Vancouver Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko, right, blocks a shot from Calgary Flames’ Mikael Backlund, of Sweden, during preseason NHL hockey action in Calgary, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Vancouver Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko, right, blocks a shot from Calgary Flames’ Mikael Backlund, of Sweden, during preseason NHL hockey action in Calgary, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Czarnik nets 3 as Flames dump Canucks 5-2

Calgary picks up exhibition win over Vancouver

CALGARY — Austin Czarnik scored three times Saturday night to lead the Calgary Flames to a 5-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks in pre-season play.

Mikael Backlund and Mark Jankowski, into an empty net, also scored for Calgary. Elias Pettersson and Brandon Sutter scored for the Canucks.

Czarnik is making the most of his opportunity to be a full-time NHLer for the first time at age 25 after being signed in the off-season to a two-year, US$2.5 million deal. He spent three seasons in the Boston Bruins organization before heading to Calgary.

Czarnik signed with Boston in the spring of 2015 after graduating from Miami University of Ohio.

The five-foot-nine right-winger got into 59 games (5 goals, 12 assists) with the Bruins over his three years, but spent most of his time in the American Hockey League with Providence. Last year, he finished third in scoring with 69 points (25 goals, 44 assists) in 64 games.

Czarnik opened the scoring at 6:20 on a power play, neatly completing a tic-tac-toe passing play with Matthew Tkachuk and Backlund.

The Flames’ power play was 29th in the NHL last year, but with a bunch of off-season additions including James Neal, Elias Lindholm, Derek Ryan and Czarnik, the new-look man advantage has looked more dangerous in the early going of the pre-season.

RELATED: Horvat leads Canucks to shootout win over Kings

Tkachuk also had a hand in his second goal, which broke a 1-1 tie late in the first. After gaining the offensive zone, Tkachuk left a drop pass for Czarnik, who fired a perfect shot inside the far post on Thatcher Demko’s glove side.

After Backlund’s short-handed breakaway goal six minutes into the second put the Flames up 3-1, Czarnik capped off his big night just over three minutes later with Tkachuk’s pass deflecting in off his skate.

Sutter’s goal at 9:31 of the third period, the Canucks second power-play goal of the night, got Vancouver back to within two goals.

Demko went the distance for Vancouver, finishing with 17 stops.

Jon Gillies started for Calgary, stopping of 13-of-14 shots. In relief, David Rittich turned aside 14-of-15. Gillies and Rittich are battling for the back-up job behind Mike Smith.

Notes: Fifteen of the 26 players that travelled to Asia for the 2018 China Games were in the Flames line-up… After Elias Lindholm spent both games in China on the top line alongside Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan, James Neal got his first chance in that spot.

Darren Haynes, The Canadian Press

CanucksNHL

 

Vancouver Canucks’ Brock Boeser, right, and Calgary Flames’ Mikael Backlund, of Sweden, chase the puck during preseason NHL hockey action in Calgary, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Vancouver Canucks’ Brock Boeser, right, and Calgary Flames’ Mikael Backlund, of Sweden, chase the puck during preseason NHL hockey action in Calgary, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Just Posted

Craft Culture Events hosts its first of four summer markets at Prospera Place in Kelowna (Craft Culture Events/Contributed).
Kelowna’s Prospera Place summer market a success

Craft Culture Events hosts its first of four summer markets and vendors were ‘excited’ to be back

Lightning in Kelowna, B.C. (Contributed)
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan

Conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms overnight

(Dave Ogilvie/Contributed)
UPDATE: West Kelowna fire crews rescue injured mountain biker

The injury took place at the top of Smith Creek Road

Kelowna flags were flown at half-mast after the discovery of a residential school burial site in Kamloops. (File photo)
Central Okanagan school board chair reflects on recent tragedies

Moyra Baxter offers condolenses to residential school victims, slain Muslim family

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Jane Linden
KCR: Volunteering keeps you active

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Most Read