Calgary Flames 2 Colorado Avalanche 2

Flames, Turek Hold Off Champs for Tie 

D'Arcy McGrath

December 21st, 2001

I guess there is a reason they actually play the games.

Any prognosticator worth his weight wouldn't have given the traveling Calgary Flames a hope in Hades in this one.

Powerplay quarterback Derek Morris sits in Calgary, awaiting the results from a specialist - ligaments in his wrist likely torn.

The league's leading scorer, Jarome Iginla mired in a four game pointless streak, having only found one point in his last seven.

Last year's top center, Marc Savard munching on popcorn and drinking Coke ... er ... Pepsi in the Pepsi Center press box awaiting a trade that may never come.

You get the idea ... 

How could a team in this much disarray have a chance against the league's reigning Stanley Cup Champs?

Like I say; that's why they make them play the games, as the Calgary Flames skated away with a 2-2 tie in Denver on Friday night.

The Flames opened the scoring towards the end of the first period. Clarke Wilm, goalless in 21 games, jumped onto the ice from the penalty box and received a Dave Lowry pass and went in and scored on Patrick Roy. The goal was Wilm's second of the season.

The goal was great satisfaction to the team's penalty killers having just nixed the Avalanche's third straight opportunity in the period. As it turned out the three kills were the last the unit would secure on the night, as the Avalanche would go onto to score on both of their remaining chances. 

The Avalanche came out strong in the second taking the play to the Flames, while registering the period's first five shots on goal.

Through the pressure the Avalanche gained the man advantage when Scott Nichol was nabbed for interfering with Dan Hinote.  On the powerplay the Avalanche tied the score when Pascal Trepanier fired home a point shot past Roman Turek with assists to Ville Niemenen and Martin Skoula.

The score remained tied at one until late in the third period when Colorado struck for another powerplay goal to take what appeared to be a strangle hold in the contest. Rob Blake notched the goal, his 10th of the season, with assists to Milan Hejduk and Alex Tanguay at 14:38.

The Flames didn't roll over however.

Exactly three minutes later the Flames tied the score and sent the game into overtime, when Rob Niedermayer found the twine with his 4th of the season. Ron Petrovicky and Jukka Hentunen received assists on the play.

Niedermayer's goal was his third goal in his last six games after only managing one goal in his previous 25 games.

In overtime both teams had decent chances but Roy and Turek stood tall to secure a point. The Avalanche controlled the lion's share of territorial play.

The tie gives the Flames a respectable three points on a tough four game road trip that had stops in three of the West's four powerhouse cities. The point total hides a bizarre trip however, that saw two dismal efforts in St. Louis and Phoenix.

The result gives the Flames 41 points in 36 games, good for 6th place in the Western Conference. The team gains a point on the Edmonton Oilers, as their provincial arch rivals fell 5-1 to the Chicago Blackhawks. The Oilers have only managed two wins in their last nine games, and sit four points up on the Flames, thought the Flames have two games in hand.


Box Score


1) Roman Turek - Solid effort by the Flames stopper, found a point for the club in a tough barn.

 2) Patrick Roy - Not as tested as Turek in this one, but solid as usual. 

3) Rob Niedermayer - Scored the key goal to send the game into overtime. Had five shots on the night.


Roman Turek stones Rob Blake after the Avalanche won a key face off in the Calgary zone in overtime, then gets fortunate when Blake sails the rebound wide.


Denis Gauthier mentioned the league wide inconsistency when it came to the definition of a registered hit in the National Hockey League ... a look at tonight's stats will substantially bank his claim. The Flames were credited with a whopping 41 hits to the Avalanche's 27 for a total of 68 on the night for the two clubs. To put that in perspective, the Flames were only credited with 33 hits in their season opening bump-fest with the Edmonton Oilers. Denis Gauthier and Dave Lowry were both credited with six hits in this one. ... Dan Hinote had six for the Avalanche. ... The Flames were on the wrong end of the face off war for the fifth straight game, only managing to secure 46% of the draws. Scott Nichol (71%) and Clarke Wilm (62%) were on the positive side of the ledger. Stephane Yelle won 72% of his draws. ... The Flames were on the losing end of the special team war once again as they failed to score on four opportunities while surrendering two powerplay goals on five Denver chances. ... Marc Savard watched the game from the press box as Greg Gilbert responds to Savard's trade request. It will be interesting to see if heads cool over the Christmas break that kicks off now with no games until Boxing Day. ... The Flames spent almost three of the five overtime minutes in their own zone.



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