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Marlies Shock Adirondack

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

At this time of the season, the phrase "must win" is overused.  That was certainly the term used when the Adirondack Flames hosted the Toronto Marlies Saturday night at the Glens Falls Civic Center.  The Flames had been away from home for two and a half weeks, and returned to a standing room only crowd.

With the Flames two points out of the final playoff position with three games in hand and Toronto two points behind Adirondack this game was, well, pretty important.

The Lines

Wolf / Reinhart / Hathaway

Baertschi / Shore / Van Brabant

Setoguchi / Elson / McGrattan

Agostino / Vause / Tousignant

Pairings

Stevenson / Rampage

Sieloff / Yonkman

Cundari / Acolatse

Net

Thiessen and Carr

The Flames started strong in the first period until David Wolf received a four minute minor for an inadvertent high stick.  Adirondack gave up a power play goal and a four-on-four goal as a result, but responded with a nice Turner Elson goal to enter the second period one down and with the momentum.

Adirondack played a strong second period and tied the game early in the second with a goal by Mark Cundari.   Then the third period started...

Early in the third, the Flames gave up two goals in 12 seconds and three in 2:12.  The stunned crowd and Flames bench was numb.  Brad Theissen was pulled for Doug Carr (not that Thiessen could have been blamed) and the teams went through the motions on the way to a 5-2 Marlies victory.

The Good News

  • Devin Setoguchi returned and played a pretty strong game.  He had an assist on Turner Elson's goal and his scoring touch will be needed with many talented prospects now in Calgary.
  • Bill Arnold is close to returning.  His game has been sorely missed in all three zones over the past month and a half.
  • Doug Carr came in cold and with the team reeling.  He played very well, making 10 saves in 13 plus minutes of relief.
  • The Flames recovered from being two goals down early and was carrying the play in the second period.
  • Taylor Vause played well in his first game back to the AHL.

The Bad News

  • The pairing of Mark Cundari and Sena Acolastse was beaten badly by the Marlies' speed.  Coverage of the back side winger and being caught in odd man rushes happened far too often.
  • Brad Thiessen is a solid AHL goaltender, but the team certainly misses Joni Ortio, who would often bail the team out of defensive errors.
  • Two goals against in 12 seconds and three goals against in 2:12 - enough said...

The trade deadline and any subsequent moves can't occur fast enough for this team.  Stabilizing the lines and roster is required to get the Flames in the right place for the final run.

The team has a big week ahead with a game at Hamilton Wednesday and then back-to-back games in Toronto next weekend.  All these contests have significant playoff implications.