Flames win 2nd Leg but fall on aggregate to Sheffield Steelers

3 unanswered 3rd period goals helped the Flames capture a 5-4 home win against Sheffield  in Leg 2 of the Playoff Quarter final, but a couple of very early Steelers goals on top of the initial aggregate deficit was too much to overcome in a combined 9-7 defeat across the pair of games.  Before the contest was 5 minutes old John Armstrong and Mark Matheson staked the visitors to a 2 goal lead and extended their aggregate advantage to 5.  Jesse Craige cut into the difference when he converted a powerplay at 7:39, but the period ended with the home team still in deficit on the night, and by 4 combined.  Just 68 seconds into the middle frame, Rhett Rachinski levelled the evening at 2 each, but an immediate Steelers reply by Colton Fretter had them again in front by a goal.  They extended it further with an Eric Neiley strike a little over 6 minutes from period time and carried the 9-4 aggregate into the final session.  The home team rallied a couple of minutes into 3rd with Ben Davies and Kruise Reddick replies less than 90 seconds apart to pull even at 4 each but still trailing by the original 3 goal aggregate deficit.   In the last minute, Davies’ 2nd of the evening proved to be the winner, but not enough overall to avoid elimination of Spectrum’s men in the search for the final trophy of the season. 


“We ended the season the way we started it…never giving up,” said Paul Dixon.


“As an organisation we are gutted for these guys who have given so much this season to be in a position to move forward, but it was a tough ask to come home 3 goals back and then early on tonight 5 goals behind.”


“As usual for this season, the score didn’t seem to mean a thing to what was happening on the ice, and a bunch of guys who are never going to roll over just kept coming and managed to finish the season with a win despite not advancing.”


“There is no reason for anybody to walk out of this room with anything less than total pride in their achievements this season, including tonight’s win, and I am sure in a few days it will be a lot easier to look back on this season as a great success.”


“Thanks to all our fans for a fantastic season of support, and we look forward to setting up for 2018-2019.” 


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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