The Edmonton Oilers rookies defeated the Vancouver Canucks rookies in overtime fashion Monday, 5-4.
With a 3-0 record this past weekend, Edmonton has gone undefeated in the annual Young Stars Tournament in Penticton for the second straight year. This is also the fourth year that they’ve ranked first.
Though down 2-0 heading into the second period, the Oilers came roaring back in the middle frame with two goals from Joseph Gambardella and a tally from Ziyat Paigin. Ostap Safin scored less than a minute into the final frame, but the Canucks evened the score with nearly a minute left in regulation. The game headed to overtime, where Kirill Maksimov would score on a wrist shot to win the game for the Oilers.
Stars of the Night
Shane Starrett shined in net for Edmonton, stopping 42 of 46 shots and acting as a force in net. Though the Canucks had a lot of opportunities, including a two-man advantage, he stood his ground. Additionally, he was quick in the crease and thrived under pressure.
Chad Butcher finished the night with three assists, and though Kailer Yamamoto only had a single assist, he created many scoring chances and showed his true potential. Gambardella took charge and registered two goals, and was a force to be reckoned with on the ice.
Though the victory marked the last game of the tournament, there is still a lot to take away from the Oilers’ impressive weekend.
First off, the goaltenders had a lot to show, especially Stuart Skinner. The Edmonton native posted a shutout against the Jets and stood on his head in many instances, and perhaps shined the brightest out of all the netminders over the weekend. However, Starrett and Wells also showed their worth, proving that they can come up big at critical points while also being quick in the crease and communicating well on the ice.
On the blue line, Ryan Mantha was excellent. He was able to showcase his size and physicality, as well as his booming shot from the point. Ethan Bear and Caleb Jones were also solid, and Ziyat Paigin had a lot to show for himself on the backcheck.
Yamamoto had an outstanding showing at the tournament and was perhaps the biggest name to watch. He showed a lot of speed and skill and was impressive in getting the puck up ice and creating scoring chances. Not only that, but he had great hands, and though it didn’t translate to the scoreboard, his impact on the offence could not go unnoticed. It will be exciting to see what he brings to camp.
However, the forwards that shined the brightest were by far Chad Butcher, Kirill Maksimov and Joseph Gambardella. Butcher was phenomenal and carried the bulk of the offensive responsibility, carrying his line and making smart plays. Maksimov put on a solid performance thanks to his lethal wrist shot and skating ability. Gambardella was solid in the way that he was able to log big minutes and steal the show.
Overall, the prospects showed a lot of promise and heading into camp, the Oilers will have a lot to consider prior to the start of the 2017-18 campaign.