A 3rd period Hat Trick by Ian Watters, including a cake icing empty netter, helped the Flames celebrate a 4-2 home ice win over the visiting Sheffield Steelers. The scoring began with a late opening period even strength tip in by Rhett Rachinski that had the Flames holding a slim edge at the break. Matt Marquardt levelled it just over 6 minutes into the middle frame and a great chance for the visitors to take a lead at the end of the 2nd came during a nearly 2 minute 5 on 3 powerplay, but a solid Flames penalty kill started the final session with the teams still knotted at a goal each. A little over 5 minutes into the 3rd, Watters put the Flames in front when he deposited a loose puck. Levi Nelson hit back for the Steelers at 51:44, but Watters’ 2nd of the contest less than 3 minutes later had Spectrum’s men playing with a lead to close it out. With the pressure on, and Steelers using an extra skater in their effort to pull even, Watters took a neutral zone Kruise Reddick feed and calmly sent a 100 foot delivery into the empty cage to secure the club’s first Elite League win over the Yorkshire outfit.
“Probably the key moment in the game was killing the 5 on 3,” admitted Head Coach Paul Dixon.
“Against a team as talented and experienced as Sheffield, to go to the 3rd tied instead of giving them a chance to shut it down for the last 20 was a key factor.”
“At even, both teams have to keep playing for the win, and it was exciting to see Ian make good on those chances to help us get the offence we needed to pull it out.”
“We played well for most of the evening, and after the way they outscored us in the first two meetings, it feels pretty good to finally get a head to head win.”
“We will enjoy this tonight and then tomorrow start looking at Wednesday when Cardiff Devils drop into Spectrum.”