The Calgary Flames hit the road and took on the Edmonton Oilers tonight in a true Battle Of Alberta. I expected the Flames to be a little tired after taking on the Habs and falling to the Montreal team by a score of 6-2 at the Saddledome last night, but with Karri Ramo in net and a few changes to the line-up, the Flames came back to revive the battle of old against the Oilers.
The Oilers opened with a lot of pressure on the Flames, but Calgary pushed back and Brandon Bollig tipped in the first goal within the first two minutes of the game. That's all it took for the visiting team to come alive and, halfway through the period, the Flames out-shot the Oilers 9-4. Michael Frolik netted his first of the season when Talbot was caught out of his net, which put the Flames up by two. But the home team closed the door on a shutout when Hall screened Karri Ramo and tipped in the Oilers first goal. Frolik wasn't done and he potted another goal before the end of the first to make the score 3-1 heading into the second.
This period was full of Flames penalties, most of which were weak. Yet there was no call during a slash on Joe Colborne and Johnny Gaudreau. When the Oilers scored in the middle period, Bob Hartley challenged with goalie interference and the goal was called off, but it didn't take long for Edmonton to get it back. The score was 3-2. T.J. Brodie proved that his hand has healed quite well when he buried his first goal of the season, putting the Flames up by two once again. In spite of spending a lot of time in the penalty box, the Calgary team capitalized on some costly Edmonton mistakes.
But it wouldn't be a battle if the Oilers had rolled over and played dead. Instead, they opened the third period with another goal, putting them back in the game. When Draisaitl evened the score at 4, the Flames almost fell apart, as they have often done in third periods this season. But, like a well-written book, Michael Frolik stepped up with barely 9 seconds left on the clock in regulation and scored not just the game-winning goal, but his very first hat trick. The Flames won this Battle Of Alberta by a score of 5-4.
Flame of the game
Michael Frolik. He hasn't been able to score all season in spite of the chances he's had, but when he shows up, he shows up big. Tonight he earned his first goals of the season, as well as his first career hat trick. My only hope is that he can keep up his consistent effort all season long. If he does, I believe he could be a key player in the Flames success.
The Flames get a two-day break before they're on the road again to visit Jarome Iginla and the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, November 3rd. Right now, the Flames are at 3-8-1 and the Avs sit at 3-6-1. I think this game has the potential to be very interesting if Calgary can keep it together for a full three periods.
Go Flames Go!