Despite a 46-25 shot advantage, a Flames 8 game winning streak, spanning nearly a month, came to an end in Cup play with a 4-3 home loss at the hands of the Cardiff Devils.
Ryan Tait opened the scoring by offering the Flames a lead just under 5 minutes in, but a pair of unanswered replies by Joshua Brittain at 8:25 and Joey Martin on the powerplay 91 seconds from period close had Devils in front to begin the 2nd.
The clubs traded goals in the middle set with the home team temporarily levelling when Sam Marklund converted a powerplay near the midway mark, but Brodie Reid a little over a minute later ensured they would start the 3rd with the same slim lead they had to start the 2nd, this time at 3-2.
Devils put up the first multi goal difference through Joshua Waller on a powerplay at 44:23. Turner Ripplinger replied on a Flames extra man situation a couple of minutes later, and they came close inside the last 2 minutes on a powerplay with Taz Burman on the bench in favour of an extra skater but the 6 on 4 manpower differential was not enough to rescue the result.
Burman turned away 21 shots, while Ben Bowns was good on 43 that came his direction.
“When you get on a run you get some breaks to help put you over the top so many times consecutively, but despite a good chunk of play tonight we just couldn’t quite find one to make the difference,” explained Head Coach Paul Dixon.
“I don’t think we could really fault guys too much for what we put on the ice. We just couldn’t find the handle on perhaps the number of goals we should have had considering some of our chances.”
“We still have a good Cup position so we need to quickly put this one behind us and look ahead to Sunday night in Belfast back in league play.”
“Annually they have one of the best teams in the league and this season looks no different. On top of that, their building is one we might term a bogey rink for us with almost no success there so we are going to have to be at our best. We already had the initial set of flights cancelled for that game so hopefully that is our bad luck for the trip and we can come home with a couple of points against a very strong team.”