CALGARY, AB — Mark Jankowski didn’t have the opportunity to showcase progress made at Calgary Flames development camp a year ago. He didn’t disappoint with his next chance.
Jankowski scored twice, including the game-winner with 57.4 seconds remaining in overtime, to lift Team Red to an 8-7 victory against Team White in a development camp scrimmage at Joan Snyder Arena at Winsport on Thursday morning.
“It’s fun. It’s awesome,” Jankowski said. “I didn’t get to play and skate here last year. To get out here, it was awesome. All the boys loved it. We’re having fun. Great crowd here, great fans as always. We’re trying to take all the things we learned in the first few ice sessions here and put them into the game situation.”
With both sides skating 3-on-3 in overtime, Jankowski jumped over the boards on a line change, poked the puck up to Matt Wilkins before taking a return drop pass, outwaiting Team White goaltender Rylan Toth to net the deciding goal.
“Coming at the end of the scrimmage and the boys were looking pretty tired,” Jankowski said. “We weren’t looking for a tie, even in a scrimmage, so we were pressing and there was a great line change, great coaching call. [Wilkins] there came on, perfect timing, got the puck 2-on-1, made a heck of a pass over to me and I just waited the goalie out and slipped it in.”
The showcase was an important one for Jankowski, who was kept out of on-ice action at 2014’s development camp due to an upper body injury.
It’s the first on-ice session he’s had in front of general manager Brad Treliving, who joined the Flames in April 2014. It’s also the first game action in front of Ryan Huska, head coach of the Stockton Flames and the man tasked with putting prospects through paces at development camp.
“Last year he was hurt at camp so I haven’t seen him play,” Huska said. “This is the first time I’ve actually had a chance to watch him play on the ice. I was impressed, my first impression of him. Everything I’ve seen, he’s put on size over the years from what guys have talked about and he’s starting to fill into his frame right now.”
Jankowski finished the scoring in the scrimmage. Newly drafted Oliver Kylington started it just over seven minutes into the opening 30-minute half for Team White.
Playing 4-on-4, Calgary’s second pick (No. 6) in the 2015 NHL Draft slid down low and one-timed a pass from defenceman Jason Fram along the ice by the pad of Jon Gillies at 7:08.
“I skated the puck into the zone and I made a turn and find a guy and the guy went down into the corner and find me in the middle so that’s a bit like me,” Kylington described. “I play like that. I try to use my skate and my sense.
“I think I did pretty good. It’s been a long time since I played a game but I think I did pretty good. I like to do stuff with the puck and I like to skate with the puck. It felt good.”
Skating 3-on-3 for the second half of the opening frame, Western Michigan forward Josh Pitt put an Emile Poirier rebound by downed Team White goaltender Mason McDonald to tie the game at 1-1 at 18:25.
Matt DeBlouw and Poirier exchanged goals, but Austin Carroll’s backhand with 56 seconds remaining in the half gave Team White the 3-2 lead heading into the intermission.
McDonald finished with 15 saves on 17 shots. Gillies stopped seven of 10 shots faced.
“Oh, it was pretty fun. It was a nice challenge,” McDonald said. “I’m not really used to 3-on-3 and 4-on-4 cause it’s usually 5-on-5 but I guess you got to get used to it because now in pro hockey in overtime they’re adjusting to that so I guess it’s a good practice for that.
“It’s more open. There’s more lanes to pass through, there’s more shots coming from different angles and there’s more breakaways and stuff so you just got to be aware of that and guys sneaking back door and that’s really all you need to think about.”
Rylan Toth, for Team White, and Adam Clark, for Team Red, took over the goaltending duties in the second half.
Pitt immediately welcomed Toth with his second of the game, converting a pass from Mason Marchment just 48 seconds into the period to tie the game 3-3.
For Pitt, the two-goal performance was much welcomed.
“It was more than I had last year so that’s always good, to start off a little bit quicker, maybe get a little confidence up and turn that into a good season at school,” said Pitt, who had one goal and seven points in 28 games for Western Michigan last season and joined camp as a free-agent invite. “I think it’s good for me. Coming into next year, it might help keep their eye on me and hopefully turn into something good.”
Andrew Mangiapane followed up Pitt’s goal just over a minute later, taking a breakaway pass from Tyson Baillie off a neutral zone turnover before beating Toth to the blocker to give Team Red a 4-3 lead.
Rasmus Andersson, Calgary’s top pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, added another for Team Red before an unassisted effort from Jankowski — his second of the game — extended the lead to 6-3.
Free agent invite Phillipe Myers zipped a shot over Clark’s glove to pull Team White back within two, but Hunter Smith’s shot from the slot off a pass from Pitt put Team Red up 7-4 at 17:26.
Calgary Hitmen forward Pavel Karnaukhov started a barrage for Team White that eventually forced overtime, picking up a turnover at the Team Red blue line before skating in and beating Clark to the blocker with 9:45 remaining in regulation.
Ryan Culkin, who spent the 2014-15 season with the Adirondack Flames, cut the lead to 7-6. Culkin took a stretch pass from Ryan Lomberg before breaking in alone on Clark and tucking a one-handed backhand deke just over the goal line with 5:50 left.
Brandon Hawkins slap shot with 2:10 remaining forced overtime for Team White.
But Jankowski’s heroics in overtime clinched the scrimmage win for Team Red.
“I jumped on the ice and saw they got a break there and I was just hauling my butt as fast as I could to get there,” Jankowski said. “Luckily I got there. I had a head start and poked it up and jumped into the play right after. It was a good play all around.
“You’re taking in a lot of knowledge here. You’re trying to be a sponge. Everything the coaches are saying is top notch. You’re trying to take it and apply it to your scrimmage here. As the summer goes on, you’re going to try to take that into next year as well.”
NOTES: The scrimmage was divided into two 30-minute straight time periods…the first 15 minutes of each period was skated 4-on-4, while the final 15 was 3-on-3…overtime was played at 3-on-3…Sam Bennett, Jakub Nakladal and Garnet Hathaway didn’t participate in the scrimmage…the scrimmage was held in front of a capacity, standing room-only crowd at Joan Snyder arena at WinSport.