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Lomberg leaves mark with strong showing at Young Stars

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames


PENTICTON, BC -- He was mic’d up, fittingly, for one of his more active periods of the tournament.

Ryan Lomberg isn’t sure how much the Calgary Flames website would actually be able to air, though.

“I tried my best,” said the tongue-waving centre, sporting a grin that ran ear-to-ear following a 4-3 overtime win that featured his overtime-winner to best prospects of the Vancouver Canucks in the Young Stars Classic finale Monday.

“Out of the warm-ups and period we got, there’s probably a couple of seconds.”

Lomberg, though, let his game do some of the talking through nine periods in Penticton,

And what the 21-year-old delivered rang loudly.

"If there was one guy that was really noticeable consistently, I thought it was Ryan for our forward group,” said Ryan Huska, tasked with coaching Flames prospects through the three-game, four-day tournament in the Okanagan Valley.

“He brings something to the table. Even as a young man he understands if he’s going to play at a higher level, and hopefully one day at the NHL, there’s a certain style he has to bring. We saw a little bit of that [Monday] and we saw on the offensive side he can contribute as well. It was a real big weekend for him in a lot of different ways.”

The stats sheet, perhaps a little on the unofficial side, shows the 21-year-old leading the way for Calgary with three goals and a plus-five rating.

His 19 minutes in penalties, surprisingly, placed him third behind Matthew Tkachuk (22) and Kenney Morrison (21).

Of those 19 minutes, 10 came by way of fighting infractions, including a first-period tussle with Canucks prospect Yan-Pavel Laplante that prematurely brought an end to any audio recording.

But the stats sheet didn't measure the full impact that Lomberg had in three games of the exhibition series.

Nor did it show how the performance will can help propel the prospect into main camp later this week.

“I’ve just got to stand out,” said Lomberg, who had 18 goals and 35 points in 43 games in the ECHL, and three assists in 15 games with Stockton last season.

“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.’”

It’s fair enough to suggest that the 5-foot-10, 190-pound forward's mission has been accomplished.

There's no rest though. His next one will start later in the week.

When it’s for real.

When main camp gets underway.

“I think I ended on a pretty strong note,” said Lomberg, who signed to an AHL-only pact with Stockton on Sept. 2. “I’m trying to build the closer we get to main camp.

“Consistency is a big thing. I’ve got to make sure I can’t take a step back. I can’t even stay on the same level. I’ve got to step it up again. It gets more and more intense from here on. I have to make sure I elevate my play and elevate my intensity.”

And not get caught watching.

Not care that he’ll be facing off opposite Sean Monahan.

Not care that he’ll be streaking down the wing against Mark Giordano.

Sound advice from Huska not specifically reserved for Lomberg.

“One of the biggest thing for these younger guys is not to take a backseat because Sean Monahan or Giordano or Brodie is on the ice,” Huska said. “It’s a challenge for young guys, but if you want to get noticed you have to find a way not to just fit in but make people see your number while you’re out there.”

If Lomberg -- who will be in his second camp with the Flames -- can do so, he can move one step closer to his second mission -- finding a way to stick around.

“That’s my goal at the end of the day,” Lomberg said.

“Ultimately I’m working for an NHL contract.

“I want to play for the Calgary Flames. My goal isn’t to play for the Stockton Heat or Adirondack Thunder.

“I want to play for the big club. I’m working towards that every day, for sure.”

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