• Vintage Hockey League

S16 - Flames start on the road (®)


The Flames started the season on the road, with games in Detroit and Winnipeg. Detroit was one of the bottom few teams last season with only 42 points, while the Jets also finished in the bottom half of the league with 68 points. I was time to see how the new look Flames would play when the games really mattered, and with the Flames and Wings game kicking off the 05-06 regular season, it did not take long to see what the Flames were made of.

Early in the first period the flames newly acquired D-man Kyle McLaren jumped on a loose puck in the Flames end. McLaren snapped the puck up to Keith Tkachuk in the neutral zone, and as Tkachuk crossed over the blue line, he passed over the Dany Heatly on the far side. Heatly leaned into a shot that was blocked by Pavel Kubina, but the puck came right back to Heatly and he was able to snap it home past Manny Fernandez who got caught out of position after the blocked shot. Heatly had a slow season putting the puck in the net the previous year, so it was good to see Dany get going early for the Flames just 7:22 into the new season.

Ten minutes later, the Flames struck again as Pavel Datsyuk picked off a Dan McGillis pas in the Detroit end of the ice. Datsyuk passed it back to Ference, who fired a partner pass over to newly acquired Joe Corvo. Corvo set up Heatly as he blasted the puck past Fernandez for his second goal of the game to give the Flames a two goal lead late in the first period. The Wings outshot the Flames in period one 9-8, but Ryan Miller kept the puck out of his own net and the Flames lead 2-0 after the first.

The first goal of the second period came at 1:56, and it was new top line winger Daniel Sedin tipping a Mathieu Schneider point shot past Fernandez. At this point, the Flames were up 3-0 and looked to be cruising to start the new season. The Flames fourth goal was a beautiful set play as the Flames made the wings pay for icing the puck. Datsyuk won the draw back to Ference, Ference passed it to Corvo, Corvo to Heatly, and Heatly to the back of the net. I have a feeling we are goint to be seeing a lot of this stat line as the season progresses. Heatley is on fire putting up a hat trick in a little over a period and a half. A few minutes later, Dominic Moore scored his first goal of the season from Hedican and Bowento give the Flames a 5-0 lead. This also ended the work day for Manny Fernandez and the Wings pulled him to give him a break from the barrage of shots the Flames were taking. Fernandez was replaced by Miikka Kiprusoff with about five minutes left in the second period. Less than a minute later, Dan Cleary got the wings on the board after picking off a pass and playing the give and go with Dan McGillis. The score was 5-1 after two periods of play, with the shots through two periods being 28 for the Flames and 23 for the Wings.

The Flames dominated the third period, outshooting the Wings 14-5 for a game total of 42-28. The Flames also scored a sixth goal in the 3rd as Jason Bowen buried up a loose puck for his 1st goal of the season.  The final score was 6-1 and the flames were off to a great start to the season.

3 Stars

1 - Dany Heatley (CGY)
2 - Jason Bowen (CGY)
3 - Keith Tkachuk (CGY)


FLAMES - Hits : 27 - Faceoff Wins : 44 - Blocked Shots : 7 - Penalty Minutes : 0

RED WINGS - Hits : 19 - Faceoff Wins : 37 - Blocked Shots : 10 - Penalty Minutes : 6

The Flames arrived in Winnipeg riding high after their first victory of the season. They were in Winnipeg to play a Jets team that had tied the Wild two nights earlier in Minnesota, and the Flames were looking to get out to another quick start against their division rival.

The Flames came out of the gates pretty flat in the first period, only getting 3 shots on goals while allowing 12. The Flames also took some costly penalties as the Jets capitalised on two of four power plays to take a 2-0 lead after one. Todd White scored the first goal after pouncing on a loose puck and firing it past Miller, While Sarich scored with only one second to play in the first period on a bang-bang play off the face off. I think they caught the Flames sleeping and with only two seconds left in the period they won the faceoff and put the puck in the back of the net.

In the second period, the teams each took a few penalties, and the Jets continued to outshoot the Flames by a wide margin. After two periods, the shots were 22-9 for the Jets.

In the third, the Flames started to come around, but it was too little too late. Fogarty got the Flames on the board halfway through the third as he fired a shot past Cam Ward on the power play, but this was the only tally the Flames could manage. Naslund got the Jets their two goal lead back a few minutes later, and that was that. The Jets outshot the Flames 27-17 and the final score was 3-1 for the Jets. And with that the Flames are now 1-1 on the season.

3 Stars

1 - Cory Sarich (WPG)
2 - Todd White (WPG)
3 - Markus Naslund (WPG)


FLAMES - Hits : 17 - Faceoff Wins : 30 - Blocked Shots : 9 - Penalty Minutes : 12

JETS - Hits : 17 - Faceoff Wins : 43 - Blocked Shots : 10 - Penalty Minutes : 10


Up next for the Flames is two more road games against two of the top teams from last season, The KC Scouts and the New York Rangers. Tough road trips like this will really show you what a team is made of, especially early in the season.


WC 1061