The Enmax Centrium was home to the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames – rookies for one night.
The Flames would put on a similar performance to their earlier tilt this season, winning 7-3 in that one and 6-3 in this one, but Red Deer Rebels fans were treated to a superb showing by Rebel alumnus Evan Polei.
Polei said the team seemed tired after playing three games in four nights.
“I thought we did a lot of good things,” he said. “The third period killed us, but it was a good camp overall and a good learning experience.”
The exhibition tilt featured many promising young hockey players including on the Oilers side: Defenceman Ethan Bear, Right-winger Kailer Yamamoto and former Red Deer Rebel Evan Right-winger Polei.
On the Flames side, Forward Dillon Dube, Goaltender Tyler Parsons and Left-winger Brett Pollack rounded out a Calgary rookie squad that rolled over the Oiler rookies earlier this preseason.
The first period would start with sustained pressure from the Oilers, with Flames netminder Tyler Parsons standing on his head to keep it even.
Flames Forward Dmitry Zavgorodniy would eventually break the tie when he deked left past Oiler goaltender Oliver Rodrigue to put Calgary up 1-0.
The Flames would carry the momentum through the period, adding another goal to their lead when Centre D’Artagnan Joly picked up a juicy rebound.
Zavgorodniy would quickly follow that up with his second goal of the game on another rebound that beat Rodrigue, putting his team up 3-0.
The Oilers would finally find the board when Luke Esposito finished a slick pass from Ryan Van Stalen, beating Parsons over his shoulder to put the Oilers down 3-1 heading into the second frame.
The second period went on for almost a full 12 minutes before the Oilers cut the lead down to one when Oiler Cameron Hebig roofed a goal past Flames goalie Mason McDonald, who came into the game for Parsons.
The roof would then come off when former-Rebel Polei took a rebound of a 2-on-1 chance to tie the game for the Oilers.
“Overall I’m happy with the way I played this rookie camp,” Polei said. “I need to be working even harder going forward in the main camp.”
The Flames would fire first in the third period after Adam Ruzicka found an opening and beat Oilers Netminder Stuart Skinner on the breakaway, putting Calgary ahead 4-3.
The Flames would continue to sizzle, stretching the lead to 5-3 after Glenn Gawdin buried another rebound with just under eight minutes to play.
Pollack would put it even further out of reach of Edmonton after he rifled a powerplay shot to put Calgary up 6-3, which would be the final score of the game.
Polei said it was great to be back in Red Deer.
“It was so much fun playing back here again. I didn’t think I would be back this soon. It feels really good to get a goal,” Polei said.
“It was good. They (the fans) supported me for all four year I was in Red Deer and I am grateful for that.”
Polei said he is looking forward to a steady year in the AHL.
“I’m going to go down there and play hard all year. Hopefully good things come down the road,” Polei said.