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Lomberg helps pace Flames to 3-1 win over Jets in Young Stars opener

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

PENTICTON, BC -- Ryan Lomberg earned an opportunity to join Calgary Flames prospect at development camp in July.

From that, he earned praise from Flames general manager Brad Treliving. He also earned an American Hockey League contract and a trip to the Young Stars Classic in Penticton.

He earned plenty of praise in his first game with a Flames jersey, too, scoring the game-winner in a 3-1 win against prospects from the Winnipeg Jets at South Okanagan Events Centre on Friday.

“Lomberg I thought had a good game,” said Young Stars and Stockton coach Ryan Huska.

“I think if a guy controls the situation instead of sometimes letting the situation control him, then you’re very effective player. With not having many looks at him, I thought he showed that tonight, that he’s going to be a hard guy to play against. If we can get him to maybe play a little bit harder too without crossing the line, he’ll be a very effective player.”

Lomberg, a former University of Maine forward, was originally headed to join Miami for the upcoming season, but forgone the opportunity in order to sign his first pro contract with Stockton.

He knows the opportunity presented to him.

“It was huge. It was huge,” Lomberg said of Treliving’s praise. "It was a good confidence boost, but I had to go back home and work extra hard to make another impression. You can’t stop there.

“It’s just a huge opportunity for us all. As Mr. Treliving said, it’s an opportunity. It’s competitive to make the roster, both Stockton and Calgary. It’s a big opportunity and I welcome the challenge.”

Up 1-0 after Bryce Van Brabant opened the scoring just 5:40 into the game, Lomberg pulled the puck off the boards deep in Winnipeg’s end before walking the goal line and sending a shot that snuck through Jets starter Connor Hellebuyck to put Calgary up 2-0.

“I was just throwing it on net,” said Lomberg, who played last season with Youngstown of the United States Hockey League. “I thought he would’ve had it. Luckily it went in. I just got the puck down low and Mangiapane made a nice play. He dished it off to me and cut back and I just drove low and put the puck on net and drove the puck low.”

Brendan Lemiuex, selected 31st overall by the Jets in the 2014 NHL Draft, pulled the Jets to within one with 15 seconds remaining in the period, redirecting a pass from Ryan Olsen by the blocker of Flames starter Jon Gillies.

A scoreless second period was highlighted by a 12-save performance from Gillies, whose pad save off Andrew Copp and subsequent kick to knock the puck off the goal line at 8:22 helped preserve Calgary’s 2-1 lead heading into the third period.

“I didn’t know what was going on,” Gillies said. “I saw it right there, then the kid who came in to try to hit the puck after that just hit my pad. He missed the puck completely and the puck just squirted out for me to cover. That’s kind of what I remember from that.”

Gillies denied Copp again in the third, shouldering the puck away with the Jets forward in alone after being sprung by Chase De Leo 4:35 into the period.

But overall, Gillies wasn’t satisfied with his 24-save performance.

“From a personal standpoint, that was pretty sloppy. Positional play and things like that are things I’d like to clean up. Overall, the only thing that matters at the end of the day is the win, so we’ll take that and move on.”

With 4.1 seconds remaining in regulation and Eric Comrie -- who split the game with Hellebuyck for the Jets -- on the bench, Morgan Klimchuk found the back of the empty net to give the Flames a 3-1 decision.

NOTES: Sam Bennett, Patrick Sieloff and Bill Arnold were Calgary’s alternate captains for the game … Oliver Kylington left the game after the first intermission and did not return. Huska called him ‘day-to-day’.

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