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January 1st at Manchester Storm - League

After not having held a lead all evening, and with 29 seconds remaining in overtime, Ben Davies lifted the Flames to a 4-3 win on the road over Manchester Storm.

The home side had their first goal of 2020 when they jumped into a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute with a Cameron Critchlow tip.  A Brett Ferguson reply at 14:15 levelled, but Storm took a lead to the break on the strength of a Henrik Samuelsson strike 52 seconds later.   

A tick shy of the game’s halfway mark, Jordan Abt squared it.  A Scott Simmonds re-direct had Storm back in front once again only 19 seconds after that, but inside the period’s final 8 minutes Flames evened it for the 3rd time through Jamie Crooks and that is how things stood to start the final set. 

In the 3rd, aside from a video review scare on a potential Storm goal less than 3 minutes from close, nothing changed to avoid tiebreaking measures.

The regulation tie forced 3 on 3 overtime where Davies secured the win and a pair of table points. 

“There is not a rink in the league where you have to adjust your game as much as you do when you are visiting Manchester because of the size of the ice pad,” explained Paul Dixon. “It’s not really until you get to the reduced manpower overtime where you get space back to play more of a style that fits the roster.”

“For higher end skilled players, in particular, you have to ask them to go against their instincts.  You really do have to make the game as simple as possible, get pucks deep, get people in front and get pucks on net without trying to be too clever, especially at the other team’s blue line.” 

“We didn’t do that 100% of the time, but I thought we did it a lot better as the game went on, and in a rink where we have had almost no success the past couple of seasons it’s fantastic to get out of here with a win.” 

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