SUN Hockey Pool

Flames prospect has a rough start

Randy Sportak, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:22 AM ET

PENTICTON, B.C. - Joni Ortio was the victim of bad bounces, miscommunication and bad goals.

It was just an all-around rough go overall for the Calgary Flames hopeful.

Ortio, the netminder who made the move to North America from his native Finland this season, didn’t start off on the right foot in Sunday’s 6-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks prospects in the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton, B.C.

He was beat by the first shot on goal — a result of a miscue between himself and the defenceman moments earlier. The second puck beat him, too.

You know there are better nights ahead for Ortio, who was chosen in the sixth round in the 2009 draft, but it wasn’t how anyone envisioned the start to this season.

“That’s not the best start for a hockey game. No matter if the first few chances go in, you’ve got to bounce back,” said Ortio, who stopped 17 shots. “I felt my timing was off and my angles. Once we get that straightened, it’s going to work out for me.”

“He did OK,” assessed centre Mitch Wahl. “I think we left him out to dry a lot of time. We gave up chances, quality chances and shouldn’t have done that. We have to play a lot better.”

Troy Ward, the Abbotsford Heat head coach who’s running the squad, said he may go back with Ortio in Monday’s clash with the Vancouver Canucks.

“I don’t have any problems with Joni’s play,” Ward said. “Do I want him to make more saves than he did? For sure. Anybody would. But getting one-and-a-half skates in and changing from Olympic-sized ice, that’s just timing and adjustments.”

Charles Inglis, Michael Sgarbossa, Trevor Cheek, Calgary product Curt Gogol, Brodie Reid and Sena Acolatse all scored for the Sharks.

Roman Horak scored Calgary’s lone goal on a third-period penalty shot.

OFF THE GLASS

T.J. Brodie wearing No. 7, which is a true sign the Flames expect to see him in NHL action at some time this season. It’s a lot better than wearing No. 66, which he did during a three-game NHL stint last year. Then again, if Brodie plays like he did Sunday, especially during the first half of the game, he won’t get that chance. “Personally, I didn’t play too good. It took a period and a half to feel my legs and get back into it,” he said. Brodie was also caught up-ice a couple of times, which was the on-going battle last season when he went to the AHL ... As for 2011 first-round draft choice Sven Baertschi, he showed a willingness to go to the front of the net and some creativity. Too bad he couldn’t convert on his penalty shot opportunity, which shortly after Horak put the Flames on the board.

OVERTIME

Tough go for the more veteran Flames players you expect to lead the way. Not only did it take defencemen T.J. Brodie and Chris Breen time to get going, but the line of Lance Bouma, Mitch Wahl and Greg Nemisz wasn’t strong other than a couple of shifts. Considering Bouma and Nemisz saw NHL time last season, they should be better at this event. In his defence, Wahl was playing in a game for the first time since suffering a concussion in November. “It’s not the start I was looking for, personally, but it was nice to get back on the ice, get in a high-tempo game,” he said.


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