FLAMES MOVE TO 5TH IN PLAYOFF SEEDING WITH SATURDAY WIN; NEED MORE SUCCESS SUNDAY TO RETAIN THE SPOT

3 goals between the sides in the opening 12 minutes was followed by a scoreless 2+ periods as Liam Hughes made 31 saves to help edge out a 2-1 win road win at Manchester Phoenix to push Flames into 5th place in the race for playoff seeding position. 

Less than 2 minutes into the evening, and just 22 seconds into a powerplay, Levi Cable struck to put Flames in front. The lead was short-lived thanks to an Adam Brady powerplay reply at 5:50, but Turner Ripplinger installed a new advantage when he scored at 11:11 and the lead held up through the remainder of the frame and through the pair of 20-minute sets that followed.

Flames killed a penalty early in the 3rd before a major penalty for slashing and game misconduct to Storm forward Linden Springer in the 47th minute set the visitor’s powerplay to work for 5 minutes with a chance to extend. Unfortunately for Spectrum’s men, failure to convert offered no breathing space put the teams down the final stretch still on the 2-1 count, but in the end the slight difference remained on the score despite a furious late effort by Storm to level. 

“We had a lot of pressure on us for the last bit of the 3rd period so it was a good job to be able to hang on to a very tight, low scoring game,” offered Paul Dixon.

“We had some chances earlier on to have been able to maybe be in front by a slightly bigger margin, but goaltending at both ends was very strong so we are pleased that we were able to be the team to get the points.”

“We want to finish as high in the table as possible, and anything from 5th to 8th is still in play, so we have to get home and repeat a win tomorrow night when Manchester comes to us. That’s our focus now and we are looking forward to getting out there and seeing how things end up.” 

Neil Tucker

Neil has written on ice hockey for many websites concentrating on British ice hockey mostly. Neil also covers ice hockey in other countries and organises his Blueliner Hockey Tour. A graduate of the Manchester Metropolitan University Neil turned his hand to hockey writing in 2009. As well as contributing on Blueliner Hockey Neil has contributed to Get Real Hockey and Slapshot Magasine.

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