Thanks to lost baggage during the flight to Belfast, the Flames iced a shorthanded lineup, with borrowed sticks and parts of goalie gear as well as an emergency backup netminder all provided by the home side to get in a game that ended with a Giants 5-0 win over Spectrum’s men.
Slater Doggett at 9:22 had the only goal of the opening frame and put the home team in the lead at the break.
They added 3 more in the middle with a pair by Mark Cooper less than 5 minutes apart around the midway mark; the latter being a powerplay strike. JJ Piccinich added their 4th just 48 seconds from the end of the set.
Cooper competed his hat trick shorthanded just inside the opening minute of the 3rd to finalize the evening’s scoring.
“There is a movie where someone uses the phrase ‘successful failure’, which is actually pretty apt for where we are after this game,” offered Head Coach Paul Dixon.
“When you first realize you are missing a significant chunk of vital kit, it is pretty alarming. We had to wait on other following flights to see if enough would arrive to safely put a team on the ice. There was a point well after scheduled faceoff when we had actually told the team the game was cancelled, but with help from Belfast, and the items that did eventually arrive late, we were able to piece it together enough to run over to the arena from the hotel on short notice and try to get stuck in.”
“It goes without saying that it was a very tough ask we made of these guys, the way it all unfolded to make for a very long, uncertain, unsettling day. On this day, they gave everything they had. Some days you simply can’t give what you might be able to on another day, and this was one of those situations.”
“No matter how that score ended up, the best we could do is be happy that every guy did what they could to make the most of a bad situation and meet our obligation to the Giants to ensure the event would proceed without figuring out a new date to visit again with almost no time in front of us to do that.”
“We will chalk it up to a ‘remember that time when…’ experience and get home, hopefully find our sticks and the still missing kit and move on to the next game on Wednesday night.”