Bunz bakes a win for Oilers

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:16 AM ET

PENTICTON, B.C. -- The Edmonton Oilers rested their big three Tuesday night against the Flames, but it didn't seem to matter much -- the remaining 20 guys delivered all the star power Calgary could handle.

The guys without the household names got in Calgary's kitchen early, outshooting them 16-7 in the first period en route to a 5-3 victory at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Edmonton defenceman Alex Plante opened and closed the scoring, making it 1-0 14 minutes in and sliding home an empty netter late in the third to seal it.

The win improves Edmonton's record in the Prospects Tournament to 2-0 heading into Wednesday's final game against the San Jose Sharks.

With Edmonton running away with the balance of play in the opening period, Calgary goalie Leland Irving kept it from being a rout with a handful of dazzling saves. The only thing that beat him in the first was Plante's point shot on the power play, which found its way through the doorstep traffic and into the net.

There were all kinds of fireworks in the second period, with Calgary jumping in front 2-1 on a pair of power play goals in the first six minutes, after some great saves by 2010 fifth round draft pick Tyler Bunz.

But Edmonton went back to work after that, tying it on Mike Thomas's goal, set up by Ryan Martindale's behind-the- back pass at 7:38.

Two minutes after that, Chris Vande Velde made it 3-2 in a doorstep rebound and two minutes after that Tyler Pitlick made it 4-2 on another lose puck near the crease.

The rough stuff started shortly thereafter, with 6-foot-4 Cam Abney taking a couple of early ones from Calgary's 6-foot-6 defenceman Chris Breen before dropping Breen to end it. On the next faceoff, Edmonton's Jordan Bendfield (6-2, 222) fought 6-4, 200 pound Ryley Grantham to a draw.

Bunz was hot and cross after Calgary's third goal, a point shot under the crossbar with a 10th of a second left in the period to make it 4-3 at the second intermission.

Calgary pressed hard in the third period, and by game's end they had a 37-35 advantage on the shot clock, but Bunz broke their hearts with his third-period theatrics.

LATE HITS: Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi sat this one out and will return to action against San Jose.

"We have 29 guys here, they were all just going to play two games," said Oklahoma coach Todd Nelson, who's running the Edmonton bench this week.

"They'll all be back in the lineup Wednesday."

They would have liked to have been out there for this one -- Hall is from Calgary, after all -- but understand the situation.

"It would have been nice to play all three games, I have a former teammate on that team, Greg Nemisz, and we were joking around that it would have been really nice to play," said Hall.

"But it's a good opportunity for some kids and I just want to play well Wednesday in my final game."


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