Matt Phillips scored the only goal of the game 1:04 into overtime as the Calgary Flames rookies edged the Edmonton Oilers rookies 1-0 Saturday night in Red Deer.
The goalies stole the show. Artyom Zagidulin made 31 saves for the Flames. Dylan Wells played the first half of the game for the Oilers and made 18 saves. Stuart Skinner went the rest of the way and turned away seven of the eight shots he faced.
“It was nice to my feet wet and get into some game action,” said Wells. “You train all summer and you have controlled practices. It was nice to feel the puck and feel some shots and get back into that game action.”
The Oilers carried most of the play in the first period, but the Flames took over in the second. Wells had to make 11 saves in the opening 10 minutes of the middle session.
“We didn’t love our second period,” said Oilers rookies coach Jay Woodcroft. “We turned the puck over and that led to some of their transition chances going the other way. I thought we managed the puck much better in the third period. It gave our forecheck a chance to go to work.”
The game featured a bit of nastiness fitting to the Battle of Alberta. Calgary’s Montana Onyebuchi drilled Edmonton’s Beau Starrett with a sucker punch in the second period. Later, the Oilers’ Vincent Desharnais fought Martin Pospisil after Pospisil delivered a big hit on Cooper Marody.
The teams will play again Tuesday in Calgary.