Oh, to finally be the bride

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:19 PM ET


 TAMPA -- Rhett Warrener has been in the Stanley Cup final twice.

 However, he's never been this close to the big prize.

 Still, the Calgary Flames defenceman doesn't want to get too excited about being one win away from hockey's Holy Grail.

 "If you don't get that one game, you're just as close as a team that didn't make the playoffs," he stated in the aftermath of last night's 3-2 overtime victory.

 Warrener was a runner-up with Florida in 1996 and Buffalo in '99 and will do his best leading up to tomorrow night's Game 6 at the Saddledome to ensure his teammates feel the same way -- know last night's thrilling victory is just another step toward the pinnacle and nothing more.

 "It's closer and closer but it's not over," he said. "They're a good team over there and they're not gonna quit. We best start thinking about the next game."

 A next game that's no more important than any other game in the march to the prize.

 At least, that's what Chris Simon, a champion with Colorado in 1996, was proclaiming.

 "We've got to go out and prepare to win the next game," he said.

 "That's what we did (last night), just thought about winning (one game) and our team stayed composed and worked hard."

 Even youngsters on the squad have been briefed.

 "It's just another opportunity for us, really," said second-year defenceman Jordan Leopold, who won a college crown two seasons ago. "We have to meet the challenge. It's just got to be another day, another game.

 "We can't get too stressed out about it. It's a fun situation you just have to enjoy."

 Calgary will certainly enjoy it if its hockey heroes claim the Cup for the first time since 1989.

 "They'll be pumped," Leopold said. "The city of Calgary's probably going bonkers right now. We're excited to go home."


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