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'LOOKING TO PROVE MYSELF'

Since being recalled last week, Alan Quine has been a key contributor at both ends of the ice

by RYAN DITTRICK @ryandittrick / CalgaryFlames.com

His initial reaction was that of astonishment.

The pass landed with hurricane velocity, narrowly avoiding the twigs of at least three defenders en route, and Alan Quine had no time to react.

"I was ready," the forward said of his third-period equalizer last Thursday in Nashville. "I got myself into a good position at the bottom of the circle, saw a lane and was calling for it.

"But Gio… Wow. What a rocket that was. He sold that shot so well and ripped it right on my tape.

"Threw everybody off.

"I had to get my stick down in a hurry and make sure I handled it clean.

"Thankfully, I did."

To bear down and make the play in a fraction of a second - to bury with that kind of extreme, surgical precision on one knee like a tiger on the prowl - speaks to the kind of player Quine has become.

The goal capped off what was a whirlwind month of October that included a pair of round-trip airfare packages from Calgary to Stockton, Calif., another half-dozen flights on a recent, 10-day business trip, and enough nights in a hotel to earn platinum status, that quick.

On Oct. 1, he was part of a three-man troupe to make the trip south as one of the final subtractions to the Flames' opening-night roster.

On Halloween, he scored a big goal as part an improbable, possibly once-in-a-lifetime comeback in one of the toughest barns on the circuit.

 

Video: CGY@NSH: Quine buries shot from circle to tie game

 

"Pretty crazy," Quine said, thinking back on the busy itinerary that also included a stopover - on short notice - in Regina for the Heritage Classic last week.

"It's a little tough when you're trying to get settled, somewhere, and you're up and down like that, but that's part of the business. That's what I want, what I'm working for, to have a chance at opportunities like that.

"To think, a few days earlier I was a plane somewhere and then to be part of that game in Nashville, it's pretty special. … We all had a feeling that we were going to make a comeback, and I was able to tie it up there, which - considering the emotion of the game, how that third period was going - was a pretty unbelievable feeling. It was awesome to get the win that night.

"We showed that we're relentless, that we're never going to give in, give up, or back down from a fight. We were down three goals. That says a lot about the group in here, the character, and the belief in our team here.

"And personally, to be a part of something like that, it helped take my confidence to a new level by finding a way to contribute."

So, here he is now.

FINALLY back in Calgary - settled, as much one can be in yet another hotel setting - and ready to show it in front of the home crowd again tonight, alongside Derek Ryan and Sam Bennett.

If all goes well, this latest trip north could be his longest one yet, with an unfortunate injury to Austin Czarnik freeing up a spot and making the opportunity possible.

Quine was one of the Flames' better 'bubble' forwards in training camp and made a strong case to make the team with a consistently good showing in his five pre-season appearances.

He finished the exhibition campaign with a goal and two helpers, and proved to Bill Peters and the rest of the coaching staff that he could be relied upon in just about every
situation.

His versatility remains a strong suit, with his ability to handle the tough matchups and be a key contributor on special teams.

"I felt I had a really good camp," Quine said. "I was told I had a really good camp. But sometimes the business side plays a role and you have to roll with it.

"It was a little bump in the road. But it was on me to then use it in a positive manner.

"I wanted to go down to Stockton, get my minutes and my confidence up, so that when the call did come, I'd be even more ready to
make an impact at this level.

"I wasn't there long, but I think I was able to do that."

With five points (1G, 4A) in four games, it sure seems like it.

Now he's looking to build on what was accomplished on the road trip.

And prove the Nashville game was really just the beginning.

"Every day, every minute I'm on the ice, I'm looking to prove myself," Quine said. "As you get more comfortable, you tend to get more confident, too.

"I can feel both are trending in the right direction for me right now."

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