DENVER, CO -- Joni Ortio
is keeping the Calgary Flames goaltending competition interesting.
The Finnish netminder, who is on a one-way deal this season, pitched a shutout in Calgary 1-0 pre-season victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday, turning aside 33 shots.
"I felt that the more the game progressed I thought that he was getting more comfortable," Flames coach Bob Hartley said of Ortio. "We did a great job defensively. We had many young players in the lineup and looking at our blue line we didn’t have too many NHL veterans out there and they did good.
"We blocked lots of shots and I don’t think they got too many rebounds and that’s the key. NHL goalies will give you the first save and we did a good job."
With veterans Karri Ramo and Jonas Hiller also in the mix, the 24-year-old knows he has to put forth a stellar effort in the pre-season to earn a roster spot in Calgary come Oct.7th.
The closest call Ortio faced came in the first period when Nathan MacKinnon deked around a Flames defender, got the netminder shuffle over to the post, and then dipped around the net. Ortio wasn't able to get over in time to stop the wrap-around shot but the puck hovered on the line before stopping underneath the goaltender's pads.
Afterwards, he admitted he was fighting the puck in the opening stanza and settled in during the final two frames.
"The puck was kind of like a hot potato in the first but our defence did a really good job clearing those rebounds in front of the net," Ortio said after the game. "That kind of settled me into the game. I think the second and third I was able to control those shots a lot better."
Josh Jooris, in his first pre-season game of the year, opened the scoring in the first period, showing he is no worse for wear after off-season wrist surgery.
Fighting off a check as he drove to the net, he wired a shot on Reto Berra and shovelled in his own rebound at the 13:50 mark.
"We preach stretching the zone when we see our defence get control so that’s what I did," Jooris recalled. "Rasmus [Anderson] made a great heads-up play off the boards and I kind of just got it right on my stick and had some good legs coming into it so I was able to gain some good body position.
"I just kind of took it to the net and luckily got my own rebound."
Andersson, playing in his second ever NHL pre-season contest, collected the lone assist on Jooris' first goal of the 2015 pre-season.
The Flames 2015 second round draft pick has been impressive since the start of rookie camp, acting as anchor on Calgary's blueline during the 2015 Young Stars Classic and turning heads in pre-season action this week.
"His poise, everything -- he’s been unbelievable," Hartley said after the morning skate. "He’s showing us that he can play at a high level without panicking, there’s no panic in his game. Always heads up, great passer, great shooter. This kid is going to be a good one."
Andersson logged 20:08 of ice, put two shots on net, and blocked two shots in addition to his helper but looking back on his play, Andersson would like to clean up areas of his game in his next pre-season outing.
"I'm a little more self-critical," he told CalgaryFlames.com. "I need to make sure I make better plays with the puck."
ICE CHIPS: Veteran defenceman Ryan Wilson, attending the Flames training camp on a try-out agreement, faced off against his former team for the first time on Thursday ... Both teams were excellent on the penalty kill, with the Flames nullifying four Avalanche power plays and Colorado quelling Calgary's five opportunities with the man advantage ... Jakub Nakladal left the game in the first minute of the third period after taking a hit from John Mitchell. He will be evaluated tomorrow in Calgary ... Joni Ortio was the game's first star and Josh Jooris was the second star.