. - The Oilers Rookies took advantage of the power play, while C.J. Ludwig scored two goals as Edmonton downed their rivals the Calgary Flames in a heated Battle of Alberta showdown.
Oilers goaltender Ty Rimmer was a major part of the Oilers win. Early in the game, Calgary was swarming and won the shot battle 16-8 in the first period. Rimmer played well enough to give Edmonton time to recover from the initial flurry and eventually go on top.
“That’s the story of tonight,” Oilers Rookies Head Coach Todd Nelson said. “He kept us in it the first 10 minutes. Calgary was all over us and he made some fantastic saves just to try to keep it 0-0. Then once Platzer scored that power play goal we got confidence. We started to come.”
At 9:51 of the opening period, the Oilers got a power play goal from their fourth-round pick in 2013. Kyle Platzer buried a shot from the face-off dot to give Edmonton a 1-0 lead. Defencemen Dillon Simpson and Jordan Oesterle had the assists.
John Gaudreau swiped at the loose puck in front of Rimmer at 13:36 of the period to tie the game at one. Gaudreau was assisted by the fourth-overall pick in 2014 Sam Bennett and Garnet Hathaway.
The Oilers took advantage of a 5-on-3 power play in the waning seconds of the first period. With 10.7 second left on the clock, C.J. Ludwig found twine behind goaltender Mason McDonald for the go-ahead goal. Ludwig was assisted by Marco Roy and Bogdan Yakimov.
At 18:51 of the second period, Ludwig netted his second goal of the game. This one went up high, through a screen, on a shot from the point. Travis Ewanyk had the lone assist. The Oilers skated into the locker room after 40 minutes of play on top of the Flames, 3-1.
The Flames top pair struck again to draw Calgary within one in the third period. On the power play at 5:42, Bennett scored on a wraparound, going five-hole on Rimmer. Gaudreau earned the assist.
Things heated up later in the game.
“You could sense it right away. The chirping started from the first face off,” Nelson said.
With the game locked at 3-2, Calgary’s Hunter Smith rocked Edmonton’s Kale Kessy with a huge hit in the neutral zone. Kessy popped right back up to fight Smith and the two tangoed for a brief moment before being wrapped up and led to the boxes.
The night continued to escalate as Ewanyk took on 6-foot-7, 250-pound Keegan Kanzig. The two exchanged some punches before mutually ending the bout.
The Russian-to-Russian connection of Vladimir Tkachev and Bogdan Yakimov was once again on display and it came at a big moment. At 18:08 of the final frame, Tkachev fed Yakimov a cross-ice feed which the 6-foot-5, 232-pound centre buried with a one-timer.
“Today was a good game,” Yakimov said. “We had so many moments, my line. So many good moments but I was really happy when we scored.”
It was Yakimov’s second goal in two nights.
“It was a good game but I think I need to keep going up.”
The power play goal was the team’s third of the night.
The Flames Austin Carroll responded for Calgary but it was just too late. The Oilers Rookies improved to 2-0 at this year’s Young Stars Tournament with the 4-3 victory over their rivals.