New Flame's First Is A Doozy 

Former Penguin Shean Donovan Nets First In Win 

March 27th, 2003
D'Arcy McGrath

Welcome to Calgary Shean Donovan ... talk about a memorable first goal.

Lowry Conroy Clark
Gelinas Drury Clark
Begin Yelle Donovan
Saprykin Betts Nichol
Gauthier Boughner
Leopold Regehr
Lydman Commodore

Lost in the trade deadline hoopla surrounding the unfathomable dumping of Rob Niedermayer's contract and return of Dean McAmmond was a lesser deal involving the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Shean Donovan has made a quiet but effective contribution to the Calgary Flames, giving the club speed, size and tenacity on it's lower lines.

He's no longer quiet. Donovan scored his first goal as a Flame when he weighted out his own rebound and beat Dallas goaltender Marty Turco to give the Flames a come from behind 2-1 overtime victory over the Stars.

Donovan's first goal in Calgary wasn't the only notable result of the winner, however.

Darryl Sutter moved back over the .500 mark as the Flames bench boss, his record now at 17-16-7-1 in 41 games - the half way point of an 82 game schedule.

2003 Draft Watch

If the draft was held today ...

Pick Team Player*
1 Carolina M.-A. Fleury
2 Pittsburgh Nathan Horton
3 Columbus Milan Michalek
4 Buffalo Nikolai Zherdev
5 Atlanta Braydon Coburn
6 Florida Eric Staal
7 San Jose Andrei Kastsitsyn
8 Calgary Anthony Stewart
*ranking: Red Line 3-27-03

Marty Turco also felt the sting as his personal unbeaten streak dating back to Boxing Day, December 26th, 2002, also went up in ... well ... Flames.

The game was all Dallas to start with the visitors pushing the Flames in to their own zone and not letting them out for the games first seven minutes. Roman Turek stood tall however, turning aside the game's first six shots.

The Stars finally got on the board however, when Ulf Dahlen took a brilliant pass from defenceman Darryl Sydor to beat Turek on a Dallas powerplay at 7:34.

The Flames tied the score just over 10 minutes later when the club's plucky fourth line - Blair Betts, Scott Nichol and Oleg Saprykin - caused havoc in the Star's zone. Saprykin had the puck come off his stick and back on again three times before he finally managed to wisp it toward Turco and a scrum in front of the net. The puck glanced off of Scott Nichol's skate or stick and bounced in to tie things up.

The Flames managed more of the play through the second and third periods, erasing a 12-5 Dallas shot advantage after one to actually lead the Stars 26-25 through three periods.

The Flames had the better of the extra session chances as well and were able to capitalize when Donovan took advantage of Scott Young on the Dallas blueline and streaked in alone for the winner.

The win gives the Flames 70 points on the season, and a record that reads seven games under .500. It also moves the club into sole possession of the 8th overall draft pick and within striking distance of moving out of the top ten. They now trail Los Angeles by only one point, Chicago by two, Nashville, Phoenix and Montreal by only three points.

Interesting how a possible #1 overall pick could possibly become 12th in a matter of a month. 

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Calgary Flames 2
Dallas Stars 1

1 Shean Donovan - Another steady game down low, and a great second effort overtime winner. 

2 Robyn Regehr - Almost 30 minutes, a +1 and led the Flames with five shots on goal. Made life miserable for the Stars in the Calgary zone. Becoming the player many felt he would. 

3 Daryl Sydor - Great combination of sound defence, and a great level of vision in the offensive zone.

Robyn Regehr had Brendan Morrow attempting to go wide with the game tied at one and only 30 some seconds left on the clock. Regehr took his man wide of the net and then punished him up and into the glass.

Roman Turek stuck out his catching mitt to catch a screened drive by Steve Ott near the end of the first period.

Gary Green did the colour for TSN on their broadcast tonight. Like many colour men that haven't seen the Flames much this season, he made this fact clear with a few dandies. "It's amazing, the Flames are just dominating in the face off circle tonight". The club has been top five all season on draws. "Darryl Sutter is really leaning on rookie Jordan Leopold tonight, he's played close to 23 minutes". Pretty much par for the course since January. ... Give Gary credit though, he did mention how well Calgary has supported the Flames this season when he uttered "this team has been eliminated for some time but they continue to come out in droves". ... Speaking of TSN, why do they continue to pick the TSN Turning Point as overtime goals? That's not the turning point, it's the ending point. The turning point was likely Nichol's goal in the first, a marker that seemed to stall Dallas dominance and send the game the Flames way. ... Blair Betts now has one goal and two assists for three points in four games this season. He's +2 and has averaged just over ten minutes a night. Pencil him for next fall. ... The Flames took a whopping 70% of the draws tonight, led by Stephane Yelle (15-6, 71%), Craig Conroy (15-8, 65%) and Scott Nichol (6-1, 85%). Blair Betts was also 80% on his five draws. ... Mike Commodore made his first start in a Calgary uniform and looked pretty solid at +1 in 14:43 of action. He leveled an unnamed Star behind the Calgary net in the first period. His size was noticeable on the Calgary back end.
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