Flames open Cup with 2-1 Win
A powerplay goal in each of the 1st and 3rd periods by John Dunbar lifted the Flames to a 2-1 Cup opening win against the visiting Coventry Blaze. A powerplay in the back half of the frame helped edge the Flames in front when a rebound spilled to the side of the goal. Dunbar was right there to capitalise and score the club’s first official marker of the new campaign. With less than a minute on the period clock, the Blaze had their second shot with the extra man and a conversion by Kelin Ainsworth 20 seconds from the buzzer had the teams even at a goal each.
In the 2nd, the teams had a near split of 5 minor penalties with Blaze taking 3 in the set, but neither unit was able to make a difference to the score and the 3rd period began on the same 1-1 tie that closed the 1st.
On yet another poweplay just over 5 minutes after re-start, Dunbar secured a 2nd goal similar to the first when he cleaned up after Kruise Reddick swiped at a rebound from a Jesse Craige shot. The Flames continued to pressure for most of the closing segments, but despite no further scoring enough had already been achieved to store the points.
“It’s great to start the season off with a win on home ice,” said Head Coach Paul Dixon. “Any time you are at a goal each in a game where clearly not a lot of offence is going to be found, you only need one thing to go wrong in the late minutes to lose the handle on the points.”
“I felt we got better as the game went on and we probably had the most sustained pressure of the night over the back part of the 3rd period.”
“On a evening when scoring was a little tight, it was great to get such a solid outing from Chris (Carrozzi). He made some good saves at opportune times to make sure we didn’t fall behind, and would eventually have a chance to take a lead.”
“Coventry has a good team, and things are going to get tougher heading into their building tomorrow night. We will enjoy this for a short while and then turn our heads to what we need to do Sunday night.”