Sunday afternoon the Pee Wee Major Flames returned to home ice for a game against the Raiders based out of Everett, MA. Right away it was apparent that the Flames effort level and team involvement were back, and Saturday’s game just a memory. The Flames would take a 2-1 lead half way through this game, only to lose the lead late in the 3rd period. Then the hockey gods smiled on the home team when the Flames scored with an extra attacker on the ice with less than a minute left. The game ended in a 3-3 tie.
1st Period: Just 22 seconds into the game, the Flames trailed 1-0 when play broke down in front of their own net, and the opportunistic Raider top line put them ahead. For the rest of the period the Flames dominated scoring chances and shots, getting 10 of the next 11 shots in the game. With 8:36 left in the period, Sam Hebert scored on the power play and the tied things at one apiece. The period would end with the Flames feeling like they should have scored a couple of more goals, but tied 1-1.
2nd Period: The second period started with the Flames getting the early chances but the score remained tied. Then Sam Hebert struck again, and gave the Flames a 2-1 lead. It was Hebert’s 60th goal of the season and 42nd goal in 24 Mass Select games. The Flames would retain this lead for the next 20 minutes of hockey time. The second period ended with the Flames leading 2-1, and holding a 17-6 advantage in shots. Again, they were unable to widen the lead, or put away the pesky, ever-improving Raider club.
3rd Period: The Raiders showed that they weren’t giving up, or going away in the final period as they outplayed and outworked the Flames for much of the period. Finally the lead that carried no comfort in it was gone. The Raiders top line struck for a goal with 3:16 left in the game. Then 60 seconds later they tallied again, giving the visitors a 3-2 lead with just 136 seconds left in the game. The Raiders, who had spent most of the season in last place in their division, had beaten the Flames in their only other visit to West Side Arena, and they had also moved out of the cellar in the division. It appeared as though the Flames were going to lose another home game to the Raiders despite beating them twice on their home ice. Then, with the goaltender pulled, and Sean Moore parked legally in front of the net, the Flames reached back for a little more. Sam Hebert and Patrick Goren exchanged passes before throwing the puck at the net. The Raider goaltender never reacted to the puck as Moore limited his view of anything at all, and the puck slid unimpeded to the goal mouth where Zachary Bayer slammed home the game-tying goal with just 41 seconds left to play. With the game tied, the Flames returned Anders Lindberg to their net, and held on for the tie. Although, just seconds after the center ice face-off Bayer found himself with the puck on a clear breakaway. There was not another Raider even in the defensive zone as Bayer approached the net. Bayer let a shot go, but the Raider goal tender was squared up to the shot and made a clean save without a rebound. The game would end in a 3-3 tie.
The tie was just the third tie of the season for the Flames, bringing their overall record to 34-20-3 on the season. With just a couple of weeks left in the season, the Flames have 7 different players with 30 or more points on the season.
Saturday, Feb 23: @ Shamrocks, Ristuccia Arena 7:20pm
Sunday, Feb 24: @ Nashua Pee Wee 3, Skate 3 Blue 12:00pm