SUN Hockey Pool

Ref whistled for robbing win

RANDY SPORTAK

, Last Updated: 8:47 AM ET

The stats will show Jose Theodore stole a victory from the Calgary Flames.

The feelings in the club's dressing room are the real thief was referee Mick McGeough.

A 3-2 overtime loss to the Flames is how last night's clash with the Colorado Avalanche will go in the books, but the hosts can't be blamed for feeling ripped off because of McGeough's early whistle in the middle portion of the third period.

With the Flames were enjoying a five-on-three powerplay and looking to build on their one-goal lead, Daymond Langkow appeared to have scored an insurance goal that would have made it a 3-1 game when he deflected Alex Tanguay's sharp-angled pass.

However, McGeough -- who'll certainly now take the mantle of Calgary fans' least favourite official -- blew his whistle a split-second before the puck rolled over the line, to the chagrin of the 19,289 fans in the Saddledome. It was loose among Theodore's equipment for a moment, before rolling off him and into the net.

"I can't say too much about it," Tanguay said. "I hope he'll admit his mistake because it was definitely a mistake. The puck never stopped moving. There's no reason why the whistle should have been blown there. That's my thought.

"I made the pass to Langkow and he touched the puck. The puck, you can clearly see it on the replay, it never stopped moving so there's no reason why the whistle should have been blown or at least why he didn't review it."

Even head coach Mike Keenan got into the action, and took it a step further.

"Mick McGeough blew the call, there is no explanation," Keenan succinctly stated. "He knows it, we know it, everybody in the building knew it and the only explanation that is worth getting from him is why didn't they call (Marek) Svatos tripping on the tying goal. That was more of a non-call than a missed call. Missed calls happen in the game.

"McGeough, he knows he blew the whistle too quickly."

As for his take, Theodore felt he had the puck.

"Obviously, I thought I had it and then from there I didn't really see the replay," he said. "All night long the refs weren't blowing the whistle quick and it's just one of those plays. I have to see the replay to comment."

Given their second life, the Avs took full advantage. Svatos tied the game with just over four minutes remaining in regulation, and Joe Sakic set up Ryan Smyth 23 seconds into overtime to give Colorado its second comeback victory over the Flames this season.

Sakic's game-winning helper, combined with his first period goal, gave him 1,600 points for his illustrious career. Of all those points, 100 have come at the expense of the Flames, who he's faced 75 times.

While Sakic's milestone puts him in some elite company -- only eight others in NHL history have reached the mark -- Theodore most certainly is Colorado's man of the night.

He stopped 39 shots, many of them of the highlight-reel variety.

The Flames certainly had enough chances to add to the goals scored by Tanguay and Matthew Lombardi, but couldn't put enough pucks past Theodore.


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