Calgary Flames hand Avalanche their first road loss of the season


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Photo by Dale MacMillan/Getty Images

The Calgary Flames used Roman Horak’s first NHL goal and Miikka Kiprusoff’s birthday as motivation to come back from a 1-0 deficit and hand Colorado their first road loss of the season. Rene Bourque scored the game winner and added an empty netter for some insurance late in the third to give the Flames a 4-2 victory.

The Flames found themselves down by one goal midway thorough the first period after Kyle Quincy capitalized on a Colorado powerplay opportunity. Instead of faltering, the Flames came back even stronger and were rewarded for their hard work when rookie Roman Horak scored his first NHL goal on a gritty play at the side of the net. Calgary out-shot Colorado 21-5 in the first period, but it still ended tied 1-1.

Though the Avs got more shots on net, the second twenty minutes belonged to Calgary. Miikka Kiprusoff showed his usual form and stood on his head throughout the entire period, giving his teammates a chance to take the lead. The Horak-Stempniak-Hagman line continued their hard work and ended up finding the back of the Colorado net less than 4 minutes into the period. Stempniak back-handed the puck into the net and gave Horak another assist to go with his first goal. Five and-a-half minutes later, Rene Bourque scored with the man advantage to give the Flames a 3-1 lead.

They took that 3-1 lead into the 3rd period and relied on Kipper to keep them in the game when the Avalanche put the pressure on late in the period. Kipper came up with a number of great saves, but Ryan Wilson finally brought Colorado to within one goal with less than 5 minutes to play in the game. When it looked like Colorado had a chance to come back and tie it, Rene Bourque was credited with his 2nd goal of the game after being hauled down while on a breakaway with an empty net. That extra insurance goal was all that the Flames needed to earn their 3rd win of the season and their 6th straight against the Avalanche.

It was definitely a big win for the Flames who have struggled at the start of the season. It hasn’t been for lack of effort, but the team just hasn’t been able to find ways to win. They’re still at the bottom of both the Northwest Division and the Western Conference, but the victory definitely gives Calgary another positive to build on.

The Flames host St. Louis on Sunday and wrap up their season-long, 6-game home stand against the Canucks on Tuesday.

About Greg Hounslow (558 Posts)

Greg is the founder of Red Mile Blog has been following the Flames through good times and bad since they arrived in Calgary in the early 80s. He has written hundreds of articles on the Flames since 2005 and considers himself an expert on hockey inconsistency and frustration. He shoots right and usually plays defence, but has been known to jump up in the rush. He is a 2-time CAHL men's league champion and knows the sweet taste of beer from a Cup.

  • OldeBuffalo

    Looking forward to seeing my first game this season at the Dome against the Canuckleheads. This is a very different team that is going to surprise many hockey TV analysts who have been saying the Flames don’t have a chance because they weren’t blown up and rebuilt. The Flames have experience on their side and are playing a very different style this year.

    On the other hand, the Canuckleheads are finding out just how lucky they were to get as far as they did last year. It’s all just a ‘happy memory’ now! Maybe Gillis can bring back Messier, Sundin or Nolan to turn things around.

    Oh wait, Mr Happy has already tried that hasn’t he.

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