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Flames finally flex offensive chops with sustained pressure in Game 4 win –



DALLAS — Smack dab in the middle of a statement game for the Calgary Flames came a shift several members of the Dallas Stars won’t soon forget.

Moments earlier the Flames had finally cracked the Jake Oettinger code with a bar down point blast from Rasmus Andersson while on a two-man advantage.

It was their 31st shot on net and it came at the game’s midway point for a 1-0 lead.

What followed was a powerful demonstration of just how dominant the Flames can be with the 5-on-5 forecheck they thrived on all season long.

Dominating possession in the Dallas zone with patient passing, several shots and big hits, the Flames toyed with the Stars for more than four minutes, almost entirely in the Stars’ zone.

While the Flames made several line changes in the process, Jason Robertson, Tyler Seguin and Miro Heiskanen gasped for air, desperate to keep the puck out of their net as they skated in circles trying to diffuse the situation.

While Oettinger stood firm, the Stars endured the type of pressure the Flames became known for this year, cobbling together a momentum-building push that had Robertson stuck on the ice for an unheard of 4:20.

Seguin sucked air for 3:07, and Heiskanen endured a 2:45 sentence.

Longer than most Darryl Sutter pressers.

Even the lowest-intensity of beer league teams rarely see shifts like that.

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“That was a hard shift for them, then they iced it and had to keep them out there,” said Sutter, following a 4-1 win that evened their series 2-2.

“A big point in the game there.”

Four games into the series and the Calgary Flames were finally flexing their offensive chops.

Sure, the period ended with the Flames up just 1-0 despite outshooting the hosts 39-22.

However, the Flames had finally figured out a way to penetrate the forcefield surrounding Oettinger the first three games.

Lots of traffic in front and plenty of point-blank chances.

Solving Oettinger again suddenly seemed inevitable, as opposed to impossible.

Midway through the third, a John Klingberg hook earned Johnny Gaudreau a penalty shot he made good on with a sweet forehand-to-backhand deke he finished between the 23-year-old’s legs.

“I was a tad nervous there to be honest with you,” smiled Gaudreau, who relieved some of the pressure heaped on him throughout the low-scoring series.

“I felt like he had my number there tonight. I had three or four really good opportunities to put the puck in the net. It was nice to find the net there and give us a two-goal lead.”

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Soon thereafter he set up Elias Lindholm to put the game out of reach, giving the Flames home ice advantage in a best-of-three showdown starting Wednesday in Calgary.

“I feel like since Game 1 I’ve been playing well and hard against this team, but obviously results weren’t there,” said Gaudreau, who now has three assists and a goal in the four games.

“Last game had a breakaway with two minutes left and wanted that one back. And then tonight, little different story, found the back of the net.

“That’s the way hockey is. You can’t score ’em all but it was nice to help this team win tonight.

“The momentum is we’re going home and playing in front of our fans.”

They’ll do so with a bounce in their step and a red-hot goalie who made 34 saves.

The only shot that beat Jacob Markstrom all night was a Tyler Seguin power play finish with the game out of reach with five minutes remaining.

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Despite all the hand wringing in Calgary the previous few days, the Flames fly home Tuesday with every reason to believe they can solve the smothering Stars.

Gaudreau’s six shots on goal included several Grade A chances the goalie robbed him on.

“He’s good on breakaways,” said Sutter, straight-faced, two nights after being critical for Gaudreau’s breakaway miss in the dying minutes.

“He’s got lots of different moves. This one worked.”

One game after making strides with 41 shots on Oettinger, the Flames peppered the Stars netminding revelation with 54 shots, reminiscent of the domination the Flames had grown accustomed to this season.

They’re back.

Oettinger had to be spectacular to keep it within reach, before the Flames broke the game open, thanks largely to The Shift.

“We had a good shift there, that’s what we can do 5-on-5,” said Andersson, whose club got an empty-netter from Mikael Backlund.

“For the most part I thought it was our game. We had around 50 shots on net and a lot of long shifts in their zone. We didn’t take too many penalties and we got to play 5-on-5 and that’s where we are a really good team.”

The Flames’ jump was evident from the opening puck drop, outshooting the hosts 19-8, which included a glove snare on Tyler Toffoli from five feet out that drew a roar from the crowd at American Airlines Center.

“Listen, he was the only reason we were in the game,” said Stars coach Rick Bowness of his netminder.

“I told the coaches after the game that ‘we just wasted a great goaltending performance.’ Their guy made some big saves, he didn’t get a lot of them but he made some big saves at the right time. Otter was outstanding and so that’s why it was 1-0 going into the third and we had some looks to make it 1-1 and then they got the penalty shot.”

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By night’s end, every single Flame recorded at least one shot on goal, including Michael Stone who made his playoff debut with a game-high eight shots. Sutter chose to play with seven defencemen at the expense of 12th forward Brett Ritchie.

Sutter said he was worried the group was a tired bunch since playing short a defenceman in Game 1 when Andersson was tossed early.

“Pretty solid game for us tonight — pretty similar to the last couple,” summed up Sutter, reminding everyone his message was simply to stay the course.

“The strength of our game is 5-on-5, I’ve said it lots. Our special teams are a function of what we do 5-on-5.”

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Sports – Rivals100 DE Vic Burley talks top schools ahead of summer visits



Vic Burley has a busy summer ahead.

The recruiting process is winding down for one of the most coveted defensive ends in the 2023 class. The Rivals100 prospect has official visits set to Tennessee (end of May), Michigan State (June 3-5), Georgia (June 10-12), and Ohio State (June 24-26). Burley will also take an official visit to Clemson for a game this fall.

On Georgia: “We really want you, that’s been their main message. They’re always contacting me saying hey, we care about you, we want you. They just ask about what’s going on in a normal day, stuff like that. I probably talk to them every day”.

On Tennessee: “I talk to them probably four times a week. (Their message is) we want you here. You’ll be a special part of this team that we can really build around you.”

On Clemson: “Their message is really, D-line U. If you want to be developed, you come here. Now they’re kind of comparing me to Myles Murphy a little bit. A little bit more versatile, down the line.”

On Ohio State: “Just that legacy they have of producing really good defensive linemen. Nick Bosa, Joey Bosa, Chase Young to name a few. It just really stands out.”

On when he wants to commit: “Probably pretty early in the season.”

Georgia, Tennessee, and Clemson have long appeared to be the frontrunners in Burley’s recruitment. That still seems to be the case. A program to watch, however, is Ohio State. The Buckeyes’ tradition of sending top pass rushers to the NFL appeals to Burley, and he feels he could fit well in Ohio State’s defense as a 4-3 defensive end.

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Melbourne Victory vs Western United prediction, preview, team news and more | A-League 2021-22



The A-League returns to the fold with its second leg of semi-final matches this weekend as Western United take on Melbourne Victory on Saturday. Melbourne Victory managed a narrow victory in the first leg and will want to finish the job this week.

Western United managed a third-placed finish in the A-League standings and have stepped up to the plate this season. The away side has suffered a slump in recent weeks and will need to bounce back this weekend.

Melbourne Victory, on the other hand, are in second place in the league table and have improved after a recent poor run. The hosts have endured a few defensive issues in recent weeks and will need to present a robust front in this fixture.

John Aloisi is used to answering tough questions from journalists, but facing our junior reporters is a whole different ball game.Full video 🎥

Melbourne Victory vs Western United Head-to-Head

Western United and Melbourne Victory are on an even footing as far as the head-to-head record is concerned and have won four games apiece out of a total of 10 matches played between the two sides.

The previous meeting between the two teams took place in the first leg and ended in a 1-0 victory for Melbourne Victory. Western United were wasteful on the day and will need to be more clinical this weekend.

Melbourne Victory form guide in the A-League: W-W-W-D-W

Western United form guide in the A-League: L-L-D-L-W

Melbourne Victory vs Western United Team News

Melbourne Victory have a few injury concerns
Melbourne Victory have a few injury concerns

Melbourne Victory

Robbie Kruse is injured at the moment and has been ruled out for the remainder of the season. Matt Action and Matt Spiranovic have completed their recoveries and will be included in the squad.

Injured: Robbie Kruse

Doubtful: None

Suspended: None

Western United have a point to prove
Western United have a point to prove

Western United

Nikolai Topor-Stanley and Alessandro Diamanti are injured and will not be included in the squad for this week’s match. Josh Risdon has recovered from his injury and will be available for selection.

Injured: Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Alessandro Diamanti

Doubtful: None

Suspended: None

Melbourne Victory vs Western United Predicted XI

Melbourne Victory Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Ivan Kelava; Jason Davidson, Brendan Hamill, Matthew Spiranovic, Jason Geria; Joshua Brilliante, Jay Barnett; Ben Folami, Jake Brimmer, Marco Rojas; Nicholas D’Agostino

Western United Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Jamie Young; Ben Garuccio, Leo Lacroix, Josh Risdon, Tomoki Imai; Steven Lustica, Rene Krhin; Dylan Wenzel-Halls, Adisu Bayew, Lachlan Wales; Aleksandar Prijovic

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Melbourne Victory vs Western United Prediction

Melbourne Victory have been in impressive form since the turn of the year and are unbeaten in their last seven league games. The hosts have a marginal deficit on aggregate and will need to be on guard against an upset.

Western United have struggled this month and have a few issues to solve ahead of this match. Melbourne Victory are in better form, however, and should be able to win this game.

Prediction: Melbourne Victory 2-1 Western United

Edited by Aditya Hosangadi

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Spanish Grand Prix: Ferrari lead way in Practice One, Mercedes show promise with upgrades



Championship leader Charles Leclerc and team-mate Carlos Sainz set the pace as the weekend got underway in Barcelona; Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was third-fastest; watch second practice live on Sky Sports F1 from 3.45pm (4pm start)

Last Updated: 20/05/22 2:55pm

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Sky F1’s Karun Chandhok looks back on Charles Leclerc’s fastest lap in the Ferrari during opening practice in Spain.

Sky F1’s Karun Chandhok looks back on Charles Leclerc’s fastest lap in the Ferrari during opening practice in Spain.

Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz laid down early markers for this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix as they topped the timesheet in Practice One.

Championship leader Leclerc set the pace with a fastest lap of 1:19.828, with Sainz just 0.079sec behind him. Reigning champion Max Verstappen was third-fastest in the Red Bull.

Meanwhile, there were encouraging signs for Mercedes and the updates they are debuting in Barcelona, with George Russell and Lewis Hamilton fourth and sixth respectively within a second of Leclerc.

Ride onboard with Carlos Sainz’s helmet cam, as the Ferrari driver sets the fastest time so far during first practice at the Circuit de Catalunya track.

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Ride onboard with Carlos Sainz’s helmet cam, as the Ferrari driver sets the fastest time so far during first practice at the Circuit de Catalunya track.

Ride onboard with Carlos Sainz’s helmet cam, as the Ferrari driver sets the fastest time so far during first practice at the Circuit de Catalunya track.

Title rivals Leclerc and Verstappen had been the pacesetters in the first half of the session, but the switch to soft tyres saw the Ferrari duo seize the initiative and crack the 1:20s barrier, which would see them lock out the top two.

Verstappen, winner of three Grand Prix so far in 2022, had to settle for third in the first session of the weekend although was just three-tenths off the time set by Leclerc, who leads the Dutchman in the drivers’ standing by 19 points heading into the Spanish Grand Prix.

Mercedes, meanwhile, will take solace from the promising signs their upgrades – including a redesigned floor – are having the desired effect, with the car suffering from noticeably less porpoising which has dogged the reigning champions during the early rounds of the year.

George Russell had to take evasive action in his Mercedes during P1 in Spain.

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George Russell had to take evasive action in his Mercedes during P1 in Spain.

George Russell had to take evasive action in his Mercedes during P1 in Spain.

Russell led the way for the Brackley-based team during P1, with him and Hamilton sandwiching Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in fifth place. McLaren duo Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, and the Alpha Tauris of Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda rounded out the top 10.

Elsewhere, Juri Vips, who is also competing in this weekend’s Formula 2 races, was among the first drivers out onto the track at the start of the hour-long session as the young driver being given an opportunity by Red Bull in Spain.

He was over four seconds off the pace in place of Sergio Perez when the chequered flag dropped, while Formula E champion Nyck de Vries, the other young driver taking part in the session, finished 18th while filling in for Alex Albon at Williams.

Spanish GP Practice 1 timesheet

Driver Team Time
1) Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:19.828
2) Carlos Sainz Ferrari +0.079
3) Max Verstappen Red Bull +0.336
4) George Russell Mercedes +0.762
5) Fernando Alonso Alpine +0.940
6) Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +0.983
7) Lando Norris McLaren +1.451
8) Pierre Gasly Alpha Tauri +1.594
9) Daniel Ricciardo McLaren +1.909
10) Yuki Tsunoda Alpha Tauri +1.986
11) Esteban Ocon Alpine +2.063
12) Lance Stroll Aston Martin +2.092
13) Robert Kubica Alfa Romeo +2.147
14) Kevin Magnussen Haas +2.261
15) Mick Schumacher Haas +2.318
16) Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin +2.336
17) Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo +2.786
18) Nyck De Vries Williams +3.092
19) Nicholas Latifi Williams +3.183
20) Juri Vips Red Bull +4.310

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