Iginla Erupts Leads Charges to Win

Flames Score Twice In 3rd For Victory

October 25th, 2003
Rick Charlton

Ah, there you are.

Jarome Iginla emerged from a season long slumber with a goal and two assists while missing linemate Craig Conroy dominated all over the ice as Calgary's number one line gradually took over a rock 'em, sock 'em affair at Northlands last night, Flames pounding the Oilers 4-2 in front of 16,839 witnesses.

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

Verbally abused in the last few days to the point of distraction by head coach Darryl Sutter, Conroy and Iginla combined with new linemate Steve Reinprecht for seven points, with both Conroy and Reinprecht notching their first goals of the season.

You knew things were going right for the Flames when cementhead Krzysztof Oliwa pulled away from two Edmonton defenders, drew inside/out to the forehand and popped the water bottle on Edmonton goalie Tommy Salo in the third period, leaving the crowd and both benches stunned in disbelief.

It was Oliwa's first goal in four years.

Calgary had been the subject of a blistering closed-door session with the coaching staff earlier in the day and apparently took the lessons learned to heart, playing all night with their hearts on their sleeves with nary a single passenger.

The offensive outburst was also good news for Calgary which entered the game 29th in the NHL in goalscoring but mostly because its primary performers have been largely muzzled through the first six games.

The victory leaves the Flames 4-3 on the season, a remarkable record considering their lack of offence to this point. It was also a rare Flames win on the tail-end of a back to back series, the Flames losing the previous night to St. Louis in Calgary.

Calgary's strong defensive showing this season continued however, the Flames surrendering only 18 shots to the Oil. Calgary leads the league in the fewest shots allowed through seven games.

Flames directed 21 shots at Tommy Salo.

Three fights in the first 24 seconds of the game signaled this was going to be a special game, similar in tone to those which dominated the schedule between these two teams 20 seasons ago.

Calgary entered the game dead last in fighting majors in the NHL but moved into a tie for 13th place by the end of the first period.

Oliwa and Georges Laraque dropped the mitts only two seconds into action, followed by Chris Clark and Ethan Moreau at 12 seconds them Dave Lowry and Jason Chimera at 24 seconds.

Before the period was out, Shean Donovan versus Sean Ferguson and Jarome Iginla versus Cory Cross had also been entered onto the fight card.

Clark and Ferguson also fought in the second period.

Conroy opened scoring at 11:40 of the first, taking advantage of a beautiful cross-ice pass on the power play from Reinprecht.

The Oilers struck quickly to open the second, first on a two-man advantage with Alexei Semenov rocketing a shot past Jamie McLennan at 24 seconds then Ryan Smyth tapping home a floater at 1:45.

But Iginla scored a fluke at 17:25, an Andrew Ference shot deflecting off his skate and behind Salo.

Reinprecht and Conroy then combined on a beauty, breaking loose on a power play with Conroy waiting until he was literally beside the net before passing cross crease to a wide open Reinprecht at 2:25.

Oilers were two for seven with the man advantage while the Flames were two for six.

Next up is a road game in Dallas on Tuesday.






1) Craig Conroy - A beautiful goal to open this game, 20 minutes in ice time and a quick trip out of the coach's doghouse. 

2) Jarome Iginla - Sure it was a fluky goal and sure his assists were second helpers, but that 22:47 in ice time suggests he was important force all night. 

3) Ryan Smyth - The most noticeable Oiler by far came to play, a go-ahead power play goal and a physical presence in front of the Calgary net.

Perhaps frustrated by the second half collapse of his team, Ryan Smyth ran Reinprecht almost into the players bench late in the game.

A Ryan Smith one-timer saw Jamie McLennan diving across the crease to stop the puck with his glove midway through the third period, preserving a 4-2 Flames edge.

Edmonton has fielded 900,000 requests for 57,000 tickets for the Edm/Mtl outdoor game in late November. . . . . Ference, Oliwa and Lowry drew into the game while Oleg Saprykin and Steve Montador were tossed into the press box along with injured forward Dean McAmmond . . . . . Iginla led the Flames in ice time, but only 10 seconds more than Jordan Leopold's 22:47. Interesting this young season is the reduced ice time of Toni Lydman, confined this game to 20:04. Last year he was often seeing 28 minutes a night and as the months of the calendar turned over, his game appeared to suffer as a result. In fact, six Flames defencemen were within two minutes of 20 minutes in ice time, suggesting the coach had spread duties out fairly evenly. . . . . .Stephane Yelle was 61% to lead the Flames in the faceoff circle while Marty Reasoner was 60% for the Oil.


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