been through [this tournament] before, they implemented the systems that got us through the game and they knew what to expect from each team, so hats off to them, all the players — the goaltending was strong for all three games,” said Oilers forward Joey Benik, who assisted on the winning goal and finished with three points, including a goal. “All three goalies were great so it was a good all-around effort.”
In the final game of the Young Stars Classic, the Canucks were downed 4-3 in overtime by the Flames. Former Powell River Kings and Penticton Vees goalie Michael Garteig saw action in the final period in favour of Thatcher Demko, who allowed three goals on 25 shots in 40 minutes of action. In overtime, Garteig couldn’t squeeze his pads tight enough to prevent the winner by Ryan Lomberg, who broke in alone short handed. Garteig earned third star honours for turning aside 17 shots in nearly 25 minutes of action.
The game was scoreless after the first period. Michael Carcone gave the Canucks a 1-0 lead three minutes into the second. That lead lasted 59 seconds when Dennis Kravchenko beat Demko. At 6:48 the Flames took a 2-1 lead on Lomberg’s first of the game unassisted. Jordan Subban got the Canucks back on even terms after taking a Carcone pass going backhand to forehand tucking it past Tyler Parsons. Eighteen seconds later, Yan-Pavel Laplant gave the Canucks a 3-2 lead. The Flames sent the game to extra time when Eetu Tuulola beat Demko with the man advantage.
The Canucks placed third in the tournament with a 1-1-1 record.
Attendance was 3,376. A total of 21,262 fans watched the Canucks Young Stars Classic.
Written with files from Edmonton Oilers.com.