First Falls Flames
September 23, 2001
listless opening period coupled with a rusty goaltender cost the Flames
an exhibition contents in St. Paul on Sunday afternoon.
In one of the last chances this preseason for bubble
players to impress Greg Gilbert, few managed to step up to the task in
falling behind the Minnesota Wild 3-0 in the first period.
Wild opened the scoring only 5:39 in when Mike Vernon mishandled the
puck in his feet, resulting in an even strength goal by Andrew Burnette.
over two minutes later the Wild were up two goals when the recently
acquired Sergei Zholtok notched a powerplay goal. Craig Johnson put the
homeside up three when he came out of the penalty box and deftly beat
Vernon on a two on one, primarily due to a smart pass from former
Flames, Aaron Gavey.
seeing his first action of the preseason, was beaten on three goals in
eight shots in the first period. Given the weighty personal issues
labouring the Vernon family in Calgary the goaltenders lack of attention
to detail can certainly be understood.
combination of a big lead from the home side and an angry visiting team
had the Flames march back into things in the second period.
the period by a shot margin of 15-3 finally saw the Flames rewarded when
Igor Kravchuk and Rob Niedermayer both scored late powerplay goals to
bring the Flames within one.
goals were only 30 seconds apart and came with less than two minutes
left in the frame.
Flames had some good chances in the third but were unable to beat former
Flame Dwayne Roloson, before Darby Hendrickson iced the game with an
game might mark the last look for many players on the bubble, looking to
crack the Flames lineup.
the group including Scott Nichol, Jamie Wright, Rico Fata and Chuck
Kobasew, Kobasew likely did the most for his case, getting plenty of
chances despite coming up empty on the scoreboard. Kobasew played a solid
up and down game, showing a defensive headiness rare for a 19 year old.
Both Nichol and Fata had third period scraps to make a case for their
the blueline Micki Dupont played a fiesty game, getting several chances on
goal and seeing some powerplay time.