Matthew Phillips played the hero in the first edition of the 2019-20 Battle of Alberta.
The forward potted the game-winner just 1:04 into overtime in Saturday’s prospects match-up between Calgary and Edmonton, giving the Flames a 1-0 win at the Westerner Park Centrium in Red Deer.
After Flames netminder Artyom Zagidulin made a clutch save, Dillon Dube was able to snag the puck in the neutral zone and head into the Oilers’ zone on a break. He dished the puck off to Phillips – Calgary’s 2016 sixth-round pick – and the winger snapped his shot past Stuart Skinner.
Zagidulin turned in an impressive performance in his Flames debut, stopping 31 shots in the shutout.
The Russian’s best save of the night came in the first period when he denied the Oilers on a 2-on-1 chance. Ryan McLeod was able to gain space inside the neutral zone and came streaking into the Flames’ zone with Kirill Maksimov. McLeod dished the puck off just above the hashmarks and Maksimov was able to get a clean shot off in tight but Zagidulin was able to slide over to knock the puck into the corner.
In Edmonton’s net, Dylan Wells stood tall for the first two periods, stopping all 20 of the shots he faced. Stuart Skinner came in for the third period and overtime, making five saves.
After a relatively quiet first period, things heated up in the middle frame. Defenseman Montana Onyebuchi, attending Calgary’s camp on a try-out, and forward Beau Starrett dropped the gloves just inside the Flames’ blueline and 2018 Flames draft pick Martin Pospisil exchanged blows with Oilers blueliner Vincent Desharnais after an altercation along the boards.
The third period saw the momentum tilt in the Oilers favor, with Edmonton outshooting Calgary, but Zagidulin held his club in to send it to extra time.