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Flames season comes to a disappointing end at Playoff Finals weekend

flames semi final

Published at 9:21am 14th April 2019. (Updated at 9:14pm 14th April 2019)

The Guildford Flames ice hockey club had to settle for playing in Sunday’s 3rd/4th place game.  In the 3rd period of the Playoff semi final, a pair of Belfast Giants goals helped them recover a 1-0 deficit and eliminate the Flames from Sunday’s championship final with a 2-1 win over Spectrum’s men. 

The Giants had the better share of the opening period shot count with an 11-6 advantage, but the set closed without a goal thanks to Tyler Beskorowany in the Giants crease and Travis Fullerton guarding the Flames cage. 

Just under 5 minutes into the 2nd, the Flames grabbed the starter when Ian Watters took a John Dunbar feed and snapped a high one for a lead they were able to nurse through the 40 minute mark. 

Just as the game closed in on the last 10 minutes, the Giants squared it when Jonathan Ferland buried their 1st of the evening, and just under 5 minutes from time Patrick Dwyer disappointed all Flames backers when he gave them a lead they would not relinquish despite a late Flames powerplay. 

“Nobody comes here to play in the 3rd/4th place final game,” conceded Paul Dixon, “so there is no doubt that we have a room full of heartbroken players.”

“Belfast is a great hockey team and once they got that goal to tie it they really stepped it up from there to go on to the win.”

“I said before this weekend that no matter what the outcome we look back on a really good season that the guys should be proud of. That doesn’t take any of the sting of what we are feeling now, but in time we can view our run this year as a great success.” 

 

Hear what Flames Head Coach Paul Dixon had to say here

 

Sunday in the Playoff Final 3rd-4th place game, Nottingham Panthers jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the opening frame and never looked back on their way to a 9-5 win over the Flames. 

The Panthers 1st period blitz began with a Mark Hurtubise goal at 7:23. At 10:07 Alexandre Bolduc had them up a pair before Josh Tetlow and Alex Guptill strikes over the next 2+ minutes had the home team in command 4-0 at the break.

Mike Will replaced Chris Carrozzi in the Flames net to start the middle set. Less than 3 minutes beyond re-start, Jamie Crooks opened his side’s account, but another Hurtubise strike near the midway mark re-stored Panthers 4 goal spread.  Guptill’s 2nd of the contest made it 6-1 and Hurtubise completed his Hat Trick in the 36th minute before Kruise Reddick pulled one back shortly after that to send the clubs to the dressing room on the 7-2 score. 

In the 47th minute, just after failing to connect on a powerplay, Guillaume Lepine extended Panthers lead to 6.  Kevin King replied at 48:29 but Panthers hit back yet again through Justin Kovacs with the 9-3 goal about 2 minutes later. A little under 4 minutes from time Evan Janssen had the Flames 4th and seconds from close Erik Lindhagen had the final goal of the evening.   

“This will be a rare occasion when I don’t talk about the game we have just played, but instead try to comment on the season as a whole,” said Paul Dixon.

“When we entered this league, I doubt anyone was looking for us to be in some of the positions we have found ourselves in, but a top 5 finish in the league, Cup final appearance and a trip to the last 4 in the playoffs this season after a very good opening term last year is something for us to really build on.”

“We already have several guys with contracts that continue at least into next season so we feel good about where we begin the re-tooling process, and we are looking forward to an exciting off season of recruitment.”

“All of our players and Flames staff are grateful for the support we receive, and we wish all our fans a great summer and look forward to getting back in front of you near the end of August.”