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RECAP: Oilers 4, Flames 3 (OT)

Trailing 1-0 midway through the first period, Descheneau proves hero for Edmonton in their 4-3 overtime victory against the Calgary Flames

by Meg Tilley @MegsTilley / Edmonton Oilers

OILERS TODAY | Oilers vs. Flames

OILERS TODAY | Oilers vs. Flames Post-Game

The Oilers rookies defeat the Flames rookies in an exciting overtime battle.

  • 01:33 •

PENTICTON, B.C. - After an abrupt end to his WHL season, forward Jaedon Descheneau proved hero in the Oilers 4-3 overtime win.

GAME ESSENTIALS

A native of Edmonton, Descheneau skated in two games with the Kootenay Ice, registering one assist, before being knocked out of action with a season-ending shoulder injury.

"It was good to get back out there playing and it was a good intensity game," said the 5-foot-9 right-winger. "I wasn't a part of yesterday's game, so I can't compare, but for myself today it felt like hockey again and playing and getting back into things and it's a good stepping stone for the season.'  

It was a west side story affair as the Battle of Alberta relocated to BC for the annual Young Stars Classic.

As British singer Elton John once sang, Saturday night's alright for fighting, and there was no shortage of it between the Oilers and Flames rookies.

"It was a good game, it was an entertaining game," said Oilers Young Stars Head Coach Gerry Fleming. "I liked our grit and our compete level tonight, without a doubt."

It was a quiet first eight minutes in the opening frame as the Oilers and Flames rookies looked for the opportunity to take the lead.

"I thought in the first period they really forechecked us well," said Fleming, who admitted he was uncertain how the Oilers rookies would fare over the course of the game.

"[The Flames] were physical, I thought maybe we were a little overwhelmed at first, but in the second period we came out a lot better. We started doing the things that we did well the night before, moving the puck better, we're coming back harder with our forwards and I thought we did a good job tracking through the neutral zone. We chipped pucks a little bit better and we kept our game a lot more simple in the second period and as a result i thought we took it to them a little bit better. Obviously got into a little penalty trouble, but I thought our penalty kill did a good job tonight."

Just before the halfway mark, Oilers forward Braden Christoffer rushed the Flames net with linemate Greg Chase for a 2-on-1, but a scramble in front of Calgary's net saw the puck quickly dished out of the crease as Chase got tangled with 

Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk opened scoring as he drove to the net, flipping the puck over Oilers goaltender Dylan Wells' blocker to give Calgary a 1-0 lead.

With the Oilers rookies trailing for the first time in the tournament, a physical game ensued, with each team taking their fair share of penalties over the course of the second half of the period.

Descheneau came in with another opportunity with two minutes remaining, ripping a shot from the top of the hash marks, but the puck ricocheted off the crossbar and deflected out.

Less than a minute later, Oilers forward Joey Benik scored the equalizer for Edmonton, capitalizing on an opportunity that saw Flames goaltender Tyler Parsons leave his crease to tend to the puck behind his net. Unable to return fast enough, Benik positioned himself in front of the Flames crease and tapped the puck in.

An extremely physical second period saw the Oilers and Flames fill the penalty boxes, racking up 26 penalty minutes in total. A scramble in the Flames crease saw the Oilers rookies with a number of chances but they were unable to finish them. Tkachuk took the first of four Flames penalties, receiving four minutes for spearing during the scuffle.

Tensions only boiled from there when less than two minutes later, Flames forward Austin Carroll cross-checked Oilers forward Chad Butcher into the boards in the Oilers defensive zone, who skated away from the incident with a cut across the right side of his face.

Wells felt the heat but kept the Oilers alive as the Flames advanced, midway through the second period blocking and deflecting shot after shot. 

With eight minutes remaining in the period - after the Flames sent goaltender Mason McDonald in for Parsons. - Benik flew down the left-hand side into the Flames defensive zone and fires a shot, top-right corner from below the goal line to give Edmonton a 2-1 lead and secure his second goal of the night.

"I wanted to put him in a tough spot and coming in on the goal line, or low in the corner there, [McDonald was] hugging the post and he's either got to pop his shoulder up or he's got to lean his head over to kind of make that save," said Benik.

"Unfortunately for him, he was coming in cold, he had a couple of warm up shots but it put him in a tough spot and I'm pretty sure that was the first shot that he faced, so it was unfortunate for him but there's a little spot there that I hit."

As blood continued to boil among the provincial rivalry, Oilers forward Collin Shirley capitalized on an opportunity in Calgary's defensive zone, rocketing a shot from the top of the hash marks, glove side of McDonald, giving Edmonton a two-goal lead with 13:26 remaining in the period.

But the celebrations were short-lived as Flames forward Mikel Aagaard responded less than two minutes later, cutting Edmonton's lead to one. Moments later, Calgary forward Brayden Burke tucked a shot past Wells to make it 3-3.

The last four minutes of the game were filled with heart-stopping opportunities for both sides, but alas, to no avail.

Descheneau, who underwent season-ending shoulder surgery at the end of November to repair damage sustained in an game back on October 6 in Prince Albert, said he has been

Less than a minute into the five minute 3-on-3 overtime, the Flames advanced on the Oilers net but were denied by Wells. Spotting Descheneau, Butcher sent the puck up the ice to his teammate, who skated it into the Flames defensive zone and buried the puck for the Oilers 4-3 overtime win.

"It was a good pass by Butchie and a turnover in the d-zone to spring me on a breakaway and I did my best to score and thankfully it went in," said Descheneau, having capped off the night with two points. .

The Oilers take on the Winnipeg Jets Monday, at 12:00 p.m. MT.

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