Mangiapane and Backlund provide a spark to help Flames turn the narrative on the Stars

Mangiapane and Backlund provide a spark to help Flames turn the narrative on the Stars

CALGARY – Admit it, Flames fans:

Mind wandering.

Bogged down for two straight terms by Jake Oettinger and the Dallas Stars leading 1-0, the Flames entered the third period of Game 5 on Wednesday on the brink of what looked like another playoff streak on the brink.

Then a spark.

Thirteen seconds into the third, Michael Backlund opened the final frame with a scoring opportunity that got the fans and the team excited.

What followed was a boost that saw him fire seven shots on target before Backlund redirected Andrew Mangyaapan’s pass past Oettinger, roaring close to building a new circuit.


“It was so loud,” Backlund said of the celebration seven minutes into the third game of the 1-1 game.

I was screaming my feelings too and I don’t think anyone heard me.

“It’s also great to see all the fans outside the ring as well, cheering for us. That’s cool. The Red Lotus I think they call it. It’s great to see so many people show up.”

“It gives you a bang to look up to see the screen and see all the fans out there.”
That’s exactly what the players were doing during the ensuing TV timeout, as five thousand fans appeared outside the dome jumping to the music.

Minutes later, the southern county joined them in dancing after the chained Mangiapane took Backlund’s pass over the blue line and exited the kennel using a snapper that raised the decibel level again.

Just like that, the switch is flipped over the chain and combo.

“It was great,” smiled Mangyabani, a sweetly speaking, who had played just over ten minutes in the previous game.

“Obviously I was a little happy there.

“It was so loud. I was so excited. It was so wonderful when he scored an appearance. To hear the building explode.

The fans were waiting for a goal and it was a big goal scored by their backs there.

“It’s kind of an explosion.

“I think our entire team was fed up with that energy from the crowd there.”

Ice home feature, a lot of patience pays off.

As Flames fans walked through their living rooms and hallway wondering how the momentum from Game 4 with 40 minutes of All-Star defensive dominance could vanish, the message in the locker room was simple:

keep going.

Sure, this 23-year-old in the Dallas network will prove to be a human in the end.

“I think a lot of players came forward and talked in the room and the message was clear: ‘Put the period behind us and get out and play our game’,” said Backlund, who scored one goal in the series while playing match five.

“He thinks. Just get back to our game, and that’s what we did in the third game. Our first turn we had a chance to score and that created energy for the group to roll. Great response in the third.”

Saver reaction to the season, perhaps.

“They rose to another level and we didn’t,” Stars coach Rick Bowness said, as his side were the low-event hockey champions in the first two spells, limiting both teams to 16 shots.

“We didn’t handle it very well. We obviously stayed with them for a couple of terms. They just raised it in the third and we didn’t handle the tweaks well to give us a chance to spend some time in their area.”

As he was quick to point out, in Game 2, his team managed to maintain a 1-0 lead in third place, which is why Flames fans were worried.

Hours before the ball landed, Sutter was asked what Mangyapan needed to do to be most effective, leading the coach to suggest he needed to hold the structure in place.

On one night when the 35-goal player spent time on the third streak, he scored his first goal in the series for the match winner.

“Good tough match,” said Sutter, who collected Backlund’s line, Mangiapane, Blake Coleman in time for third.

“That’s what’s expected of him. It’s not what I did, it’s what you do.

What they’re doing now makes everyone wonder how the stars will respond at home on Friday and if the flames can finish it in six.

“Game 3 is much more difficult than winning Game 2,” said Sutter, whose club only allowed three shots on target in the last 10 minutes before Trevor Lewis hit the empty net.

“A lot of our players have never won Game 3, so Game 4 is going to be much more difficult than winning Game 3.”

2022-05-12 06:56:00

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.