Loose 3rd Kills Tight Flames

Leafs' Hoglund Scores Twice to Nab Win

December 27th, 2002
D'Arcy McGrath

AP Photo

Ex-Flame Night: Robert Reichel, Jonas Hoglund and Trevor Kidd all played key roles in downing their ex-mates.

Ouch ... that one hurt.

The Flames are used to losing this season.

They've been shut out on numerous occasions, had a seven game losing streak, heck they've even had a coach gassed, but their 3-2 setback to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday night was likely tough to swallow.

The entertaining, loosely played contest seemed to be in the home squad's hands through two periods with the Flames up by a score of 3-2, but former Flame Jonas Hoglund scored twice in the third period to turn a loss into a Maple Leaf win.

The Leafs opened the scoring in the first period when captain Mats Sundin pounced on a Tomas Kaberle rebound and beat Roman Turek on a Leaf powerplay.

Several minutes later the Flames tied the score on a powerplay of their own when defenceman Petr Buzek took a pass in the slot and fired a low shot through ex-Flame stopper Trevor Kidd's legs.

The Flames owned the first period territorially, running up a 12 - 5 edge in shots on goal, but came away with the score knotted at one.

The Flames took the lead in the second period when Jarome Iginla accepted a "seeing eye" pass from Robyn Regehr and calmly slid the puck past Kidd. The goal was Iginla's 8th of the season, and marked the first occasion where the 2002 scoring champ has managed goals in back to back games this season.

The Leafs tied the score a half a period later when a sloppy Calgary line change led to a Toronto two on one. Another ex-Flame, Robert Reichel, fed the puck to Tom Fitzgerald who beat Turek for his second goal of the season.

The tie didn't last long, however, as 90 seconds later Jamie Wright whipped a shot home off a face off to make the score 3-2 for the home side ... setting up Jonas Hoglund's third period dramatics.

Hoglund's first goal came with some controversy as center Nik Antropov appeared to have tripped Calgary defenceman Denis Gauthier into Roman Turek making it virtually impossible for the big stopper to get himself into position to stop the puck. The telecast's only replay didn't make it clear whether the play represented a Leaf foul, or some sloppy feet work from Gauthier. Either way the goal stood.

Finally, with just over three and a half minutes to play on the clock new Leaf Harold Druken back handed a pass to Hoglund streaking in on the left side to beat Turek to put the Leafs up by a 4-3 count.

The Flames pulled Turek late in the period and tried to force things, but other than Stephane Yelle's wide open chance, they failed to get a whole lot done.

The loss strips the Flames of some momentum coming off a .500 pre-Christmas road trip, and sets this pivotal five game homestand off on the wrong foot. 

The stand features a tough schedule, with five games against teams that are currently in playoff spots ... teams that find ways to win games down the stretch where the Flames tend to find ways to lose.

Next up for Calgary is the upstart Anaheim Mighty Ducks on Sunday night before their traditional New Year's Eve game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Might I make suggestion that an excellent New Year's resolution could come in the way of better defensive play?





Penguins Toronto Maple Leafs 4
Calgary Flames 3

Saprykin Drury Clark
Gelinas Conroy Iginla
Begin Yelle Sloan
Berube Johansson Wright
Montador Regehr
Boughner Gauthier
Leopold Buzek

1) Jonas Hoglund - Ex-Flame lit up his ex-mates with two third period goals. 

2) Mats Sundin - Leaf captain always excellent on Saddledome ice, picked up a goal and an assist.  

3) Jarome Iginla - Goal, assist, and more of the fire that marked his play last season.

Trevor Kidd simply robbed Mattias Johansson on a second period two man breakaway, when he foiled a redirection on a pass from Craig Berube.

Many to choose from on this night, including a Bob Boughner hit on Sundin that ended his evening with a shoulder injury, but the nod goes to Bryan McCabe for his first period hip check on Blake Sloan.

CBC's Ron Maclean had Flame president Ken King on after forty minutes and some notable comments came up. When asked if something was imminent, King replied, "The fans will be very pleased with the conclusion of this process". When pushed for timing King said "it won't happen tonight but as you say in your business film at 11". When asked if they had focused in on one man, King said "of course". Other intersting notes included King's insistence that GM Craig Button was not a sitting duck and that they will look into a contract extension at the end of the season. ... There were some rarely seen sights at the Dome on Friday including; Robert Svehla's second period penalty for playing the puck while carrying his own stick and that of goalie Trevor Kidd's. I've never seen that play in all my year's watching hockey. ... Also in the second period if you look very carefully at that scrum involving Chris Clark and Nik Antropov that resulted in a Full Nelson of Antropov on the back of the Flames cage you'll see Roman Turek casually turn around, grab his water bottle and squeeze off a shot in the young Russian's face. ... The Flames took the battle of the face off dot by a 38-31 margin Stephane Yelle and Chris Drury leading the way at 57%.


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