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Baby Steps for Adirondack

Flames "Salvage Week" with big 7-3 win Saturday

After a solid weekend last week that saw the Flames take three points, there was a fair amount of enthusiasm going into a tough week against two in state rivals.  The Flames suffered a 3-0 loss on Wednesday night against Vancouver affiliate Utica.  The Flames took eight penalties in the game, gave up a power play goal and a short handed goal, and were outshot 34 to 29.  On Friday, they traveled to Buffalo affiliate Rochester with a similar result.  Adirondack opened the scoring early on a goal by Markus Granlund, but failed to generate many more quality scoring chances and gave up the next four goals in a 4-1 loss.

Saturday, the Flames returned home to play Rochester in the back end of the home and home.

The Lines

Hathaway / Granlund / Baertschi

Ferland / Agostino / Arnold

Elson / Reinhart / Knight

Wolf / Tousignant / Van Brabant

The Pairings

Wotherspoon / Sieloff

Stevenson / Yonkman

Ramage / Cunklin

Goal

Ortio

The first period was a back and forth period that saw the Flames playing tentative - almost giving the Amerks too much respect for the first 15 minutes of the contest.  The Flames converted on a late power play opportunity - with a goal by Garnet Hathaway, and went into the locker room leading - even though they were not the best team in the period.

Rochester came out strong in the second, and Joni Ortio made some strong saves early.  Rochester scored the first goal of the period, but the team seemed to feed off of Ortio's strong play and answered the Amerks tally less than minute later.  They then scored three more times in a period that they ultimately dominated.  Mathieu Tousignant, Bryce Van Brabant, Micheal Ferland and Tyler Wotherspoon each had a goal in the teams highest scoring period of the season to date.

The Flames played an intelligent period of hockey in the third.  They carried the play and frustrated the Amerks.  They also stayed clear of the penalty box, and got goals by Ryan Culkin and Kenny Agostino.  The Flames outshoot Rochester 41 to 30.

Observations

  • The team played intimidated in the first period, allowing Rochester to carry the play and generate the better scoring chances in the first 15 minutes.  The Flames fed off of the late power play goal and the strong play of Joni Ortio, going into the second period.
  • The line of Wolf, Tousignant and Van Brabant played with passion and really got the team rolling in the second period.
  • Coach Ryan Huska continues to adjust the lines.  Markus Granlund (3G, 2A, Even) and Michael Ferland (3G, 4A, +6) are clearing the strongest forwards on the ice.  Max Reinhart (0G, 1A, -2) leads the team in shots on goal (26), and it is clearly just a matter of time before it results in the back of the net.
  • Late Calgary cut Sven Baertschi seems lost at times and has not performed to the level fans anticipated.  He is a team worst minus 9 through eight games.
  • Coach Huska was clearly pleased with the scoring outburst Saturday, and used phrases like "losing sucks" and we "salvaged the week" in his post game press conference.  You can clearly see the team coming together, but their youth shows (to their credit, the team and coaching staff won't use this as an excuse).  The team is clearly more comfortable at home, and their next two games are at the GFCC against San Antonio (Wednesday) and Utica (Saturday).  http://youtu.be/UJRiNtp2hWc

Notes - Prior to the game Saturday, there was a ceremonial moment of silence for fallen Canadian soldier Cpl. Nathan Cirillo followed by the singing of the Canadian National Anthem.