Saturday the Flames started their final weekend of the year 2012 with the first of back-to-back home games. They hosted the Shamrocks at West Side Arena. These are the same Shamrocks that beat the Flames 2-1 back on the 1st of the month. A big team with some skill, some size, and some big shots that was able to create quite a bit of open space for themselves the first time they met. The Flames answered the call and played a solid, disciplined game from start to finish, earning their own 2-1 victory.
1st Period: The Flames scored first when Sean Moore, who has been heating up lately, scored on a nice play set up by Zachary Bayer. Other than the Moore goal, the period was quite even. Both teams registered 8 shots, neither team was called for a penalty and both teams did a nice job of clogging areas on the ice, not allowing odd man rushes.
2nd Period: The second period only offered a single penalty called and no scoring as far as the score sheet was concerned. However, the Flames had some great chances, definitely getting better looks at the net than the visiting Shamrocks, but could not extend the lead. The Flames outshot their opponent 11-8 in the period and held a 1-0 lead on the scoreboard.
3rd Period: In the third period some things returned to a more normal, if not, familiar state. The Flames were called for three penalties in the period, two of which were called quickly, as in, quickly in direct proportion to the quickness in which the Flame player stopped skating and started reaching with their stick. Whistle! Penalty. The feet must keep moving. Anyhow, before the penalties, there was the Flames second goal of the game. Just 14 seconds into the period, Zachary Bayer scored on what was an innocent looking play set up by Christian Levesque, but Bayer worked hard, and was rewarded with the goal. Later, came the penalties, and allowed this Shamrock club back into the game. For nearly all 45 minutes of play the Flames had stymied the big guns of the visitors, allowing almost no time or space. They got off one, or maybe two, big shots in the game, but they were off target, and the rest of the time the Flames played team defense and allowed almost no good looks at the net. All except for the power play goal they allowed with 2:08 left in the game. The Flames held on and won 2-1 in a good, clean, crisply played hockey game. The Flames’ goal-tending tandem of Anders Lindberg (Win) and Keenan Alnahas combined to save 19 of 20 shots faced, earning the team’s 20th win of the season. Saturday’s win set the stage for a big Granite State game on Sunday afternoon, also at West Side Arena, stayed tuned.