Flames stay in conference race with win
Ian Watters scored the opener and Jesse Craige had the winner late in the 3rd before the Flames added a couple of empty netters to stay in the conference race with a 5-2 win over the visiting Manchester Storm. A 9th minute Powerplay got the Flames off the mark when Watters poked home the rebound from a Kruise Reddick shot, but Storm tied it at 16:18 when Dane Byers converted the 2 on 1 feed. 58 seconds later, Luke Moffatt added their 2nd, and the Patton conference leaders went to break ahead by a single. Mikael Lidhammar brought the clubs back to even terms late in the middle frame when his wrister cleanly beat Mike Clemente. The 3rd period also remained scoreless until inside the last 5 minutes when Jesse Craige, on a powerplay, retrieved his own puck on a blocked shot then snapped home the eventual winner. At 18:23 Rhett Rachinski all but guaranteed the outcome when he scored into the vacated cage, and with nothing further to lose for Storm, opting to keep the net gaping, Ben Davies added the 5th.
“With the conference still out there for us, that was a pretty intense game, playing head to head with the team in the group lead trying to close it out,” explained Head Coach Paul Dixon.
“We created some good opportunities and had a lot of the play in the 2nd especially, and also in the 3rd, so it was nice to see that goal by Jesse go in and nice to add on an empty netter to relieve the pressure and secure the points.”
“We have another big one tomorrow night still in the conference, and we are looking forward to the opportunity of remaining here on home ice for that game.”