Flames Drop OT Thriller Up North

Ryan Smyth Goal With 15 Ticks On the Clock

November 15th, 2003
D'Arcy McGrath

The Flames and Oilers will play each other six times this season, up from the five games a campaign that has been the norm over the past few years.

If the Flames had their way they'd play the Oilers 82 times a year, as the provincial battle always seems to bring the best out of the club. 

Truth be know, this one didn't end the way the Flames would have liked - a 2-1 overtime loss to their hosts - but man, what a heck of a hockey game.

McAmmond Reinprecht Iginla
Saprykin Lombardi Clark
Lowry Conroy Kobasew
Oliwa Betts Clark
Ference Lydman
Leopold Regehr
Gauthier Warrener

The Oilers opened the scoring on a turn over in their own end.

Chuck Kobasew had a good chance blocked, sending the play the other way.

The struggling Craig Conroy let his check, Mike York go, and it was York who converted a rebound to tuck a back hander past Jamie McLennan.

The Flames carried the play for the rest of the period, out shooting the Oilers by a margin of 12-5 and really only got in trouble when being forced to kill the only two penalties of the period.

The second period was an intense chapter with both teams dialing up the physical play a notch or two.

Calgary rearguard Rhett Warrener seemed to be in the middle of all of it, either serving punishment to Oilers in the Calgary zone or absorbing the impact himself.

The Flames tied the score with three minutes left in the period when Matthew Lombardi notched his 6th goal of the season and his fourth on the club's four game road trip.

Lombardi picked up the puck behind the Oilers goal, sidestepped linemate Oleg Saprykin, slipped around the cage and fired a backhander through Ty Conklin's pads on a wrap around.

The last couple of minutes of the second was an on-the-edge-of-your-seat offering that featured a full court press by the Flames and a blown three on one by the Oilers.

The third period was a careful one with both teams fittering away powerplay chances and failing to get traffic in front of the opposing net.

One almost had a feeling that one of those all important, potential season turning moments occured with just over two minutes left on the clock when Steve Staios was sent off for holding.

A powerplay goal at that point sends the Flames home with a win, a .500 road trip, and a sense that things are looking up.

Instead defenceman Andrew Ferrence self destructed with three gastly plays including a blown keep in, a brutal pass and then falling down and almost gift wrapping an Oiler winner.

The overtime featured some great end to end action with the Oilers winning it with just 15 seconds left on the clock.

The Flames had a good chance turned back creating a two on two with Robyn Regehr playing the passing Mike York and forward Shean Donovan lining up Ryan Smyth. Smyth got away on Donovan and tipped it home.





1) Mike York - Goal and an overtime assist.

2) Rhett Warrener - Solid in his own zone, and a real force with the physical side of his game.

3) Ryan Smyth - Held at bay all night, but an overtime winner gets him the nod.

Rhett Warrener saved the day in the second period when he slid across the crease and blocked a rebound that had net written all over it. Later in the period, Oiler forward Dvorak did the same to foil Dean McAmmond. 

Tough call in a game like this ... but you have to give it to Rhett Warrener for his presence in so many hits in both directions. ... Tempting to toss it M.C. Bergeron's way though, his hit and miss butt check was very memorable. 

Those special teams are confusing! Hockey Night in Canada colour man Greg Millen twice confused a the powerplay with penalty killing during the first period of action. First he proclaimed the Flames to have the 28th rank powerplay in the league when he uttered "tough to score when your powerplay is ranked 28th". Later when Raffe Torres was turned back on an attempted powerplay breakaway pass he spoke to the Oilers desire to attack while killing a penalty. Mr. Millen was probably just reeling with the lack of Canucks on the ice. ... Martin Gelinas showed up on HNIC after forty minutes and presented both Don Cherry and Ron MacLean each with the Flames new red jersey. ... The Flames finished up their road trip with a 1-2-0-1 record and three points in four games. Woulda, coulda, shoulda is for losers, but truth be known the Flames were likely the better team in all four contests. They had better find a way to turn play into points or that won't matter much. ... Case in point? The Flames out shot the Oilers by a 31-14 margin in this one - hardly the statistic that usually winds up in a loss. On the trip the Flames held a 139 - 97 edge in shots or an average edge of 35-24. ... The Flames didn't give up a powerplay goal on the night, but didn't score one themselves either. ... There was a technical glitch with the stats feed coming from Edmonton as all web sites were missing ice time, face off and other categories after the game. 

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