Flames Re-Set History

One Goal Win Comes 20 Years After One Goal Loss

October 14th, 2003
D'Arcy McGrath

There is something very right about a 1-0 victory by the Calgary Flames coming over the Edmonton Oilers a day less than 20 years after the then Olympic Saddledome opened in Calgary.

McAmmond Conroy Iginla
Gelinas Yelle Donovan
Saprykin Lombardi Kobasew
Oliwa Betts Clark
Ference Lydman
Leopold Regehr
Gauthier Warrener
A one goal win would have meant the same in the standings regardless of score.

And ... when coupled together, a one goal win would have settled the goal differential between the game on October 15th, 1983 and October 14th, 2003.

But one couldn't help but feel a certain nostalgia in that this one goal seemed to even that old score at four aside, especially since it came a handful of days after the the Oiler hero of that old game, Grant Fuhr, had his jersey retired in Edmonton.

The Flames out shot the Oilers by a margin of 41-31 on that night.

Tonight they came up short on the shot clock by a tune of 19-15 but came away with the victory and the lion's share of chances to run their season record to 2-1-0 on the season.

The first period was a very terse one with both teams thinking more about not making a mistake than forcing the issue in the other team's zone. The two clubs just managed ten shots combined though the Flames rang one off the cross bar and another off a goal post.

The second period was more of the same with the chess match moving into an even slower pace, though there were some interesting moments.

The Flames finally broke the scoreless tie when the "Kid Line" out for another crack at the powerplay after being successful early in the San Jose encounter on Saturday night struck again for the game's only goal.

Blair Betts took a pass from Andrew Ference and fired a shot past Tomi Salo ... a goal that looked to belong to Oleg Saprykin and his crease crashing chaos on first inspection.

It held up.

The Alberta rivals played a very conservative third period to match the first two, much to the delight of the leading home side, giving the Flames the ability to salt away the one goal victory.

After the game, Oiler blueliner Eric Brewer commented on the style of play.

"The Flames D kept everything to the outside and gave us very little. Without the ability to get to the net, it was very tough to get things going", he commented on 960 radio after the game.

Were the Flames that solid in their own zone, or the Oilers that anemic in mounting attack? Something in between?

The Oilers have now been shut out for a total of 122:02 of regular season action dating back to their dramatic third period in their opening win against San Jose.

Given the reaction of Oiler coach Craig MacTavish after their Saturday setback in Vancouver, you'd have to think he's really steamed now.

"In my mind, a shutout is a humiliation of your hockey club. You go 60 minutes and you can't put the puck in the net? The object of the game is to score goals", MacTavish told the Edmonton Sun on Saturday night.

For the Flames, they now sit a game over .500 and in a playoff spot despite the fact their #1 goaltender is on the sidelines and their top line hasn't a point between them.

Quite a feat when you think about it.

Though one had the feeling that tonight's game was an echo, a chance to remember the past and maybe put that final puck past Grant Fuhr.

That edition out played the Oilers and fell short ... this squad got it done.






1 Blair Betts - Powerplay game winner, killed penalties, played a regular shift, mixed it up a bit. Is it me or is this a different type of fourth line center than Clarke Wilm?

2 Jamie McLennan - He'd be the first to admit that he owed this one to his teammates - he didn't have a whole lot to do, but did it well.

3 Jason Smith - Was nice enough to lose the ceremonial face off ... the Oilers best moment of the night.

Rhett Warrener caught Oiler Darcy Tucker wannabe Raffe Torres scheming on a break out play when he stood the Oiler rookie up and sent him crashing to the ice in the third period.

Raffe Torres comes up again when he found himself all alone in the second period with Jamie McLennan. Fact is ... well he hit McLennan square in the black "C", but the chance itself was dangerous so it gets the nod.

After the game, the Fan 960 had Jim Peplinski on to reminisce about the glory years in the Saddledome. He asked Flame play by play guy Peter Maher if that infamous game when Mark Messier sucker punched Jamie Macoun was indeed the first game in the Saddledome. Maher wasn't sure but he didn't think so. This reporter agrees and though I can't nail down the exact year, I seem to remember that said sucker punch actually occurred on a boxing day in the mid 80's. ... The Flames finished the night one for seven on the powerplay, but did manage to improve their woeful PK rate by killing all four Oiler advantages. ... The Flames held a decided advantage in the face off circle taking 58% of the draws on the night. Stephane Yelle was actually under .500 before leaving the game in the first period after crashing into the end boards, but the rest of the crew was solid including rookie Matthew Lombardi who won 10 of 15 draws. ... Robyn Regehr led all skaters with 24:36 of ice time on the night. His defence partner, the flue stricken Jordan Leopold had 23:38 of skate time, while Jarome Iginla led all forwards with 23:29. ... Matthew Lombardi had the club's lead in shots on goal with three. Six Oilers had two shots on goal. ... The Dome featured a Wear Red promotion tonight where all fans wearing red upon entering the building were given two Saddledome Bucks that could be used at a variety of kiosks around the facility ... cough ... beer.


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