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Flames opening weekend ends in split

4 minute read
Flames opening weekend ends in split

Published at 4:36pm 10th September 2018. (Updated at 4:39pm 10th September 2018)

A couple of powerplay goals  by John Dunbar lifted the Flames to a 2-1 Cup opening win against the visiting Coventry Blaze.   

“It’s great to start the season off with a win on home ice,” said Head Coach Paul Dixon. “Any time you are at a goal each in a game where clearly not a lot of offence is going to be found, you only need one thing to go wrong in the late minutes to lose the handle on the points.”

“I felt we got better as the game went on and we probably had the most sustained pressure of the night over the back part of the 3rd period.”

“On a evening when scoring was a little tight, it was great to get such a solid outing from Chris (Carrozzi).  He made some good saves at opportune times to make sure we didn’t fall behind, and would eventually have a chance to take a lead.”

“Coventry has a good team, and things are going to get tougher heading into their building tomorrow night.  We will enjoy this for a short while and then turn our heads to what we need to do Sunday night.” 

John Dunbar gets his first on Saturday night

On Sunday a late 2nd period Blaze goal was the difference as the Coventry Blaze delivered a 3-2 Cup win over the visiting Flames.

The Flames opened the scoring during a 5 on 3 powerplay when Kruise Reddick finished the play at 12:40 and that is the way things stood to start the middle set. 

Just a few minutes after puck drop in the 2nd, Blaze levelled on a powerplay of their own through Kevin Morris.  They took a lead less than 2 minutes later with a Ben Lake strike that made it a 2-1 count, but Flames squared it again with the first even strength goal of the weekend; a Jamie Crooks reply at 25:56. Each team had more powerplay looks in the back half of the frame, but it was another 5 on 5 goal, this  one in the period’s final minute, by Kelin Ainsworth, that had Skydome’s tenants holding the advantage through a couple of periods. 

Some dangerous looking chances in the 3rd counted nothing on the scoreboard and the tally through 40 minutes held through the final buzzer.   

“We had a really good start in the first period,” said Assistant Coach Milos Melicherik. “It is unfortunate that we were not able to put a bit more distance between us and them when we had the lead and then some other good chances.”

“We had some excellent stretches of play and some other times that we would like to try again, but overall the result was there for us to grab.”

“It’s disappointing to come away with a loss, because it was a winnable game, but it is a long season ahead and we will take the positives from tonight and work on some of the things that were not as good.”

“There were a couple of mistakes that resulted in goals, but overall we competed well on the smaller ice surface, which is a tough place to play,” added Paul Dixon.

“Like Milos said it was a very winnable game and we had some really good scoring opportunities and I felt we deserved at least a point, but sometimes that just doesn’t happen.”

“We are certainly not going to mope around all week about it.  We can feel pretty good about the weekend heading into training and we will just continue to try to be better as we move forward.”

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