Flames Fight Their Way to Victory

Rick Charlton

January 19th, 2002

A sellout crowd for the Saturday night fights didn't go home disappointed.

And they even got to watch a bit of a hockey game as well.

Both Anaheim and Calgary had downplayed their re-match of a record-setting, brawl-filled slugfest last month but the combatants didn't disappoint the 17,409 in attendance with the dukes flying before this game was three minutes old.

By the end of the evening, a ton of shoving and below the belt play had yielded three fights and . . . . . oh yeah, the Flames ended a four game losing streak in pulling out a critical 2-1 victory.

The win moved the Flames back within a single point of Los Angeles, losers earlier in the day, for the eighth and final playoff spot in the NHL's Western Conference. Calgary, now 20-18-8-2 on the season, also maintained a three point spread on trailing Vancouver while opening up a three point edge on Phoenix. Of interest as well is the fact the Flames closed to within seven points of Edmonton with three games in hand.

The game was a critical one for the flickering Flames, desperately in need of some kind of good news as they finally halted their death spiral in the Western Conference standings. But Calgary turned in one of its most complete 60 minute efforts in two months and were full marks for their victory.

As important as this contest was to the Flames in the standings there seemed little doubt there would be time to settle a few scores from the brawl-fest 4-0 Ducks win of last month. Craig Berube and Denis Lambert needed only four seconds into their first shift at 1:47 of the first to enjoin battle with Berube emerging a clear victor.

Kevin Sawyer, who received a five game suspension out of the events last month, jumped a willing Jamie Allison at 11:24 for the second fight of the night. Later, in the second period, the entire rink held its collective breath as Derek Morris, not even a participant in the last Duck-Flame game and fresh back from a wrist injury, went ballistic on an unprepared Pavel Trnka.

Missing from the fight card were Dave Lowry and Jeff Friesen, not through a lack of invitation on the part of Lowry. It was Friesen who labeled Lowry a "coward" for his game delaying actions in December which allowed Berube to jump Friesen in that game.

For all the peripheral action, the game turned out to be the main event.

Andy McDonald, who potted two the last time these two teams met, opened scoring for Anaheim at 12:06 of the first when he took a nifty pass from Oleg Tverdovsky and roofed a shot glove side on Calgary starter Roman Turek.

But the Flames fought back when Scott Nichol, pesky all night, came from behind the net and banked a shot off Tverdovsky's skate and behind Anaheim starter Jean-Sebastien Giguere at 4:59 of the second.

In the third period, Clark Wilm feathered a pass to a charging Chris Clark who boomed a slapper short side past Giguere at 1:35 to give the Flames a 2-1 edge.

Turek wasn't particularly busy on this night but was steady when he needed to be and received help from the goal post on a Friesen chance with only two and a half minutes left.

Final shots were 28-26 for Calgary while the Flames continued their abysmal performance on the powerplay, zero for two on the night and now with only one goal in their last 24 opportunities.

On a positive note, the penalty kill, so detrimental for much of this season, managed to shut out the Ducks on three chances. More significantly perhaps, the Flames, the third highest penalized team in the league, continued its recent trend of spending little time in the box.

Paul Kariya continued to be invisible this season, now with only five points in his last 13 games and shut out in 26 games so far this year. All that for $10 million per season.

On the other side of the spectrum, this contest marked the return to the Calgary lineup of call-up Oleg Saprykin. Saprykin had two shots in the first five minutes of this game and played an energetic game throughout.

Marc Savard, ostensibly Calgary's second line centre, was dropped to the fourth line by the end of the first period, posting less than nine minutes of ice time. Savard was on the ice for the Anaheim goal.

Jarome Iginla maintained his three point edge in the NHL scoring race, although both himself and trailer Joe Thornton of Boston were shutout on the day.

Next up is Toronto on Tuesday night at the Saddledome.



Calgary Flames 2
Anaheim Mighty Ducks 1

Box Score


Saprykin Conroy Iginla
McAmmond Savard Clark
Lowry Wilm Petrovicky
Allison Nichol Berube
Morris Regehr
Gauthier Boughner
Lydman Kravchuk


1 Roman Turek - a steady performance 

2 Oleg Tverdovsky - dominated even if his team didn't. A great talent lost in obscurity in Anaheim. 

3 Scott Nichol - led the third and fourth liners in an solid effort while chipping in the tying goal.


Turek was workmanlike in this game but needed to be particularly alert when a routine Keith Carney shot deflected off Craig Conroy midway through the third period.


Robyn Regehr, a physical presence all night, flattened Denis Lambert midway through the third period.


Turek started his ninth straight for Calgary . . . . . With Savard demoted to spot duty, Conroy was called upon to fill in the gap and led the Flames with 22:19 in ice time. It was the second straight game where a forward had led the Flames in ice time, a statistic which normally belongs to a defenceman. Jarome Iginla posted 21:53 of ice time, tying Toni Lydman. Paul Kariya, another forward, led the Ducks with 22:43. . . . . . .Flames were 51% in the faceoff dot, led by Nichol with 60%. Samuel Pahlsson led the Ducks with 63%. . . . . . .Flames outhit the Ducks 24-15, led by four hits from Bob Boughner. Vitaly Vishnevski, Dan Blysma and Mike Leclerc led the Ducks with three hits each. . . . . . . The hit of the night might belong to Vancouver GM Brian Burke who got his chance for a full scale beat-up of the Toronto SUN's Al Strachan on Hockey Night in Canada's After 40 Minutes. Burke accused Strachan of fabricating trade rumours, not the first time Strachan has heard that one. Burke flatly stated Strachan had never talked to three GM's whom Strachan said supported his contention Vancouver had offered Brendan Morrison to Tampa Bay. Strachan defended himself by saying players shouldn't be bothered by what he writes. Good point but not much of a defence to Burke's accusations . . . . . .



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