Early Powerplay Goals Sink Flames

Gutsy Comeback Attempt Falls Short

October 28th, 2003
D'Arcy McGrath

To beat the uber-talented Colorado Avalanche a lot of things have to go right.

Perhaps a little retirement ceremony of a legendary goaltender to knock the locals off their game.

Reinprecht Conroy Iginla
Gelinas Lombardi Kobasew
Lowry Yelle Donovan
Oliwa Betts Clark
Ference Lydman
Leopold Regehr
Gauthier Warrener

Maybe a key unexpected injury to a superstar player that suddenly can't suite up and inflict damage?

The Flames got both on Tuesday night, but failed to execute their diabolical plan in falling to the Avalanche by a score of 4-2.

The Flames had the start they were looking for early, keeping the dangerous Colorado attack at bay and settling their own game down.

Then a key missed call and bizarre follow up call sent the Avalanche to a four minute powerplay resulting in a quick goal by Milan Hejduk on bang bang play.

Iginla was assessed a mind boggling 19 minutes including a double minor, a major and a game misconduct for a scrap with Colorado tough guy Cody McCormick. On the play McCormick intentionally dropped an elbow to the head of Iginla as Iginla slid into the corner on a chance on goal. Iginla got up and went after him, but the official team only caught the second infraction.

Later in the period Chris Clark tried to avenge the Flames star player but was handed a sound defeat in his team leading third scrap of the season.

The Avalanche doubled their lead on another powerplay when Rob Blake fired shot towards the Flames goal only to have Toni Lydman tip it in with a wild swipe of his lumber in front of McLennan. Sadly an untouched puck would have likely hit the Flame stopper right in the crest.

The Flames came out strong in the second period, took the play to the Avalanche and were rewarded when Martin Gelinas notched a powerplay goal to make teh score 2-1.

For Gelinas the goal marked his first goal and point of the season, and didn't come high on the style index as it hit his skate and deflected in. The play was set up by a great individual move by Chuck Kobasew to get around a Colorado performer and find Gelinas streaking to the net.

The Avalanche got that one back however when the Avalanche's fourth line took advantage of a Robyn Regehr turnover resulting in a goal by Jim Cummins.

The play marked another chapter in the strange officiating of the night as it came about 30 seconds after a non-call on Peter Forsberg. Forsberg tripped up Dave Lowry on the previous shift, one official put his hand up, but them put it back down and didn't make the call. Truth be known the play shouldn't have been called, but it was odd to see the indecision nonetheless.

The third period was all Calgary with the team outshooting their talented hosts by a 12-4 margin and scoring the period's only goal when Martin Gelinas struck for his second of the night.

Iginla almost tied it with a one timer half way through the period but the puck hit an unsuspecting David Aebischer's pad, and stayed out.

The Flames, back at .500, continue their win one lose one, win one lose one ways - meaning a sure victory in Dallas tomorrow versus the Dallas Stars.

It will be interesting to see if Dany Sabourin gets his first NHL start with a McLennan loss tonight and the game being the second in two nights. 






1) Rob Blake - Empty net goal and a human wrecking ball all night. 

2) Martin Gelinas - Veteran breaks season long goose egg with one off his skate and another the more traditional way. 

3) David Aebischer - Turned aside 26 shots on the night, and was the much busier goaltender. His save on Iginla in the third was the difference.

Derek Morris likely should have been penelized for doing his best Bryan McCabe hiney hit on Krzysztof Oliwa late in the first period. The hit resulted in a flying Oliwa and a subsequent joust between the two players.

David Aebischer may not have seen Jarome Iginla's one timer with just over ten minutes left in the third period, but he stopped it ... preserving the win.

Strange Piere Mcquire comment #1 - "And Moore put Kobasew down like a power window". Power windows slide down into their pockets slowly Pierre, gravity prevents such an action from a falling hockey player ... The Avalanche were line matching all night and made it work for them when their fourth line put the game out of reach by victimizing the Flames checking line of all lines led by center Stephane Yelle. ... The Flames looked to have put their 20 shots against record in peril when they gave up 10 shots in the first period to Colorado. The Avalanche only managed 3 shots in the second, and four in the third for a game total of 19. The Flames directed 28 shots toward the Colorado cage. ... From the ten minute mark of the first period the Flames held a 25-9 shots on goal advantage. ... Chuck Kobasew had his best night as a Flame this season or last picking up two assists and playing a jam filled game down low. ... The addition of Martin Gelinas to the second line along with rookies Kobasew and Matthew Lombardi created a decent second line on the night. They outplayed the Flames top line for most of the contest. ... Jarome Iginla jumped from 11 to 30 penalty minutes on the season with his flamboyant first period. He had only 49 minutes all of last season. ... Martin Gelinas and Jarome Iginla each had four shots apiece to pace the Flames, Iginla's output coming in only two periods. ... The Flames were edged out in the face off circle, winning 48% of the draws. Stephane Yelle had a tough night at only 45%. Blair Betts was solid at 55%. ... Jordan Leopold led all Flame skaters with 22:26 of ice time. 


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