Kevin Lindskoug collected a shutout to ensure a pair of 2nd period goals to go with a single in the 1st would be more than enough for a 3-0 win over the visiting Manchester Storm.
A little under halfway through the opening frame Levi Cable got his stick on a Jesper Alasaari shot and the re-direct would ultimately stand up as the game winner.
Just after re-start a major penalty and game misconduct to Tristan Frei for boarding set Storm on an extended powerplay, but some good penalty killing, and a couple of timely Lindskoug saves ran the 5 minutes out with Storm failing to pull level. The clubs immediately traded minor penalties over the next stretch of play, but when the dust settled, the 1st period goal remained as the only score on the clock. Not long after though, a Flames powerplay did push one over with a Jesper Alasaari one time blast at 35:04 and Ian McNulty added another a couple minutes later and the Flames held the 3-goal margin that would hold up through the remainder of the contest on their way to a win and a pair of league table points.
“That’s a pretty good way to kick off the league campaign,” Paul Dixon concluded.
“We were pretty solid in all aspects of the game, but that penalty kill in the 2nd period was really a key part of the night to be able to limit Manchester to just a couple of chances and then of course Kevin was back there to close the door when they did get through.”
“At that time we were only ahead by a goal. Had they been able to convert it could have made it an entirely different kind of night so getting through that and then being able to press on and eventually extend the lead to give us a bit of breathing space was about as much as we could have hoped for over that stretch of play.”
“Now we have just one game next weekend when Cardiff visit so we will really focus on them in the week of training and hope we can come out of that game with a similar result.”