With their net empty while staring at a 3 hole inside the last 3 minutes, the Cardiff Devils scored 3 times ahead of the close of regulation to force overtime, then eventually penalties, but in the end the Flames secured the tiebreaker and a 4-3 win over the visitors from Wales.
After a scoreless opening frame, Ben Davies got things started less than 90 seconds into the middle period, and in the final minute of the set Brett Ferguson ensured the home team would complete 40 minutes with a 2-0 edge.
Ferguson’s 2nd of the evening inside the back half of the 3rd had the Flames up by a trio but a Mike Hedden reply with less than 3 minutes remaining kicked off the comeback. Mark Richardson scored 68 seconds from close and Joey Martin knotted it at 3 well inside the final minute.
A 4th period of 3 on 3 solved nothing and on penalties, over 6 rounds, Calle Ackered scored twice, including the decider, along with a Jamie Crooks goal to overcome Hedden and Charles Linglet strikes.
“Boy, we sure made a job of that,” said Head Coach Paul Dixon. “If you were a ticket holder you not only got your money’s worth but probably enough excitement to last you the rest of the year.”
“From an entertainment standpoint, you can’t really do better than that.”
“Unfortunately, for the coaching staff we would prefer a little less entertainment. We played well tonight, but it was our 3rd in 3 nights and maybe we ran out of steam a bit in the 3rd period because Cardiff took it to us a bit more, especially late when we were just trying to hang on to the win.”
“They are so talented and so deep, that once you start slipping backwards down that hill, it is a very difficult team to stop.”
“We hung in there, and once you are in penalties you are pretty much both putting scorers up to the line each time, and thankfully we got just what we needed to still get the win.”
“It is a big couple of points, and in light of 3 in a row, 2 on the road at the 2nd place team and then again at home to the top club, we have to go away from the weekend feeling pretty good about 3 of 6 points.”