With Alberta on hockey’s centre stage, Flames and Oilers deliver 15-goal classic

CALGARY – Count Darryl Sutter is one of the few folks in southern Alberta who wasn’t buzzing with excitement following his club’s tribute to the 80s.

Yet, he still found a way to play along.

“Missed the convert,” was the Jolly Rancher’s opening take on Wednesday’s reinstallment of the Battle of Alberta.

“We were told it was a boring series last time, so I told the players yesterday, ‘we’ve got to score 7-10 goals today because they’d probably score 5-8 to win,’ so that’s what we did.”

Coming off a series against Dallas that took five games for the Flames to score nine goals, the Flames opened the first provincial punch-up in 31 years with a memorable 9-6 win over an Oilers squad that heard chants of “We want 10” a mere seven minutes in.

A classic in the eyes of almost everyone who wasn’t skating in the game, the Flames scored twice in the opening minute, gave up two four-goal leads and broke a 6-6 tie early in the third with three finishing touches.

Earlier in the day the players took turns shrugging when asked what they knew about the hockey played in this north-south classic dating back to before they were born.

Well, they did a fine job emulating their forefathers with the NHL’s first 15-goal playoff game in 29 years. 

The 31st meeting between the Alberta neighbours opened the second-round series with the highest scoring in Battle lore,…

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