PENTICTON, BC -- Ryan Lomberg scored twice, including the overtime winner, to lift the Calgary Flames to a 4-3 win against the Vancouver Canucks in the Young Stars Classic finale at South Okanagan Events Centre on Monday.
“I’ve just got to stand out,” Lomberg said. “Stand out and do whatever I can to push myself above the rest. There are a lot of guys here on NHL contracts and stuff like that … being one of the only guys on an American Hockey League contract, I know I have to go the extra step or the extra mile. I have to do a little bit extra to make them notice and stop and say, ‘We like that kid.’”
Dennis Kravchenko and Eetu Tuulola also scored for the Flames (2-0-1).
Michael Carcone, Jordan Subban, Yan-Pavel Laplante scored for the Canucks (1-1-1).
Lomberg, signed to an AHL-only deal on Sept. 2, scored the game-winner on a breakaway with 19 seconds remaining in Austin Carroll’s high-sticking minor. He picked up a fumbled puck as Vancouver Ashton Sautner stumbled in the neutral zone before beating goaltender Michael Garteig five-hole.
“That was a great feeling. Great feeling,” Lomberg said. “I saw it trickle in and I looked up and saw all the boys heading for me. It was awesome. Thrilled it went in.”
Carcone opened the scoring three minutes into a busy second period, electing to keep on a 3-on-1 and beating Calgary starter Nick Schneider with a shot just inside the far post.
Fifty-nine seconds later, Kravchenko tied the game with a tip on Tuulola’s initial shot from the point that beat Vancouver goaltender Thatcher Demko. Lomberg scored his second of the tournament at 6:48, but goals from Subban and Laplante 18 seconds apart on reliever Tyler Parsons leapfrogged the Canucks to a 3-2 lead.
Tuulola drew Calgary even with 32 seconds remaining in the period, gathering the rebound on his own deflection off Kenney Morrison’s initial shot and beating Vancouver starter Thatcher Demko to tie the game 3-3.
“Morrison shot from the blue line and I saw it coming my way so I tried to tip it in but the goalie made the pad save” Tuuloloa said. “Then I just followed my rebound and I had an empty net. It was easy to put that in.”
Tuulola participated in his first tournament. He was selected in the sixth round (No. 156) in June.
“That’s a really awesome feeling, pulling an NHL jersey on,” he said. “It’s always been a dream to being an NHL player. I’m a step closer. It’s a lot of work but I’m ready to do it. I just want to show what kind of player I am and I want to prove I’m a good player.”
Parsons made 10 saves, and Garteig, who relieved Demko, made 15 saves in a scoreless third period.
Goal of the Game: After picking up a turnover at the Canucks blue line, Lomberg sped down the wing and snapped a shot short side over Demko’s glove to put the Flames up 2-1 at 6:48 of the middle period.
Save of the Game: Eight minutes into the second and with the game 2-1, Schneider got the tip of his glove on a shot by Carcone alone in the slot, denying the Canucks forward his second goal of the game.
Unsung Moment of the Game: Killing a penalty and with a jump on a Canucks defender, Lomberg has his stick knocked out of his hand. He continues to play the puck in his skates deep into the Vancouver zone before trying to kick a centering pass to Mikkel Aagaard in the slot late in the third period. “I played soccer back in the day for sure,” Lomberg said. “That was something I was like, ‘Oh no, what am I going to do here.’ I saw the guy coming and I tried kicking it to him. I was surprised the guy didn’t step up on me. I didn’t even have a stick. What are you going to do, right?”
Highlight of the Game: Lomberg’s dash into the Canucks zone in overtime ended the game and gave the Flames five of a possible six points in the Young Stars Classic in Penticton.
They said it: “I was proud with the way the guys played. I thought this was a good weekend for us. In my three years here, I think this is the best we’ve shown here consistently. We had a few stretches where we were hemmed in our zone or the pace lagged a little bit, but for the most part I was pleased with the way the guys competed and really tried to pick up what we were trying to get across to them.” - Coach Ryan Huska on his takeaways from the tournament
“I think it’s a little bit crazy last year. I lived at home with my mom and my dad. Now I live with my billet family. It’s a big difference. Now you have to speak English all the time. That is probably the biggest change. This is a good experience. I know that I’m going to enjoy it all year.” - Tuulola on joining Everett of the Western Hockey League this season
“I tried my best. Out of the warm-ups and period we got, there’s probably a couple of seconds.” - Lomberg, on how much useable audio there would be after being mic’d up for the first period
Need to Know: Schneider and Parsons split action for the Flames. Schneider stopped nine of 10 shots faced. Forwards Morgan Klimchuk, Matthew Phillips, Hunter Smith and Brayden Burke, defencemen Ryan Culkin and Roman Dyukov, and goaltenders Jon Gillies and Mason McDonald were scratched. Klimchuk remains day-to-day after sustaining a groin injury Friday.
What’s Next: The Flames will host the Calgary Flames Celebrity Charity Golf Classic presented by Scotiabank on Tuesday. The annual fundraiser for the Calgary Flames Foundation will take place at two different golf courses: The Country Hills Golf Club and Hamptons Golf Club. Representatives from the Flames, Calgary Roughnecks, Calgary Hitmen and Calgary Stampeders will participate along with management, alumni and local celebrities in the season launching event with nearly 400 golfers.