Closing out 5 games in 8 nights and a challenging travel schedule in between, Flames on home ice scored early then continued to reply just enough as the game went on while leaning on 35 Eamon McAdam saves to gut out a 4-3 win over the visiting Coventry Blaze.
Flames had a good start with a Ben O’Connor powerplay goal at 6:29 and a Rob Lachowicz follow up 56 seconds later. Blaze cut their deficit to a single before the first break when John Curran found the net in the 19th minute.
Blaze brought the game back level at 33:12 through J.D. Dudek, but the home team once again went to break up a goal thanks to an Ian McNulty powerplay strike a little over 2 minutes from period time.
About 6 minutes into the 3rd, a Flames defensive foul rewarded Coventry Blaze with a penalty shot and Curran made no mistake burying his 2nd of the contest to even the count at 3. A little over 8 minutes out, though, Sam Marklund broke up the tie with what held up as the winner.
McAdam recorded the win against 38 shots while Paavo Holsa was 29 for 33.
“You won’t ever see that game defined as our best or prettiest, but as for assigning value to players for what they achieved it is hard to imagine asking for more from anyone,” started Paul Dixon.
“We have been away since Tuesday, over to Belfast then to Glasgow, planes, hotels, buses, then an overnighter to get back here this morning to be ready to go again.”
“All throughout the schedule, there are times when you get an advantage because of where the other team has been recently, and times when you are at a disadvantage based on your own schedule relative to your opponent. In this case we were on the wrong end of that equation for sure, and it is hard to credit the guys enough for being able to come here tonight and still deliver a win.”
“The schedule eases up now for the coming weeks, so guys will get a few more days off, and some good rest to recover from this and be ready to head into the last couple of months of the season.”