Foo Delivers

by TY PILSON @typilson / calgaryflames.com

PENTICTON, B.C. – Believe the hype.

Spencer Foo showed exactly why he was such a highly-coveted college free agent this past summer, scoring a goal and playing a strong game from beginning to end with plenty of powerplay time and lots of shots as the Flames beat the Vancouver Canucks 6-2 Sunday at the Young Stars Classic tournament.

It was his first goal in Calgary silks since inking a deal with the organization on July 1 after being courted by a bevy of NHL clubs.

Skating on the club’s top line with centre Mark Jankowski and left-winger Andrew Mangiapane, Foo was credited for two goals in the tilt after he appeared to open the scoring with a nice tap-in off a Jankowski pass early in the first period.

However, post game he said he never touched the puck and it deflected in off the defenceman’s stick. In the second period he almost scored what would have been another marker when he beat Canucks netminder Michael DiPietro with a great shot but it clanged off the cross-bar.

“If you want to score goals you have to shoot the puck obviously,” said Foo. “That’s what you want to do out here, especially in a tournament like this, you can kind of shoot anything and anything can kind of go in. You just want to put pucks on net.”

Brett Pollock scored twice, while Zach Fischer and Adam Ruzicka added singles for the Flames and Nick Schneider made 24 saves.

Aaron Irving and Yan-Pavel Laplante had the markers for the Canucks, while a busy DiPietro ended the night with 28 saves.

Just over five minutes into the first period after Jankowski’s goal, Fischer put his side up by a pair after Ben Hawerchuk feed him from the half boards as Fischer skated into the high slot and he fired it past DiPietro stick side.

The Canucks got on the board at the 9:01 mark when Brett McKenzie won the faceoff in the Flames zone and Griffin Molino smacked the puck back to the point where Irving rifled a shot top corner, stick side on Schneider.

The first period ended with a spirited fight between big 6-foot-7, 225-lb. Flames winger Hunter Smith and the 6-ft., 183-lb. Laplante, with the pair exchanging a flurry of punches in a lengthy dust-up.

Later it was Laplante who tied things up in the second period, finding the loose puck in the crease and slipping it across the line after a Vancouver point shot and initial save by Schneider.

Moments earlier, Schneider had stoned Laplante on a breakaway.

Adam Ruzicka Photo by Marissa Baecker

However, Ruzicka answered right back, grabbing the puck behind the net and skating out with a wraparound that eluded DiPietro.

Foo increased the lead when he fired an absolute rocket on a powerplay one-timer from Rasmus Andersson with less than five minutes to go in the second stanza.

Pollock scored his goals in the third period, first going end-to-end and driving the net as he flipped the puck up and over DiPietro’s glove before adding an empty-netter on a strange play with 7:11 still to go but DiPietro pulled for another extra attacker while Vancouver was on the powerplay.

Coach Ryan Huska praised his club for playing a solid 60 minutes in the outing and agreed Foo’s play stood out in the contest.

“You can tell he’s a shooter,” said Huska. “We talked after the last game that he had a few chances where the puck was bouncing over his stick. I think when he’s probably feeling good about his game, when he has the confidence or that swagger going, I think you’re going to see him score quite a few goals.

“It’s nice to see a guy on the powerplay that isn’t afraid to shoot because a lot of times you have guys that always feel they like they have to move it or make that perfect pass where he seems to be the type of guy that’s almost the shot first mentality type guy and I think every good powerplay needs to have someone like that.”

Foo was asked if he felt like it was a bit of a statement game for him.

“I guess a little bit,” said Foo. “But at the end of the day, you just want to show well and compete hard out there in both ends of the ice. Tonight was one of those nights where the bounces kind of go your way where as a couple of days ago it was a little bit different.”

The victory improved Calgary to 1-1 at the tournament after losing its opener 4-2 to the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

The Flames wrap up the tournament Monday when they take on the Winnipeg Jets at 12:30 MTN. The game will be livestreamed at calgaryflames.com.

Jankowski on a Mission

by TY PILSON @typilson / calgaryflames.com

PENTICTON, B.C. – Comfortable and confident.

Those were two words that Mark Jankowski used when assessing his play in the Flames’ opening game loss to the Oilers Friday at the annual Young Stars Classic tournament.

Centring the top line with wingers Andrew Mangiapane and Spencer Foo, he was one of the best players on the ice for the team, scoring a goal and controlling play, notably when the Flames were on the powerplay.

“I think you have to be comfortable and confident, as well,” said Jankowski, following Saturday morning’s skate at the South Okanagan Events Centre. “I definitely felt those two things: confident and comfortable out there. You’re really not going to get anywhere if you don’t have those two things. When you’re comfortable and you’re confident you’re just able to play your game, the game you’ve been playing your whole life and what got you here.”

Last season, Jankowski skated in 64 regular-season tilts for the AHL Stockton Heat, leading the team in scoring with 27 goals and 57 points.

After that impressive campaign, his goal for this season is simple: to make the big club.

And he knows that begins in Penticton.

“Obviously I want to make the Flames and stay there all year and it starts right here,” said Jankowski. “This is the first impression I get to make so it’s a big one. I thought overall it was a pretty good first game. After coming here last year I’m more familiar this year, I get to take on more of a leadership role with the guys on the ice. I just felt pretty comfortable out there and I’m just trying to make plays and do whatever I can to make the team.”

Ryan Huska, his head coach with the Heat, is the man running the bench for the Young Stars and was impressed with Jankowski’s play against the Oilers.

“I thought he had stretches where I thought he was really good,” said Huska. “I thought he made some good plays in the middle of the ice. He can really move the puck well in traffic and I thought we saw a little bit of that tonight.”

 

The 6-foot-4 centre put on some size in the off-season, now tipping the scales around 208-lb. Along with trying to add some bulk to his frame, he hit the ice weekly with Flames skating guru Dawn Braid to improve his agility and speed.

During one powerplay Friday, his footwork was on display when he calmly pulled the puck to his side and walked around a defenceman before driving to the net where he was unable to snap the puck home.

“It’s definitely huge,” said Jankowski of his hard work. “It’s something I noticed as my summer skates wore on. This was the first chance in a game opportunity and I definitely got to feel that as well. It felt like I gained a step, I was faster and quicker and just using your body in battles and stuff like that. Being able to walk around a D and take it to the net like that play. Little things like that you notice.”

And it should pay big dividends at main camp when he takes to the ice against the Flames veterans.

“This is one step and then when you go to main camp it’s another huge step up to the NHL players – they’re bigger and they’re stronger and they’re faster,” said Jankowski. “That’s where I’ll really be able to show that.”

Count Huska among those rooting for Jankowski to find a permanent spot in the Saddledome dressing room.

“I think for him, I’m hopeful that he comes in here and is the most dominant guy at this camp and he can use that to carry himself forward into Calgary’s camp here in a few short days and hopefully do a really great job of pushing for spot with the big team,” he said.

The Flames are back on the ice Sunday to play the host Canucks at 3 p.m. The game will be livestreamed at calgaryflames.com

Heat365 Member of the Month – September 2017

Our Heat365 Member of the Month for September is Rick Pelascki, a supporter of Stockton hockey since day one of the Thunder, a passion he’s carried through to the Stockton Heat!

Rick is a true ambassador of our sport, not only bringing plenty of new faces to games, but also introducing a new generation to the sport!  He serves as the President of the Stockton Colts organization at Oak Park Ice Arena, the travel hockey program in Stockton, and has been contributing to the growth of youth hockey in the area for years, always looking for new ways to get involved and help people find their love for hockey.

We saw his hard work play out in front of our eyes this past season, when not one, not two but three youth teams from Oak Park Ice Arena take to the Stockton Heat ice during intermissions!  Through Oak Park’s “Try Hockey Free” program, many youngesters have had the opportunity to give hockey a shot and many have gone on to play on the various Stockton Colts teams.  Rick has helped nurture a love of the sport in both young and old, and that is why he’s truly a great ambassador to our sport.

You can find Rick in Section 113, often bringing another new face out to enjoy the Stockton Heat!

Flames Open 2017 Prospects Training Camp

Calgary, AB – The Calgary Flames are set to open their 2017 prospects’ training camp starting Thursday, September 7th with fitness testing at Winsport – Canadian Olympic Park.

The first on-ice session for the prospects is scheduled for Friday, September 8th in Penticton, BC at the Young Stars Classic when the Flames take on the Edmonton Oilers.  A total of 26 players will be participating in the prospects camp: 3 goalies, 8 defensemen and 15 forwards.

Prospects will be available upon request following their fitness testing and at the conclusion of each training day. There will be no access to the players during fitness testing. For specific times of player’s availability please contact the Flames Communication department.

PROSPECT TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE: 

Thursday, September 7th
Who:                      All prospects
Event/Time:          Prospects Fitness Testing/Medicals – Beginning at 7:00 a.m. (media availability starts at 10:00 a.m.)
Location:               Winsport – Canadian Olympic Park
Event/Time(s):      Flight to Kelowna – 8:00 p.m. MST (Bus to Penticton on arrival in Kelowna)

Friday, September 8th
Who:                      All prospects
Event/Time(s):      Pre-game skate 9:00 – 10:15 a.m.
Event/Time(s):      Game vs. Edmonton – 4:00 p.m. Pacific
Location:               South Okanagan Events Centre – Penticton, BC

Saturday, September 9th
Who:                      All prospects
Event/Time(s):      Practice 12:00 – 1:15 p.m.
Event/Time(s):      Off-ice workout 1:15 – 2:00 p.m. Pacific
Location:               South Okanagan Events Centre – Penticton, BC

Sunday, September 10th
Who:                      All prospects
Event/Time(s):      Game vs. Vancouver – 2:00 p.m. Pacific
Location:               South Okanagan Events Centre – Penticton, BC

Monday, September 11th
Who:                      All prospects
Event/Time(s):      Game vs. Winnipeg – 10:30 a.m. Pacific
Location:               South Okanagan Events Centre – Penticton, BC

2017 CALGARY FLAMES PROSPECT TRAINING CAMP ROSTER

No. Player Pos.
54 Andersson, Rasmus RD
43 Doetzel, Kayle RD
89 Dove-McFalls, Sam C
59 Dube, Dillion C
48 Fischer, Zach RW
15 Foo, Spencer RW
80 Gawdin, Glenn C
97 Hawerchuk, Ben LW
85 Healey, Josh LD
78 Helgesen, Tyson LD
77 Jankowski, Mark C
52 Joly, D’Artagnan RW
88 Mangiapane, Andrew LW
72 McDonald, Mason G
84 Morrison, Brad C
68 Ollas Mattsson, Adam LD
82 Parsons, Tyler G
47 Phillips, Matthew RW
60 Pollock, Brett LW
50 Rassell, Mark C
98 Ruopp, Sam LD
63 Ruzicka, Adam C
70 Schneider, Nick G
71 Smith, Hunter RW
42 Valimaki, Juuso LD
73 Watson, Cliff LD
     

Main camp is scheduled to begin on Thursday, September 14th. Complete training camp information, including schedules and roster will be available at the beginning of main training camp.

Calgary Flames Sign Defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon

Calgary, AB – The Calgary Flames announced today that they have signed defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon to a one-year, two-way contract.

Wotherspoon, the 57th overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, just finished his fourth season with the Flames organization. The 24-year-old netted a career high six goals and added 12 assists for 18 points and 24 penalty minutes in 56 games with the Stockton Heat in the AHL last year in addition to playing four games with the Calgary Flames.

Term: 1 Year
AAV: NHL $650,000 

TYLER WOTHERSPOON – DEFENSEMAN
BORN: Surrey, BC            DATE: March 12, 1993
HEIGHT: 6’2”                    WEIGHT: 210 lbs.
SHOOTS: Left
DRAFTED: 2nd round (57th overall) in the 2011 NHL Draft

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2008-09 Portland Winter Hawks WHL 4 0 0 0 0
2009-10 Portland Winterhawks WHL 43 1 4 5 21 2 0 0 0 0
2010-11 Portland Winterhawks WHL 64 2 10 12 73 20 3 1 4 10
2011-12 Portland Winterhawks WHL 67 7 21 28 42 22 1 6 7 6
2012-13 Portland Winterhawks WHL 61 7 30 37 30 21 2 8 10 20
2013-14 Abbotsford Heat AHL 48 1 8 9 12
2013-14 Calgary Flames NHL 14 0 4 4 4
2014-15 Adirondack Flames AHL 61 2 22 24 20
2014-15 Calgary Flames NHL 1 0 0 0 0 6 0 0 0 0
2015-16 Stockton Heat AHL 53 2 8 10 16
2015-16 Calgary Flames NHL 11 0 1 1 0
2016-17 Stockton Heat AHL 56 6 12 18 24 5 0 0 0 2
2016-17 Calgary Flames NHL 4 0 0 0 0
  TOTALS NHL 30 0 5 5 4 6 0 0 0 0
    AHL 218 11 50 61 72 5 0 0 0 2
    WHL 239 17 65 82 166 65 6 15 21 36

Flames Sign Brett Kulak

Calgary, AB – The Calgary Flames announced today that they have signed defenseman to a one year, two-way contract.

Kulak, a native of Edmonton, Alberta, split last season between the Calgary Flames and their AHL affiliate Stockton Heat. With Calgary, Kulak had three assists and 12 penalty minutes in 21 regular season games and added a pair of goals along with eight assists for 10 points and 14 penalty minutes in 22 games with Stockton. In the playoffs, Kulak led all Heat blue-liners in playoff scoring and tied the team high with four assists in five games.

Term: 1 Year

AAV: NHL $650,000

BRETT KULAK – DEFENSE
BORN: Edmonton, AB       DATE: January 6, 1994
HEIGHT: 6’2”                    WEIGHT: 189 lbs.
SHOOTS: Left
ACQUIRED: 4th round, 105th overall in the 2012 NHL Draft

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2010-11 Vancouver Giants WHL 3 0 0 0 0
2011-12 Vancouver Giants WHL 72 9 15 24 22 6 0 4 4 2
2012-13 Vancouver Giants WHL 72 12 32 44 34
2012-13 Abbotsford Heat AHL 4 0 0 0 0
2013-14 Vancouver Giants WHL 69 14 46 60 51 4 1 2 3 7
2013-14 Abbotsford Heat AHL 6 1 2 3 2 4 0 0 0 2
2014-15 Adirondack Flames AHL 26 4 9 13 27
2014-15 Colorado Eagles ECHL 39 9 21 30 15
2014-15 Calgary Flames NHL 1 0 0 0 2
2015-16 Calgary Flames NHL 8 0 0 0 0
2015-16 Stockton Heat AHL 59 3 14 17 36
2016-17 Calgary Flames NHL 21 0 3 3 12
2016-17 Stockton Heat AHL 22 2 8 10 14 5 0 4 4 4
TOTALS NHL 30 0 3 3 14

Heat Partner with American Red Cross Blood Drive

The Heat are partnering with American Red Cross’s Blood Drives here in Stockton!  With eight blood drive events during the month of September, the Heat want to encourage everyone who can to donate blood and help the American Red Cross!

To reward you for your good deed, everyone who donates blood during one of the participating drive events will receive two FREE tickets to the preseason game on Friday, September 29 at 7:00 p.m. at Stockton Arena.

Participating Drives include:

September 7th – San Joaquin Delta College from 9am-3pm in Danner Hall at 5151 Pacific Avenue
September 7th – SEU Nor Cal from 10am-4pm at 1601 Coffee Road, Modesto
September 9th – Quail Lakes Baptist Church from 9am-3pm at 1904 Quail Lakes Drive, Stockton
September 12th and 14th – UEI College from 9am-3pm at 4994 Claremont Avenue, Stockton
September 19th – Costco Warehouse from 8:30-2:30 at 25149 S Schulte Road, Tracy
September 20th & 21st – University of the Pacific in Grace, Covell Hall from 11:30-5:30pm at 720 Presidents Drive, Stockton
September 23rd – Victory in Praise from 9am-3pm at 720 G Street, Modesto

Plus there are 11 area high school will allow students and faculty to donate blood and receive some hockey tickets for their good deed!