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Flames even Calder Cup series

By Aaron McCracken
Date: 5/19/2001

It was the same storyline with the same two teams, but this time, it was the Saint John Flames that were able to escape with a victory in game two of the Calder Cup finals. On Thursday night in game one, the Wilkes-Barre Penguins dominated the first two periods only to see their lead cut to one goal in the late stages of the game, before walking away with a 4-3 victory. On Saturday night, it was the Flames’ turn.

Saint John opened the period with several thunderous hits and dominated the pace of the game throughout the frame. The Pens did not record a shot until 14 minutes into the game, when they were on a five-on-three power play. However, despite the Pens’ ineptitude, there was no score after twenty minutes.

The Flames wasted little time getting on the board in the second. With the Pens’ Jason MacDonald off for tripping, Dave Roche was able to tip a Darrel Scoville shot for his 3rd goal of the playoffs. Ten minutes later, Sergei Varlamov made it 2-0 with a wicked wrist shot through traffic just as another power play had expired. The Flames’ continued their dominance in shots on goal after two periods with a 23-7 edge.

Daniel Tkaczuk made it 3-0 early in the third when he pushed a rebound just over the goal line. The Pens argued furiously that the puck did not cross the line, but the goal counted and the Flames staked themselves to a 3-0 lead. But the Pens did not get discouraged. With Steve Montador off for high sticking, Greg Crozier tipped a shot past Brochu to cut the Flames’ lead to two goals. The Flames held on strong until the latter stages of the game when Chris Kelleher flicked a wrist shot at Brochu which handcuffed him and found its way to the back of the net. It was an ugly goal on Brochu’s part, and certainly changed the game. Pressing for the equalizer, the Pens’ Michel Rozsival took a holding penalty (his fourth minor of the game) with three and a half minutes remaining. The penalty proved to be costly, as Daniel Tkaczuk stood in front of the net and buried a Chris Clark pass, giving the Flames a 4-2 lead. This was a very important goal, as the Pens were able to score with 39 seconds left and Rich Parent on the bench. While the Pens managed to control the puck for the final seconds of the game, Martin Brochu made two huge saves in the final seconds to seal his 11th victory of the postseason.

Game Three will be played in Wilkes-Barre on Monday night at 8:30 Atlantic time. If the first two games are any indication, this could prove to be a long and competitive series.

News and Notes

Flames Goals

  1. Begin (Dupont, Fata) PP
  2. Mrozik (Tkaczuk, Begin)


Three Stars

3. Chris Kelleher

2. Derrick Walser

1. Daniel Tkaczuk

Lines and Roster update

Murray – Varlamov – Botterill

Tkaczuk – Begin -- Clark

Betts – Roche – Fata

Royer - Morgan

Walser – Martin

Montador – Scoville

Mrozik – Dupont

Scratches: Chris St. Croix (healthy), Miika Elomo (broken nose, out), Doug Doull (unknown, out), Bobby Russell (healthy), Jeff Mitchell (healthy), Jamie Ling (healthy), Kenny Corupe (groin), Dany Sabourin (healthy).