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Invites Aagaard, Burke shine in loss to Oilers at Young Stars

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames


PENTICTON, BC -- Mikkel Aagaard and Brayden Burke scored in the third period to force overtime, but the Edmonton Oilers rebounded to take a 4-3 decision against the Calgary Flames at the Young Stars Classic at South Okanagan Events Centre on Saturday.

Aagaard and Burke are among the six free agents invited to participate at the tournament for Calgary.

“I’m coming here on an invite and I’m honoured and proud to be here,” Aagaard said. “I’m taking it one day at a time and making sure everyone knows I’m working hard and that I’m proud to be here. Guys are drafted and are with the team for a few years and I come in as an invite.

"This is my shot to try to stay in this organization.”

Matthew Tkachuk also scored for the Flames (1-1-0), and Mason McDonald made seven saves in the loss.

Jaedon Descheneau scored the game-winner 47 seconds into overtime, beating McDonald on a breakaway to give the Oilers (2-0-0) the decision.

Joey Benik scored twice, and Collin Shirley and also scored for Edmonton.

Trailing 3-1 after Shirley’s goal 6:33 into the third, the Flames responded. Aagaard scored 1:22 later, and Burke took a pass from Hunter Smith on a 3-on-1 and snapped a shot by Oilers starter Dylan Wells at 10:55 to tie the game and force extra time.

Burke was one of 10 invites to participate in development camp with the Flames in July.

“Development camp is more of a learning curve, getting into the NHL and see how the players do it,” said Burke, who had 109 points with the Lethbridge Hurricanes in 2015-16. “Now you’re coming and you’re wanting to take a spot from an NHL player and earn a contract … do whatever it takes to be a part of the Flames organization. There’s definitely a different approach you take coming into this camp.”

Tkachuk scored 9:01 into the first, knocking in a rebound from just outside the crease, to put Calgary up 1-0.

Benik erased the lead with 1:01 remaining in the period. A clearing miscue between Flames defenceman Ryan Culkin and goaltender Tyler Parsons left the puck loose in the crease, and Benik poked his second of the tournament across the goal line for the unassisted power play goal.

“Those happen once in a while,” Parsons said. “It’s just a tough bounce. It happens. I didn’t like it. Every goalie would say it. But I got back into it right away and made a couple big saves after that. Those kinds of goals happen sometimes and unfortunately it happened tonight. You can’t go back at it and change it. You just go and make the next save. I didn’t give one up after that. It’s all about clearing your head.”

Benik added his second of the game at 11:57 of the second period, and 22 seconds into McDonald’s shift, going short-side over the reliever to put Edmonton up 2-1.

“It’s a tough spot to come into,” coach Ryan Huska said. “It’s not easy for a goaltender to come in. He’d probably like to have that one back. He made some saves for us in the third period.”

Tkachuk, who took a double-minor for spearing earlier in the period, drew three consecutive penalties -- cross-checking, high sticking and an interference infraction -- but Calgary failed to even the score before the period let out.

Goal of the Game: Mark Jankowski circled behind the net and sent a no-look backhand pass into the slot to Austin Carroll. Wells stopped the initial shot, but Tkachuk poked the puck across the goal line before the Oilers starter could smother the rebound to put Calgary up 1-0.

Save of the Game: Oilers forward Patrick Russell snuck through the slot and tried to beat Parsons between the legs, but the London Knights goaltender got the paddle down to deny him and keep the score 1-1 3:45 into the second period.

Unsung Moment of the Game: After seeing Tkachuk take a late hit along the end boards late in the period, Smith challenged the guilty party, Kayle Doetzel, and the pair had a spirited bout inside Edmonton’s zone.

Highlight of the Game: Battling against a two-man advantage in the second period, Parsons scrambled with the puck loose in the crease to make several key saves and keep the Flames tied early in the second. “It was a couple bounces back and forth and I ended up having to dive across the crease to make the save. That’s part of my compete level. That’s what I do as a goalie. That’s what makes me stand out. Those scrums … I like to compete in them. They’re pretty fun for me.”

They said it: “Jonathan Quick. Just growing up I loved watching him and I’m really flexible and I like to compete. That’s the strongest aspect of my game is my compete level. That’s what he does, too. I model my style after him.” - Parons, on which NHL goalie he compares himself to

“Hopefully. At the end of the day that’s what I’m hoping for. For now I’m taking it one day at a time and making sure I’m here being positive and working hard.” - Aagaard, on his goal of landing a contract with the Flames

“It’s just simple as playing your own game, not trying to do too much or trying to be a different player than what got you here. I’m trying to do what got me here and play my game and hopefully it works out.” - Burke on sticking to what earned him an invite

Need to Know: Parsons and McDonald split action for the Flames. Parsons finished with 20 saves on 21 shots. Forwards Morgan Klimchuk, Mathieu Sevigny, Justin Doucet and Dennis Kravchenko, defencemen Keegan Kanzig, Roman Dyukov and Aaron Hyman, and goaltenders Jon Gillies and Nick Schneider were scratched for Calgary’s second game of the tournament. Klimchuk remains day-to-day after sustaining a groin injury Friday.

What’s Next: The Flames will play the Vancouver Canucks in the finale of the Young Stars on Monday (4:00 PM MT; CalgaryFlames.com, YouTube, Facebook Live, Flames' app).

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