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Flames, Heat prospects excel at NHL Young Stars tourney
Future members of the Abbotsford Heat were in Penticton last weekend, winning two of three games with the Calgary Flames prospects squad at the Young Stars tournament.
The Flames opened the tourney with a 5-2 triumph over the Edmonton Oilers last Thursday behind a pair of goals from rookie pro Markus Granlund and singles from Heat alum Max Reinhart and 2013 first-round draftees Sean Monahan and Emile Poirier. Goalie Laurent Brossoit, another rookie pro who will be battling for playing time in Abbotsford this season, stopped 17 of 19 shots in the win.
Joni Ortio, a netminder who began the 2011-12 season with Abbotsford before returning home to play in Finland, was the story in the Flames prospects' 4-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Friday. Ortio made 40 saves, while Monahan, Dylan Smoskiwitz, John Ramage and Eric Roy scored the Flames' goals.
The Flames contingent wrapped up the tourney with a 3-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Sunday. Surrey native Brossoit made 31 saves, while Granlund and Corban Knight accounted for the Calgary goals.
The prospects squad returned to Calgary for an exhibition vs. the University of Calgary Dinos on Monday prior to the opening of Flames training camp. Michael Ferland, who began last season with the Heat before heading back to the Western Hockey League, set the pace with two goals, while Smoskiwitz, Sven Baertschi, Ben Hanowski and Zach Davies also tallied.
AHL ALL-STAR GAME TO FEATURE SWEDISH SQUAD
Former Heat goalie Danny Taylor, who signed with Färjestad BK of the Swedish Elite League in May, will be making a return to North America somewhat sooner than expected.
The AHL unveiled a new format for its all-star game on Tuesday. The contest, to be staged in St. John's, Nfld. on Feb. 12 and preceded by a skills competition the day before, will feature a squad of AHL all-stars facing off against Färjestad. It will be televised nationally on Sportsnet, and will mark the first time a team from Sweden's top league will compete in North America.