Goal Rush!

Flames Light it Up in the Windy City

November 12th, 2003
D'Arcy McGrath

Over the past several seasons the Flames have been known for a few season killing habits.

The most devastating of such was their penchant for a debilitating losing streak in the first half of each season that left them for dead before the schedule hit the Christmas month.

On Wednesday night in Chicago the Flames nipped a potential season killing skid at three with a 6-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.

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

One of the expected gains of having the experience of a Darryl Sutter behind the bench was the calming influence on the club when the team inevitably hit a dry spell.

The thinking goes that Sutter would keep the lows a little less low, and keep that demonic sized snowball from rolling down the hill, picking up speed and size.

On this night the Flames pretty much melted said snowball with the red glare of the goal light scoring six times through with skid-snapping glee.

The first period was all Matthew Lombardi as the rookie scored a powerplay goal early in the first then added an assist with a great pass on Chris Clark's second of the season.

He was just getting warmed up.

The Hawks narrowed the lead with a goal by former Flame farmhand Brett Maclean to make the score 2-1 after one.

The second period belonged to struggling winger Dean McAmmond as the speedster working on a line with Stephane Yelle and Shean Donovan scored once at even strength then added a powerplay goal later in the period.

In-between the Matthew Lombardi story continued when the rookie scored his fourth of the season and 2nd of the night when he wristed one between Michael Leighton's pads.

The Flames were forced to kill many a penalty in the third period, a scary prospect given the club's lowly ranking when a man down and the fact that the PK single handedly sunk the team in Columbus on Sunday afternoon.

They were perfect in this one though, killing three third period powerplays, and five overall, plus kicking in a highlight reel shorthanded goal by Lombardi to complete the hat trick.

Lombardi took a fortunate bounce off the lively Chicago glass, turned on the burners and beat Craig Anderson with a head fake breakaway goal to complete the scoring at 6-2.

Jamie McLennan didn't have a lot of work through two periods only facing 17 shots in total, but then had to be sharp in the third when the Hawks pressed to the tune of 16 additional shots.

Oddly the six goal explosion was achieved without the help of the team's top line as Jarome Iginla, Craig Conroy and Steve Reinprecht were all held off the scoresheet.

Next up for the Flames is a date in Nashville tomorrow night where they'll try to make it two in a row before facing the Oilers in Edmonton on Saturday night to complete their four game trip.

The win for Calgary jumps the Flames from a tie for last in the West to a tie for 11th spot in with San Jose, one point back of both Edmonton and Anaheim, and two back of Dallas and Detroit for the 7th and 8th playoff spots. Calgary has games in hand on all four teams.





1) Matthew Lombardi - Thank you Edmonton? The former Oiler draft pick picks up three goals and one assist to lead the way.

2) Dean McAmmond - Veteran scores twice to move his season total to three.

3) Rhett Warrener - Hard working stay at home defenceman a force in his own zone and chips in two assists.

Steve Poapst saved the day in his crease when a Chuck Kobasew rebound slid through Craig Anderson's pads and on to the goal-line. 

Denis Gauthier literally skated into Hawk winger Kyle Calder while killing a penalty in the third period sending both players to the ice.  

Have to give credit to TSN colour man Pierre McGuire for isolating Flame defenceman Jordan Leopold for his work on the team's powerplay. The young defender played a key role in keeping the puck in and controlling the Umbrella from it's point. Showing more and more poise with every game. ... Think the presence of Denis Gauthier and Rhett Warrener on a late third period powerplay may have had something to do with one brother not wanting to run up the score on his older brother? ... A four point night by Lombardi puts the young pivot right in the middle of things for the rookie scoring race. His five goals place him 5th in rookie scoring (Jason King - Vancouver is first with eight), and his nine points place him 5th (Marek Zidlicky - Nashville leads the way with 12). Another interesting rookie stat? Lombardi is ranked 37th for rookie ice time with an average of only 13:56 a night. Zidlicky is third, and the highest ranked forward with 19:45. ... Jarome Iginla led all Flame shooters with four on the night. ... The Flames had a balance with ice time with only Toni Lydman (23:33) and Rhett Warrener (20:02) breaking the 20 minute mark. ... Ex-Flame Scotty Nichol tried to get noticed in the second period when he tried to drag Jarome Iginla into a tussle. Nichol got the extra minor. ... The Flames were perfect on the penalty kill for only the third time this season. ... The club's powerplay continued to inexplicably click along, scoring twice on five chances to move from 17.6% and 10th place to 19.6% and 7th place overall. The penalty kill rate improved from a 28th place 76.5% to 78.1%.

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