Flames top league leading Sheffield Steelers
A little over 3 minutes from time Ian Watters bagged the decider in a wild back and forth affair on home ice against league topping Sheffield Steelers that ended in a 6-5 win for Spectrum’s men.
84 seconds into the contest a Flames penalty had them short a skater and just 11 ticks after that Steelers were in the lead thanks to a Marek Troncinsky powerplay conversion. At 4:02, however, Joshua Waller got a stick on the puck to level and then Jesse Craige’s blast a couple of minutes later on a powerplay had Spectrum’s men in front. An extended stretch of 5 on 3 Flames powerplay time didn’t end in a goal, but a 5 plus game major to Ben O’Connor shortly after that did allow them to make it a 3-1 lead at the break when Ian Watters tipped one in at 18:51.
Just over 5 minutes after re-start Braylon Shmyr’s goal made it a 4-1 count. A pair of quick answers by Nikolai Lemtyugov and John Armstrong around the midway mark had the visitors just a goal off the pace, but John Dunbar ensured Flames would be 2 goals to the good through 40 minutes when he scored 40 seconds from period time.
In the 49th minute, Steelers got back within a single with a Marc Olivier Vallerand goal. They came back to even terms shortly after on a sharp angle Michael Davies powerplay goal at 52:35, but at 56:22 Watters put Flames in front for good when he took the 2 on 1 Reddick feed and fired the winner.
“I am not sure there is a better time to get 6 goals than when you are facing the league leaders and a team with such ability across the board,” said Paul Dixon.
“They are so skilled and such a high quality team that you are just not sure how many goals it will take to beat them, and even a decent size lead does not feel all that comfortable when you play teams of Sheffield’s quality.”
“We battled as much as we could all over the ice, and we stayed with it when they came back to 5-5 near the end which could have easily gone the other way so we are extremely pleased with our resiliency in that respect, and obviously taking a win and a 4 point weekend is a great outcome.”
Photo of Canadian Ian Watters in front of Steelers net on Sunday. He had a pair of goals including the late winner. Photo courtesy John Uwins.