Calgary Flames’ Dillon Dube (59) checks Vancouver Canucks’ Kole Lind (78) during the second period of a pre-season NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday September 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Fresh-faced Flames fend off Canucks 4-1

Vancouver drops second straight NHL exhibition contest

VANCOUVER — Spencer Foo scored the eventual winner as a young Calgary Flames squad earned a 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night.

Matthew Phillips, Andrew Mangiapane and Jusso Valimaki also scored for the Flames.

Winger Brendan Leipsic put up the Canucks’ only goal.

Calgary’s David Rittich stopped all 26 of Vancouver’s shots in the first two periods. He was relieved by Tyler Parsons in the third, who stopped 12-of-13 shots.

Vancouver netminder Thatcher Demko held off 18 of the Flames’ 21 shots in the first two frames before he was replaced by Michael DiPietro.

DiPietro turned away all 11 of Calgary’s shots.

Calgary’s roster was filled mainly with young, untested players Wednesday night, as the team’s veterans play a series of exhibition matches in China.

The Flames sparked the scoring midway through the first period when 20-year-old centre Matthew Phillips got a breakaway pass near centre ice. The winger beat Canucks defender Ashton Saunter and put a rocket on net, sailing the puck past Vancouver goalie Thatcher Demko.

Minutes later, the Canucks got caught trying to clear the puck from their own zone.

The ensuing battle ended with Calgary’s Foo sneaking a shot in through the side of the net, past a sprawling Demko.

Mangiapane added to the Flames’ tally in the second, collecting a pass from Dillion Dube in front of Vancouver’s net and hammering it home for a short-handed goal.

The Canucks lone goal came during four-on-four action in the third, when Leipsic stick-handled his way along the boards and through traffic, then popped one in past the Flames netminder.

Jusso Valimaki put in an empty netter for the Flames in the game’s dying moments.

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Despite the final score, Vancouver had ample chances throughout the game.

Brandon Sutter had an opportunity to put his team on the board early in the second with a penalty shot, but the veteran centre couldn’t burry the backhanded shot.

The Canucks also got looks from some young prospects, including Adam Gaudette, Kole Lind and Petrus Palmu, who all had rockets turned away by Rittich.

The 26-year-old Czech backed up Mike Smith in Calgary last year, earning a 8-6-0 record and .904 save percentage.

The win was the first pre-season victory for the Flames, who also sent a team of veterans to China for exhibition play. That squad has been beat twice by the Boston Bruins, including a 3-1 loss on Wednesday.

The Canucks have now lost their first two exhibition matches after they were downed 4-2 by the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.

Vancouver has one more exhibition game at home on Thursday when they’ll host the L.A. Kings. The club will then hit the road, for contests in Calgary, Salt Lake City, Edmonton and Kelowna.

The Flames are off to Winnipeg on Friday to face the Jets .

THE CANADIAN PRESS

 

Calgary Flames’ Spencer Foo (15) scores against Vancouver Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko, right, as Jalen Chatfield (63) defends during the first period of a pre-season NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday September 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

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