The Calgary Flames were handed a bitter overtime loss in game two of the opening round at the Saddledome on Saturday.
Mike Smith made 39 saves on the evening, and had another strong game after he shut out the Avalanche 4-0 in game one. Smith and the Flames were two minutes away from winning, but it was J.T. Compher of the Avalanche who tied the game up 2-2, to send it into overtime.
Despite the strong performance by Smith, it just wasn’t enough to capture the win. Flames forward Michael Frolik had a glorious chance in front of the net to seal the deal in overtime, but Nathan Mackinnon was crowned the hero as he took the puck the other way and snapped a shot high glove side past Mike Smith. The goal sent the Flames faithful home in shock.
“He’s a world class player”- Mike Smith’s comment on Nathan Mackinnon
Mike Smith felt he and his team deserved better fate, but he gave full praise to Nathan Mackinnon on his game winning goal by saying “he’s a world class player.” Game three gets underway in Denver on Monday night at the Pepsi Center, and with the series tied 1-1, both teams will be looking to gain the upper hand.
For the first time since the 2005-06 season, the Calgary Flames have secured the Western Conference title. The Flames have had an amazing regular season with a 49-23-7 record. After their 5-3 win against the San Jose Sharks the Flames are now on their quest for the Stanley Cup.
“To get where we are with these guys says a lot about this group and the resiliency of this group.”
Since the Flames clinched the top title in their division winning in San Jose they will have the home advantage for the first three rounds towards their Stanley Cup pursuit. The Flames came out on fire in the first period with three goals within a 75 second span against the Sharks. Flames Goaltender Mike Smith says “to get where we are with these guys says a lot about this group and the resiliency of this group” after his 12 saves in the game. Their perch atop the Western Conference translates that the team has the skills it takes to win the Stanley Cup this year if they keep it up on the ice.
The Calgary Flames have clinched the Western conference for the first time in 29 years. With that they also clinched the Pacific division as well.
The Flames went on a California road trip on Sunday hoping to clinch the top spot after a home loss against the Dallas Stars. Many players were excited for the possible feat to be achieved and they certainly brought the excitement against their opponent the San Jose Sharks.
Calgary won the game 5-3 to then be crowned the Western conference champs. Sean Monahan opened the scoring for the Flames with his 34th of the season. Mark Jankowski, Dalton Prout, Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik also added to the stockpile of goals.
“That doesn’t come around very often, so it says a lot about the group in here.”
-Calgary Flames net minder Mike Smith
Timo Meier, Logan Couture and Kevin Labanc scored for the Sharks.
Being the top of the west has it’s perks. The Flames will have home ice advantage against their playoff opponent for the first 3 rounds of this Stanley cup hunt.
“It’s a great accomplishment for this team and this organization to finish first place in the Western Conference,” said Flames goaltender Mike Smith who was in-between the pipes in that game. “That doesn’t come around very often, so it says a lot about the group in here.”
The Flames won their next game against the Los Angeles Kings 7-2 and lost in the hands of the Anaheim Ducks 3-1. The Calgary Flames will come back home for the last game of the regular season against the Edmonton Oilers for the Battle of Alberta, right before the playoffs commence.
The Canadian Womens Hockey League is coming to an end as of May 1st due to financial reasons.
“The CWHL announced Sunday morning the 12 year old leagues business model is economically unstable.”
The announcement comes one week after the Calgary Inferno beat the Les Canadiennes de Montreal 5-2 for the Clarkson Cup championship in Toronto. The game was broadcast by Sportsnet and the French language network TVA, it had roughly 175,000 viewers, a record viewing number for the CWHL.
The CWHL announced Sunday morning the 12 year old leagues business model is economically unstable. The league has been around since 2007 and operates 6 teams in North America and China.
With closure of the CHWL, the National Womens Hockey League becomes the only remaining women’s league in North America. Players from CWHL could potentially join the NWHL.
The board of directors of the CWHL announced that as of May 1st, 2019 the CWHL will be no more. Last week 175,000 fans tuned in to watch the 12th edition of the Clarkson Cup which became the new record for most viewership for one of their games.
The CWHL doesn’t have the mandatory funding to support the continuation of the league as Venture Capital firm Roustan Capital their primary source of financing pulled out.
“Unfortunately, while the on-ice hockey is exceptional, the business model has proven to be economically unsustainable,”
The CWHL started in 2007 with 6 teams in the league spreading across Canada and attracting many top female players over the country. The league operated on a budget of just $3.7 million in 2017-2018.
Many fans took to twitter and vented their opinions saying things like “It’s a great sport to watch” and they are sad to see it go. “The folding of the League is a travesty for the players and fans” and “The league inspired future generations for hockey players”.
Pundits say that the ideal outcome would be for the Women’s Hockey in North America to unite with the NHL and provide infrastructure and marketing.
The Canadian Women’s Hockey League has announced the it will terminate operations on May 1st.
In a press release, the CWHL said the hockey they are providing on the ice is exceptional, however their new business model is economically unstable.
The CWHL has been around since 2007 and features some of the top women in ice hockey. With 6 teams in the league spreading across Canada from Montréal to Calgary, Worchester in the USA and recent expansion to Shenzhen, China. The league has been key in developing the sport and for giving young up and coming players somewhere to look up to.
The announcement came a week after the Calgary Inferno won their second league title defeating les Canadiennes de Montréal, by a score 5-2 in front of 175,000 roaring fans.
“It’s hard to remain optimistic.”
Players from around the league took to social media, showing their feelings on the announcement.
“This Morning we were informed the CWHL is folding. As players, we will do our best to find a solution so this isn’t our last season of hockey but it’s hard to remain optimistic.” Natalie Spooner of the Toronto Furies and team Canada Olympic gold and silver medalist, “I have lots (of memories)… Winning the Clarkson cup in 2014 was a highlight of my career, but some of my favorite memoires are meeting the young girls who cheer us on, telling me they want to play for the Toronto Furies when they are older.”
In ternational teammate Meghan Mikkelson was hoping to return to the league next season, after having to miss this past year as she gave birth to her second child.
“Completely and totally shocked. Having planned to return to the CWHL with the Calgary Inferno next season, as a mother of 2 children based in Calgary, this is scary. As other players have said, it is hard to remain optimistic but could this be for the best?” Mikkelson was a member of the Inferno for their first Clarkson Cup championship.
Many players of the league are getting ready to dress for the women’s IIHF tournament which gets underway in Finland later this week. Most of the players found out about the league’s announcement through social media, including Inferno Captain Rebecca Johnston who also said the players will do their best to find a solution and try to make it not their final season.
While the league and women’s hockey have been making strides in moving forward for recognition, with games being broadcast on Sportsnet including the Clarkson Cup Final and a few players taking part in the NHL’s Allstar weekend, the sudden folding of the league took players and fans by surprise.
The Calgary Hitmen won 5-3 the first time this series in the opening round of the Western Hockey League playoffs against the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes fell behind after the Hitmen’s Ryder Korczak and Carson Focht scored in the first five minutes of the first period. Calgary scored again in the second one.
“We need to be better.“
Lethbridge later retaliated in the third period, but Calgary scored two more points.
A lot was at stake for the Hitmen, after they lost their two first matches of the best-of-seven series.
Despite the victory, Hurricane head coach Brent Kisio remains cautious. After the game, he said: “We’ll review the tape. We need to be better. We’ve got to play harder and just keep things a little bit simpler.”
Lethbridge is currently leading the playoffs 2-1. The next match will be on Thursday in Calgary.