Following the excitement of the return of hockey to the Pepsi Center on Tuesday night, tonight's contest between the visiting Calgary Flames and host Colorado Avalanche had the typical feel of a preseason game. Very slow, very few legitimate scoring chances, and a casual intensity was the name of the game as the Flames came into Denver and walked out with a 1-0 victory.
After a slow start to the first period, Josh Jooris walked around Zach Redmond and put a shot on goaltender Reto Berra, who made the initial save, and tapped home the rebound as Nick Holden stood helplessly in front of the net, giving Calgary the 1-0 lead at the 13:50 mark.
The second period was a penalty-filled affair that saw the Avalanche take three penalties, the Flames one, and saw each team fire 10 shots on goal but zero goals.
The third period was more of the same in a largely uneventful affair, though the Avalanche staged one of their famous late-game rallies and put a torrent of shots on net. Flames goaltender Joni Ortio was up to the task, turning away 14 third period shots and 35 total for the game. The Jooris goal would hold up for Calgary and bring the game to a 1-0 final.
September 24, 2015; Preseason Game 2
Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado
The one and only goal of the game from Jooris goes down as the play of the game. A close second could be the string of saves Ortio made in the waning moments of the game as he turned away a spirited Avalanche attack.
Directly before the Jooris goal, the Avalanche had finally given ground to the Flames after a dominating start to the game. The Marc-Andre Cliche-led fourth line of Colorado was hemmed in its own zone for an extended period of time and was unable to get a full clear out of the zone, resulting in a desperate and sloppy line change that led to the Avalanche disorganization on the game-winning goal.
By the Numbers:
The "AHL" line, featuring likely Rampage forwards Andrew Aggozino, Ben Street, and Borna Rendulic, combined for 11 of Colorado's shots on goal plus had another six shots blocked, despite only combining for 39:31 of ice time. Street paced the group with six shots on goal of his own in just 12:02.
Quote of the Game:
"He was really good, really good. I was very happy with him and he made some good saves."
-Head Coach Patrick Roy on Reto Berra, who is in the midst of a fight for his NHL life as youngster Calvin Pickard is pushing him for the backup goaltender job.
It’s still the preseason. None.
The Avs host the Los Angeles Kings at Pepsi Center on Sunday, 27 September. Puck drops at 6:00PM.