Kiprusoff A Keeper In Win 

Late Goal Sinks Hawks

November 22nd, 2003
D'Arcy McGrath

Oh what a difference one week can make.

Last Saturday the scene featured a gaggle of celebrating Oilers and an overtime loss in Edmonton - a loss that sent the Flames home with an abysmal 1-2-0-1 road record and a tough gaze up the standings.

Seven days later the Flames, riding the hot hand of newly acquired goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff completed an original six hat trick by winning their third straight at home with a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.

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

In the old days hockey clubs dreaded a trip through Alberta in the dead of winter.

Points were scarce and bruises a plenty as the Flames and Oilers would take turns pounding out victories over intimidated opponents. 

For the past decade however, that mystique was shattered when teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs routinely took at least one and quite often both ends of the prairie set.

Perhaps times are a changing once again.

The Flames and Hawks had a careful first period, trading chances and running up nine shots a piece.

The Flames opened the scoring on a night where the Calgary Saddledome staff could finally brag the best ice surface in Alberta - given the bouncing pucks at Commonwealth Stadium up North - when Steve Reinprecht continued his hot hand with a second period powerplay goal. 

Reinprecht collected a Jordan Leopold rebound and lifted a tough angled backhander over a fallen Craig Anderson to net his 5th of the season, and third in three home games this week.

Calgary had numerous chances to add to their lead in the second period, out shooting the Hawks by a 14-4 margin but came up empty and continued to nurse their one goal lead into the third.

The Hawks burst Kiprusoff's shutout bubble just over a minute into the third period when Steve Sullivan sent a seeing eye back handed pass into the slot where Kyle Calder deflected it home.

The Hawks, making up for that listless second, continued to pour it on through out the third frame, forcing Kiprusoff to come up huge in his second game in Calgary colours but failed to steer another puck into the net.

The Flames picked up the winner very much like they did against Montreal two nights earlier, with very little time left on the clock.

Deam McAmmond picked up a loose puck and drove to the net, managing to slide a backhander along the ice and past Anderson to give the Flames the win.

The victory, the club's third in a row on home ice, assures the team at least a .500 record on this six games stand.

When you open your morning newspaper on Sunday you will find the Flames back in a playoff spot, sitting 8th in the west.





1) Miikka Kiprusoff - Two games, two goals against and two wins. Saved the club's bacon in a very Hawk active third period. 

2) Dean McAmmond - Last minute game winning heroics are good enough for a star selection in my books. 

3) Craig Anderson - Chicago stopper kept this game close with some great second period work, giving his team a chance to mount a charge in the third.

Krsyzstof Oliwa served the first game of his two game suspension tonight against the Hawks. Stephane Yelle returned to the lineup in his place, after missing four straight games with a lower body injury. ... The Flames are now four points ahead of last year's pace, as the team was in the midst of that horrendous November slide 365 days ago. ... It is still very early in the Miikka Kiprusoff era in Calgary but that third period (11 saves on 12 shots) is exactly the above board goaltending that this offensively challenged club needs in order to hang around the playoff picture this season. Two starts, and only four goals of offensive support has resulted in two wins. ... Calgary defenceman Andrew Ference stepped a little out of his league when he dropped the mitts with Hawk tough guy Ryan Vandenbussche. He paid for it. ... Oleg Saprykin followed up a spirited game against the Leafs with a quiet game against Montreal, but was back to his good ways again against Chicago. He was physically involved and led the team with four shots on goal. The game was Saprykin's 4th straight game now after sitting out four in a row prior. It will be interesting to see if the talented young Russian will get comfortable and start contributing offensively. ... The Flames took 59% of the face offs tonight, with Craig Conroy setting the example by taking 17 of 23 draws. ... The player with the least ice time for the Flames tonight? None other than the late game winning marksmen Dean McAmmond with only 9:32 of ice time. Rhett Warrener led all skaters with 22:42 of time, but was joined by Jordan Leopold, Robyn Regehr and Toni Lydman all north of 21 minutes. ... In case you're keeping track Kiprusoff has a .958 save percentage through two games. ... The Flames won the special teams battle on the night going one for six on the powerplay and killing off all five Hawk advantages. ... With the return of Stephane Yelle to the lineup, Matthew Lombardi was bumped up to the first line with Jarome Iginla and Steve Reinprecht. He notched a powerplay assist on Reinprecht's goal. Sutter created two checking lines with Yelle centering McAmmond and Chris Clark while Craig Conroy stayed put with Shean Donovan and Martin Gelinas.

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