Flames recover from collapse to secure 5-4 penalty win
After building a 4-1 lead starting with a Geoff Walker strike, the Flames gave up 3 late goals, including a pair inside the final 73 seconds, to find themselves in a 4-4 tie requiring extra time and penalties where Mikael Lidhammar saved the night with the only tiebreaking success in the game deciding procedure. After a number of high grade scoring opportunities, Spectrum’s men finally cracked the scoresheet when Walker scored just inside the opening period’s last 5 minutes to hold the edge through the frame. Early in the 2nd, Ben Campbell converted a Brett Ferguson feed to make it a 2-0 count. Campbell’s 2nd of the contest at the midway mark had the home team 3 goals to the good, but a Guillaume Doucet marker on the powerplay at 35:07 cut the Lightning deficit to a pair with a period ahead. At 44:21 Kruise Reddick stole a puck in the Lightning zone, found John Dunbar and his return feed was directed home by Reddick to make it a 4-1 score. A 50th minute Doucet reply pulled Lightning within a pair. 73 seconds from close, a Denny Kearney powerplay goal brought them one off the pace, and then a last minute Doucet Hat Trick marker completed the comeback and forced extra time. The Flames started OT shorthanded for a short stretch before taking a full powerplay themselves, but nothing available scoring wise and the teams went to penalties where Lidhammar counted the club’s 1st penalty win in 5 tries this season.
“We are glad to have won, but that is certainly not the way we should be closing out games at this stage of the season,” offered Head Coach Paul Dixon.
“We had a great deal of the play throughout the game and we generated 60 shots to have a wide advantage in that area. We were unquestionably value for the lead we had built.”
“There was an opportunity to be much tighter in our own end for that final stretch, and we let it get away from us.”
“We can learn from that, and the good thing out of it was that we persevered and did what we had to in the end to still get a win, and that is not easy to do in those circumstances.”
“It was good timing by Mikael (Lidhammar) and Chris (Carrozzi) to come up big and make sure we still came out with the result that we feel we deserve.”
“We will get back on the ice Thursday for practice and look forward to a double dip at home this weekend when Manchester and Coventry stop in.”