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UTICA  Patrick Sieloff finally got back to defenseman and he celebrated with his second goal of the season.

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Calgary drafted the 20-year-old in the second round in 2012 as a defenseman, his natural position. Lately, however, Sieloff has been playing more forward for the Adirondack Flames than anything else.

With Adirondack short on players, Sieloff moved back to defense on Friday night against Utica. He responded with his first goal in three months, which tied the Flames and Comets up 1-1 early in the second period.

The score remained there until another rare goal-scorer struck. Mathieu Tousignant scored his fifth goal of the season about midway through the third period to give the Flames a 2-1 lead.

Turner Elson, who returned after leaving the Flames’ March 25 game on a stretcher, scored an empty-netter with less than a minute ago, a goal that proved necessary. Utica’s Cory Conacher scored 30 seconds later to make it 3-2, but the Flames held off any further comeback attempt and kept their playoff hopes alive.

Assuming the rest of the teams remain on their current paces, the Flames need at least eight points in their final five games (four wins or three wins and two overtime losses) to make the playoffs.

Doug Carr rebounded nicely from a rough showing on Monday against Toronto, when he allowed three goals on seven shots. In Friday’s win, Carr made 40 saves on 42 shots.

The Flames found themselves with just enough players for the game after Calgary recalled Emile Poirier, David Wolf, Mark Cundari and John Ramage that afternoon. Adirondack signed Christophe Lalonde to an amateur tryout deal and he debuted against Utica, giving the Flames exactly 18 skaters.

There is still a surplus of goalies, though. Calgary swapped Joni Ortio, who had not played since spraining his ankle Feb. 20, for Brad Thiessen on Thursday. Coach Ryan Huska said he didn’t yet have Thiessen’s travel plans, but the team wouldn’t keep four goalies around.

On Friday, there was no sign of Thiessen, but Adirondack did release Clay Witt and add Taran Kozun.

1st Period
Utica5:25Grenier 16, PP
2nd Period
Adirondack3:11Sieloff 2 (Acolatse)
3rd Period
Adirondack8:12Tousignant 5 (Vause)
Adirondack19:09Elson 15 (Harris), EN
Utica19:34Conacher 10 (O'Reilly, Grenier)

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