Preview: Flames-Oilers split squad games

The first edition of the Battle of Alberta takes place on Saturday night

Friday, 13.09.2013 / 6:00 PM
Aaron Vickers  - CalgaryFlames.com (@aavickers)

CALGARY VS EDMONTON

Sean Monahan and Emile Poirier will get their first taste of National Hockey League action as the pair of first round picks get set to host the Edmonton Oilers in split squad preseason action.

The duo, projected to play on a line with Michael Ferland, are in their first pro training camp after being selected just three months ago at the 2013 NHL Draft in New Jersey and will square off against the likes of Jordan Eberle, David Perron and Sam Gagner. Calgary Hitmen forward Greg Chase will also be in the lineup for the Oilers.

Monahan and Poirier will be aided by plenty of veterans, including Curtis Glencross, Matt Stajan and Lee Stempniak, who will comprise a line. Mikael Backlund will flank Mike Cammalleri and David Jones in the game as well.

Joey MacDonald and Joni Ortio will split the goaltending duties at Scotiabank Saddledome, while Laurent Brossoit will not dress in either split squad game. Defencemen James Martin, Zach McKelvie, Braden Lamb, Tyler Wothersppon, Chad Billins and Chris Breen will not dress for either game, nor will forwards David Eddy and Brett Olson.

Morgan Klimchuk, Eric Roy, Turner Elson, Steve Begin, Max Reinhart and Coda Gordon will miss the action in both cities due to injury.

CALGARY @ EDMONTON

Led by Jiri Hudler and Sven Baertschi, twenty-two hopefuls will hop on a bus in hopes of strengthening their chances at cracking the Calgary Flames in the first of simultaneous split squad games against the Edmonton Oilers.

The action represents the first pre-season action for the Flames, who have spent the past two days battling each other in intrasquad games.

The preseason 'Battle of Alberta' also represents the first National Hockey League action for several rookies including Josh Jooris, who signed with the Flames in late July after three years at Union College. He'll be joined 20-year-old Finnish forward Markus Granlund and defenceman Keegan Kanzig, who was drafted in the third round of the 2013 NHL Draft.

The game - set for 8:00 PM at Rexall Place and streamed live on www.CalgaryFlames.com - also gives goaltender Reto Berra and Karri Ramo the opportunity to continue the goaltending battle in net.

The team will be hosted by an Oilers split squad featuring the likes of Taylor Hall, Nail Yakupov, Ales Hemsky and Ryan Smith up front with Justin Schultz and former Flames defenceman Andrew Ference on the blueline. Devan Dubnyk and Olivier Roy will make up Edmonton's goaltending tandem.

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