Sea of Red awash in victory

DAVE BREAKENRIDGE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:15 PM ET


 Flames fans were on fire as their hockey heroes handed the Lightning a 3-0 piece of humble pie at home in the 'Dome last night.

 But fan Brandon Gallagher says he knew all along the Flames are on a roll -- and Tampa can expect more of the same in Game 4.

 "They're not going to lose at home," Gallagher said.

 After posting a disappointing 4-1 loss to Tampa Bay in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final Thursday night, the lunchbox boys were back with a vengeance, potting two unanswered go-ahead goals in the second period.

 In the third, Flames captain Jarome Iginla further short-circuited Tampa's Cup hopes.

 With the third period buzzer fans poured out of the 'Dome and 17 Ave. S.W. bars cheering and shouting choruses of "Go Flames, go!"

 Fans honked car horns and high-fived as the parade snaked its way down the south-side drag, jam-packed with what cops estimated was between 35,000 and 40,000 people.

 Last night's crowd was probably the biggest of this Flames Cup run, said Wayne Leong, of the Melrose Cafe and Bar, 730 17 Ave. S.W.

 "I can't see the end ... it's phenomenal," Leong said of the roaring Sea of Red last night, which ran for 10 city blocks..

 The jubilation's great, but it's not over yet, said Calgarian Chris Shaw.

 "Tampa's going to have their game faces on for the next game, but the Flames can still take it in five," he said.

 Last night's game, the first Stanley Cup final game played in this city in 15 years, bred excitement. Blowhorns, barbecues and big red wigs were everywhere.

 Tailgaters came in from as far away as Newfoundland for the fun.

 Flames superfan Chad Humphries, who had driven in from Vancouver for the game, said the team played great last night, but knows the rest of the final won't be a walk in the park.

 "It's going to be a tough series. Tampa's a tough team," he said.

 Though most fans were well-behaved, the night was marred by a serious assault, which occurred outside the southwest entrance to the 'Dome just after the game. Police said one man was taken to hospital in critical condition.

 No further details were available.


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