Ian Watters bagged a 3rd period goal, then the Flames weathered serious penalty trouble late in the frame, including ending the game with 3 skaters to 6, but held on for a 2-1 Cup win to secure a Cup quarter final berth.
Less than 4 minutes after a delayed start due to mechanical issues, with Flames enjoying a man advantage, Levi Cable set the visitors to a lead, but David Broll answered on a late period Blaze powerplay to send the clubs to break on a goal each.
The middle frame advanced completely without scoring, despite Flames skating 5 men to 3 for well over a minute and a half inside the period’s final 3 minutes.
Blaze started the 3rd with a powerplay of their own, but they too were unable to convert so the teams remained knotted at a goal each until Watters broke up the tie with his goal on 49 minutes even. Flames killed a key penalty in the final quarter of the frame, but went down a man again inside the final 2 minutes. Blaze added an extra skater in place of netminder CJ Motte to be 2 men to the good, 6 on 4 and a minute later things got worse for the visitors when they took another penalty and played 3 on 6 for the final 57 seconds, but were able to hang on for the win.
“Boy that was quite a way to have to close out a game,” admitted Paul Dixon.
“I don’t know how to put into words what a great job the guys did to kill off all the time being down 2 or even 3 men. Kevin made an outstanding last second save to finally preserve it but just a terrific job of all the guys we put out there to handle a very difficult situation in which to try and hold on for an important win.”
“It feels great to have secured a berth in the next round of the Cup and now we can see about how high we can be seeded with a big home game Wednesday against Cardiff Devils.”