Fwd: 3 of 4 Cup points secures Flames Cup quarter final berth

Jesse Craige bagged the overtime winner shortly after faceoff and the Flames collected their second extra time win thanks to a 3-2 Challenge Cup success at Cardiff Devils.  Back on home ice 24 hours later, despite a 3-2 penalty shootout loss to Milton Keynes Lightning, Surrey’s men finished the Challenge Cup Quarter final berth capture with the regulation tie point. 

 
In Wales, other than fighting majors to Brett Ferguson and Bryce Reddick there was little to report in a scoreless opening frame.  The Devils got on the board early in the 2nd when Andrew Hotham helped them convert a powerplay for a 1-0 lead.  A little over 4 minutes later, however, Ian Watters replied to pull the teams back to even terms through 40 minutes.  Calle Ackered nudged the Flames in front early in the 3rd but a late Devils reply by Matt Pope forced extra time where Craige ended it 27 seconds after faceoff.
 

“We had great support from a large travelling contingent of our fans,” said Assistant Coach Milos Melicherik, “and that is always a great boost.”

“Chris (Carrozzi) had a very solid outing in goal.  It was disappointing for us to allow the equaliser with a few minutes left in the game, but we recovered well mentally to get out there in overtime and make the most of a great opportunity to get a big win that puts us in a very good Cup position.”
 
Under Spectrum’s lights, John Dunbar opened the scoring by converting a Kruise Reddick set up just 27 seconds into the contest with the only goal of the 1st period. The Lightning used a powerplay near the game’s midway point to tie the score through Kyle Essery then went ahead less than 4 minutes into the 3rd when Guillaume Doucet beat Carrozzi.  Dunbar buried the Quarter Final securing goal just under 5 minutes from time before Denny Kearney and Francis Verreault-Paul penalty strikes did just enough to cancel out Ferguson’s lone Flames reply.   
 
 
“One night you win the virtual coin toss in overtime and the next night you don’t. That is basically where it ended up.”
 
“Having said that, and with the understanding that we would have certainly loved to extend a bit of a winning run, we are so pleased to have secured a Quarter Final berth.”
 
“I don’t think we were really expecting that this season, so it is a real credit to the whole team for helping the club achieve this early membership milestone of which they can all be proud.”
 

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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