Flames lost the grip on an early 3 goal lead, and needed a little late dramatics provided by Ian McNulty who tied it with 18 seconds left to set the stage for Jamal Watson’s OT winner for a 6-5 home win over Cardiff Devils.
42 seconds in, Alex Yuill had Flames in front only for Jake Coughler to reply at 1:22. Turner Ripplinger kicked off 3 straight for the home team when he scored at 3:09 ahead of Levi Cable and Jake Bolton 50 seconds apart still well inside 10 minutes. 94 seconds from period close, Cole Sanford pulled Devils within a pair during a run of 4 on 4 play.
A good helping of minor penalties in the 2nd, Flames taking the biggest share with 3 resulted in no goals for either side, but Devils did manage to cut the gap to a single with 16 seconds remaining in the frame thanks to an even strength Brandon McNally strike.
A little over 5 minutes into the 3rd with Flames killing another penalty, Justin Crandall brought them back to level at 4 goals apiece and less than 2 minutes later Stephen Dixon had them enjoying their first lead of the evening. With time winding down to the last few seconds, and with their own net empty, McNulty squared it to secure at least a point and Watson ended it less than 3 minutes into the 3 on 3 extra session for the win.
“That was certainly a roller coaster ride, not only for supporters but for the coaches,” quipped Paul Dixon.
“We sabotaged ourselves a bit during the game with some penalty trouble that really kept us on the back foot for chunks of the evening after taking it to them in the 1st, and then to give up a big lead and allow Cardiff to be in front for most of the 3rd is a classic circumstance for entirely losing the wind from your sails.”
“I will give these guys credit for not letting that deter them and they simply would not roll over at a time when things were not looking as good as they had just an hour or so before that point, and their perseverance paid off.”
“It’s a big win for us and we are glad to have that in our pocket as we head out to Belfast tomorrow for the daunting task of taking on the league leaders.”