SUN Hockey Pool

Mike wins battle against Miikka

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:53 PM ET

Many moons have passed while the Edmonton Oilers searched for a netminder to beat Miikka Kiprusoff in a goaltending duel.

Who'd have guessed Mike Morrison would be the one to finally do the deed.

For the first time since Kiprusoff joined the Flames in November of 2003, he was beat by the Oilers -- the victim of a classic goalie battle in a 2-1 shootout win last night at the Saddledome.

Morrison, the first-year NHLer who's won all four of his starts since joining the Oilers earlier this month, understood the impact of beating the more heralded Kiprusoff.

"It just pumped me up. It's great to see the fans in Calgary, he stops a puck on an icing and they get on their feet. It's thrilling how loud they get for him," said the 26-year-old from Boston. "He's a great goalie. I remember watching in the playoffs while I was on a cruise in the Caribbean and here I am playing against him. It's awesome."

Just like Morrison was in handling 27 shots plus four more in the shootout to snap Calgary's five-game winning streak in the Battle of Alberta.

Not bad for a goalie who only a few weeks ago was toiling for ECHL Greenville.

"He's not going (back) tomorrow, I'll tell you that," said Oilers coach Craig MacTavish. "He made a couple of big saves at the end and really held the net well and that's what you have to do against Calgary because they swarm the net."

Though not busy in the first period, Morrison began to show his skill after the midway point with great saves on Chuck Kobasew and Marcus Nilson. He also denied Jarome Iginla on a partial breakaway in the third.

In OT, he stopped Iginla and Andrew Ference in succession late in the extra frame before putting a stamp on his night by denying Tony Amonte, Iginla, Dion Phaneuf and Kobasew in the shootout.

"I love (shootouts) because you've already got the point in the bank," he explained. "So it's just go out there and have fun like you're a kid playing street hockey."


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