SUN Hockey Pool

Still a bitter pill to swallow

NADIA MOHARIB -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:25 AM ET

Time heals all wounds -- except the pain of losing the Stanley Cup on a goal nobody saw.

The history books will have a different version of events, but many hockey fans in this city say Game 6 of last year's Stanley Cup final made the Calgary Flames winners of the coveted prize.

Even a year without hockey due to a labour dispute has done little to dull the heartache.

One year ago today, Calgary's Martin 'The Eliminator' Gelinas looked to have scored late in regulation time of an eventual 3-2 double-overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, which could have given Calgary its second Stanley Cup.

With seven minutes remaining in regulation time and the game tied 2-2, Gelinas seemingly scored the go-ahead goal when he redirected an Oleg Saprykin pass in the crease.

Off-ice officials deemed the video replay, which seemed to show the puck cross the goal-line, as inconclusive. Even today, many fans still insist it was in.

Two days later, the Flames lost 2-1 to the Lightning in Game 7.

People like Jeremy Gardiner think Game 6 was the day the Flames were robbed of the right to the pinnacle of NHL glory.

"Oh, you mean the game we won?" said Gardiner, playing pool at Schanks Athletic Club's southern location yesterday.

"We still talk about it. They are still winners in my heart. It's sad, but I hold in my inner rage."

Matt Besner, 22, said the Flames went from being on top of the world prior to that game to a downhill plummet as the Lightning took the Cup.

"I remember it like it was yesterday," he said of the bittersweet memories. "We know we won the Cup."

Cheryl Andrew said the game, featuring what became known as The Goal No One Saw, was a ripoff with no recourse.

"We were robbed," she said. "But what can you do?"

Avid Flames fan Nick David, who still gets goosebumps revisiting memories of Game 6, said he has moved on.

But it wasn't easy.

"It still hurts, the Cup was ours," he said while drinking beers with his buddies. "I'm still drinking now."

Devon Donhuysen said he isn't dwelling over things which could have, or even should have, been.

But he would like to see a return of the Red Mile, a phenomenon that saw Flames fans create a sea of red on 17 Ave. S.W. on game days.


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