Ultimate goal still lies ahead

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:45 PM ET


 Jarome Iginla grabbed the Clarence Campbell Bowl and darted off the Saddledome ice like a thief in the night.

 No parade around the ice.

 No silver-plated smooch for the gathered cameras.

 No raising the spoils of victory above his head.

 Just off the ice, down the tunnel and into the Calgary Flames dressing room where the huge trophy -- named after the former NHL president -- was stashed out of sight.

 "In order to win the Stanley Cup, we had to win the conference but that's not the trophy that we ultimately want," said veteran centre Stephane Yelle, who won two Cups with the Colorado Avalanche.

 In fact, Iginla shrugged off questions about the trophy's whereabouts in a post-game press conference, claiming he didn't know where the memento wound up.

 The Flames view last night's 3-1 win over the San Jose Sharks, which clinched the Western Conference title, as more of a Stanley Cup semifinal than an important title.

 "We want the big one," said defenceman Robyn Regehr, a neophyte to the NHL playoffs who was clearly not impressed with last night's wares.

 "You want to show respect to the fans by taking the trophy (off the ice) but we weren't going to parade it around the ice.

 "Jarome just grabbed it and took it back to the room."

 It's the same trophy the Flames won in 1989 after clinching what was then called the Clarence Campbell Conference before going on to win the Stanley Cup.


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