The Flames organization have signed Emile Poirier to an entry level contract. I’ve been waiting for this signing for quite a while now, and I’m so glad it’s finally happened. Poirier has been at the top of the QMJHL all season since being picked in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft this year. He was the Flames second pick (after Sean Monahan) and 22nd overall.
Last season, while playing with the Gatineaux Olympiques, Poirier earned 70 points in 65 games. This year, so far, as alternate captain for the Olympiques, he has 53 points in 36 games and he’s sitting at a +18 rating. From what I’ve seen of Emile, this kid has rockets and gets to the opposite end of the ice before his opponents even realize where the puck is. It won’t take long for him to make his way into the NHL.
Speaking of young players, Team Canada and Team USA (with Jon Gillies in net) went head to head earlier today.
To say this game was exciting would be the understatement of the World Junior season. It’s always a great match-up when Team Canada and Team USA meet up in the World Juniors, and today was no exception.
The tone was set in the first period as Canada and USA battled for possession of the puck. Even though the shots on net were in favor of Team USA, Team Canada held them off with gusto. The first period ended with no score.
The second period was all Team USA in the first half as they out-worked Team Canada, which led to the first goal of the game. Barber carried the puck around the back of the net and made the perfect wrap-around to score on Fucale who didn’t even see it coming. Gillies stood his ground and the USA was up 1-0. After Drouin hit the post later in the period, a fire was lit on Team Canada and they answered back with the tying goal to end the second frame.
The third period held a lot more excitement for Team Canada as they struck with force and put them up by one. About three minutes later, Canada struck again. A beauty pass from Drouin found the puck on Lazar’s stick and then into the back of the USA net. Gillies had no chance at saving those goals. He shook it off quickly and didn’t let another one pass him by.
With 2:45 left on the clock, Team USA closed the gap and scored. The pressure didn’t stop there, but it wasn’t quite enough to tie the game and force overtime. Team Canada won with a final score of 3-2.
Gilles should be proud of himself. He made stellar saves all game and two of the three Canada goals seemed impossible to stop. The Flames future has the potential to look bright if based solely on the goaltending of Jon Gillies.
You can watch the entire game on TSN on demand.