Flames Balance Books  

D'Arcy McGrath

April 4th, 2002

Rome wasn't built in a day.

The Calgary Flames may be all but eliminated from their sixth straight playoff season, but a 4-3 win over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night did accomplish something.

The victory moved the club back to the magical .500 mark, and concluded a five game homestand with a nearly flawless four wins and a tie.

Both feats seemed next to impossible 13 days ago when the Flames moved their winless streak to eight by dropping a contest in Edmonton.

That night they say four games under .500, their season collapsing around them.

Now unbeaten in five the squad has a chance to put a very positive conclusion on peak and valley marred campaign.

The Flames opened the scoring in the first period when Jeff Shantz deflected a Derek Morris point shot past Manny Fernandez to continue both Shantz's strong play of late, and the success of the Calgary powerplay.

A few minutes later Tony Virta took advantage of some shoddy backchecking by the Calgary forwards and an overly aggressive Robyn Regehr to net the game at one. Regehr went out of his way to flatten Virta's linemate sending the winger in alone to beat Turek high.

Three minutes later the Wild were back for more when the much traveled Sergei Zholtok fired a screened shot past Turek with the Wild on the powerplay.

Less than thirty seconds later Calgary's Hart Trophy hopeful, Jarome Iginla, notched his 48th goal of the season, taking a Craig Conroy pass and firing a low shot through a three man screen.

With less than a minute left in the first, Robyn Regehr took a rebound in the high slot and fired a rising shot past Fernandez to put the homeside up by one at the break.

The game's eventual game winner was scored six minutes into the second period when recent call up, Blair Betts, notched his first NHL goal in his first NHL game. Iginla fed the puck to Craig Berube who fired on goal, leaving Betts a greasy rebound a piece of personal hockey history.

Roman Turek maintained the two goal margin for the better part of 30 minutes as the Flames loosened up defensively before former Flame Hnat Domenichelli scored to make the final 4-3.

The game attendance was significantly lower than the rest of the home stand with only 13,831 on hand to see the win. 



Calgary Flames 4
Minnesota Wild 3

Box Score


McAmmond Conroy Iginla
Wright Niedermayer Clark
Petrovicky Nichol Sloan
Berube Betts Shantz
Morris Regehr
Buzek Lydman
Boughner Kravchuk


1) Jarome Iginla - What more can you say about the season this guy is having? Another goal, a total of three points ... he could have had five. 

2) Hnat Domenichelli - A total of three assists in 22 games with the Wild coming in ... gets a goal and an assist in this one.

3) Derek Morris - The Derek Morris of old ... moving the puck well, firing it from the point, and of course bobbling it a bit in his own zone. Two assists on the night.


Not known for his physical play, Jamie Wright caught Grant Marshall by surprise in the second period crunching the big defender off his feet and into the boards behind Fernandez.


With just under three minutes to play Manny Fernandez robbed Jarome Iginla when he took a pass from the corner from Dean McAmmond on a late powerplay. Fernandez stuck his pad out to take away a sure goal.


The epidemic is spreading. It's more than a little noticeable that the cast of the Calgary Flames are doing everything in their power to set up Iginla in his race for 50 goals. Player after player continue to make ill advised passes when the shot was clearly the best option. Now it's spread to the last line of defence. With 15 seconds on the clock and the Flames grasping to a one goal margin goaltender Roman Turek did his best to fire an outlet pass to Iginla in the hopes of sending the sniper in alone on an empty net. The two chuckled about the play after the final buzzer sounded. ... For the second straight game the Flames simply dominated statistically. On the night they outshot the Wild 36 to 26 ... out hit the Wild 24 to 18 and unbelievably won 71% of the game's face offs. I'm too lazy to look it up, but 71% has to be a Flame best this season. ... The Flames scored 21 goals on the now completed five game homestand pushing their offensive numbers up considerably. They now have 193 goals, just four shy of all last season with five games to play. The team is on pace for 206 goals for this season.