I have to say I was really nervous, even if it is a game with the young guys, you know. I was excited too. - David Wolf
CALGARY, AB -- It took David Wolf a little while to get rolling in his Calgary Flames debut. When he did, Wolf didn’t disappoint.
The 6-foot-3, 223-pound forward scored the game-winning goal midway through the third period and delivered several crushing hits in his debut as the Flames downed the University of Calgary Dinos 3-1 in exhibition action at Father David Bauer Arena on Wednesday.
“It feels good to win, that’s of course,” Wolf said. “I wasn’t that happy with my performance, especially in the first two periods. I felt a little bit slow. I think I got better into it in the third. The important thing is that we won tonight. It was a good team effort. Our goalies played unbelievable. It was good to win.”
After serving a two-minute minor for high sticking, Wolf broke open a 1-1 game.
Jumping out of the box, he burst into the Dinos zone and fired a shot that crept through University of Calgary goaltender Jacob DeSerres and over the goal line to put the Flames up 2-1 at 8:03.
“I just came out of the box and the puck comes over on the rim,” Wolf recounted. “I dropped it and got it back. I saw one guy driving to the net and I got a hard shot (off). I don’t even know if it goes in right away or if he tipped it or got a rebound.”
The game, Wolf’s first in over four months, served as a good first step as he looks to kick off main camp with Calgary on Thursday.
“I have to say I was really nervous, even if it is a game with the young guys, you know,” he admitted. “I was excited too. It was tough in the first two periods but I got better in the third. I have more time to show up in the next couple of weeks.”
Curtis Gedig capped the scoring, putting the Flames up 3-1 with 7:30 remaining after taking a return feed from Hunter Smith and faking DeSerres with a backhand-to-forehand deke.
“As a d-man, there maybe I blacked out a little,” he said. “I’m not usually in that position to be up there, kind of on a half-breakaway there. Just figured I could hold it a little bit and make the goalie bite and that’s what happened.”
The opening 20 minutes didn’t yield any goals, but there were plenty of opportunities to get on the board from the Flames perspective.
Just over six minutes into the game, Smith’s shot beat Dinos starter Kris Lazaruk but rang off the goal post. A shift later, Gedig fed Brandon Magee, but he couldn’t solve the Dinos goaltender either.
Shorthanded near the midway mark of the frame, Kenny Agostino forced a turnover at the University of Calgary blue line and fed Bill Arnold, but Lazaruk, came up with a save. Turner Elson was denied too after working a give-and-go with Smith while Wolf, playing his first game in a Flames jersey, couldn’t wedge a puck over the line in the dying seconds of the period.
Calgary capitalized in the second.
Austin Carroll took a spinning pass from Gedig on the half wall and fired a shot that beat DeSerres, who relieved Lazaruk midway through the game, at 12:46 to put the Flames up 1-0.
“I was a little bit lucky but I saw a little bit of red out of the corner of my eye and I knew there was kind of a line change going on,” Gedig said of the pass. “I tried throwing it that way and it worked out real well.”
The lead was short lived.
After taking a cross-ice pass from Cain Franson, Colton Grant beat Doug Carr with 4:33 remaining in the middle frame on just Carr’s third shot after relieving Mason McDonald.
It was the lone goal Calgary would surrender after Carr and McDonald combined for 25 saves.