2023 national mens u18 championship flames atlantic

Road to the Men’s U18 National Club Championship: Calgary Flames

Learning to shut down teams and riding their offensive talent in the postseason, the Pacific champions are bringing a complete team to Saint-Hyacinthe

Jonathan Yue
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April 23, 2023
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Concluding the Alberta Elite Hockey League (AEHL) regular season with four wins in their last 10 games, the Calgary Flames weren’t the hottest team heading into the postseason, but when the time came to step up, the Pacific Region champions got the job done and even found a new way of winning.

“It’s been an absolute rollercoaster,” head coach Ben Sherven says. “We’ve had to win tight games, and we’ve also had high-scoring games, like winning our region-clinching [game] 8-6. It’s been an emotional ride, so we will be ready for anything that is thrown at us at nationals.”

Leading the charge for the Flames is Joshua Wiebe, who topped all AEHL players with 60 points (16-44—60) in 38 regular-season contests. He continued his offensive brilliance in the postseaon, tallying 21 points (8-13—21) before producing a five-point night (3-2—5) to help the Flames capture the Pacific championship over the B.C. champion Okanagan Rockets.

It hasn’t been just a one man show. The Flames have shown they have plenty of secondary scoring depth and are also comfortable to defend just as well as they can score. Down 2-0 to the cross-city rival Calgary Buffaloes in the best-of-five AEHL South Division final (allowing 13 goals in the first two games), the Flames clamped down to allow just single goal in each of the final three games and they haven’t lost a game since.

“We had a few galvanizing wins in the Alberta playoffs that showed a different depth to our team,” Sherven says. “We learned different ways of winning, not always outscoring teams like we have been, and really locking down defensively, shutting out the other teams and being able to see how much fun it is to win together.”

The Flames will make their return the Men’s U18 National Club Championship for the first time since 1999 on April 24, when they take on the host Gaulois de Saint-Hyacinthe.

HOW THEY GOT TO SAINT-HYACINTHE

Alberta Elite Hockey League
Quarterfinal: defeated Calgary Royals 2-1 (4-5 OT, 9-4, 5-4 2OT)
Semifinal: defeated Calgary Buffaloes 3-2 (2-6, 4-7, 2-1, 3-1, 4-1)
Final: defeated St. Albert Raiders 3-0 (4-3, 5-3, 4-1)

Pacific Regional
Final: defeated Okanagan Rockets 2-0 (5-4 OT, 8-6)

REGULAR SEASON

Record: 23-12-2 (4th in AEHL)
Goals for: 148 (2nd in AEHL)
Goals against: 126 (5th in AEHL)
Top 3 scorers:
- Joshua Wiebe – 16G 44A 60P (1st in AEHL)
- Brett Wilson – 15G 22A 37P (25th in AEHL)
- Max Heise – 14G 18A 32P (42nd in AEHL)

PLAYOFFS

Record: 8-3
Goals for: 46
Goals against: 36
Top 3 scorers
- Joshua Wiebe – 8G 13A 21P
- Max Heise – 10G 6A 16P
- Aidan LaRose – 8G 6A 14P

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

1999 – Calgary Flames | silver medal | 5-2 | 25GF 17GA

PLAYERS TO WATCH

MAX HEISE
Prototypical centreman … strong on the puck … strong skating power forward

AIDAN LAROSE
Captain that puts his team above himself … heavy, tough game along the boards … complete player

BRETT WILSON
Team engine … hockey player’s hockey player… shutdown guy

WHL DRAFTED PLAYERS

Max Heise – Prince Albert Raiders 2021 (3rd round, 55th overall)
Jake Pilon – Edmonton Oil Kings 2021 (8th round, 177th overall)
Kyle Federico – Spokane Chiefs 2020 (6th round, 124th overall)
Nolan Kelly – Spokane Chiefs 2020 (7th round, 146th overall)
Thomas Matte – Moose Jaw Warriors 2020 (10th round, 200th overall)
Logan Greenough – Everett Silvertips 2020 (10th round, 207th overall)

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

[email protected] 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

[email protected]

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

[email protected]

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