With the game tied at 2 each, a goal by Daniel Tedesco just 22 seconds from time helped lift the Flames to a 4-2 win at Sheffield Steelers that propels the Flames back to 1st place in the league table.
Flames hit the scoresheet first when Bradley Lalonde had them in a lead a little over 5 minutes into the evening and that turned out to be the only goal ahead of the middle set.
Just over 3 minutes into the 2nd Logan Fredericks doubled the visitor’s margin, but a Robert Dowd powerplay goal at 32:32 cut the deficit and Scott Allen had Steelers level inside the period’s last 2 minutes.
Most of the 3rd would wind down still on the drawn scoreline, looking like overtime would be needed to settle the contest, but Tedesco’s winner, and an empty netter by Ian McNulty, disappointed the nearly 10,000 strong crowd as the Flames tipped the game in their favour to take sole possession of the league’s top spot.
Eamon McAdam turned aside 35 of 37 shots while Matt Greefield at Sheffield's end made 20 saves.
“That’s obviously a very big win for us to go head to head in a game for first place and come out on top,” said Paul Dixon.
“For us it was a game of excellent goaltending and timely scoring to push the balance in our favour. That is a good hockey team in Sheffield and they played a very good game.”
“As big as it is, we also need to remember it is just one game and now it is behind us so time here to re-focus and get ready for tomorrow night against Manchester Storm who took us apart over 2 games during the holidays. We need to be ready to go from the off because it is just as big a game tomorrow as it was tonight.”