Boyd's first year dream come true

KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:40 AM ET

TORONTO -- Truth be told, Dustin Boyd didn't expect to be on the ice in a pivotal situation.

But it turns out Calgary Flames head coach Jim Playfair was playing a hunch when he sent the rookie forward from Winnipeg over the boards with less than two minutes to play in a tie game.

That hunch led to the deciding goal against the Dallas Stars and gave Boyd his first goal in the National Hockey League.

"I was a bit surprised. I didn't even know what I was doing on the ice," Boyd said yesterday at Ricoh Coliseum while attending the AHL All-Star Classic. "It was against Marty Turco and it was the game-winner with about a minute and a half left in the game. What an awesome feeling. And it was on Hockey Night in Canada."

The goal itself was a thing of beauty, but came with some good fortune.

"The defenceman took a one-timer and missed the net," said Boyd, the Flames third round pick (98th overall) in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. "It came off the boards at a bad angle but I put it in the top corner.

Boyd's first professional season has provided more than its fair share of highlights. The former Moose Jaw Warriors sniper has made a smooth transition and is leading the Omaha Knights in scoring with 12 goals and 30 points in 32 games.

"It's been everything I've expected," said Boyd, who won a gold medal with Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championship in Vancouver in 2006. "The game is a lot faster and the guys are a lot stronger than in junior, so you have to make that adjustment. It's been a good start."

He's also appeared in 11 games with the Flames, where he has one goal and three points.

"It's a dream come true," said Boyd, who played his first game at Joe Louis Arena against the Detroit Red Wings. "On my first shift, I got hit pretty hard and that woke me up. Chris Chelios slammed me into the boards and a few shifts later, (Kirk) Maltby got me pretty good. But it was a good experience.

"I wanted to get a few games in (the NHL) my first year, but I've got a pretty good look. You try to make the most of it. You never know when the (next) call can come."

Speaking of good experiences, being named to the All-star team was a thrill for Boyd, who found himself three stalls over from fellow Winnipegger and three-time Stanley Cup winner Mike Keane.

"It's good to get to put some names to the faces in the locker-room," he said.


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