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Calgary Flames extend win streak with 5-2 victory over Chicago Blackhawks

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CALGARY — Matthew Tkachuk’s goal late in the third period broke a 2-2 tie as the Calgary Flames remained red hot on Tuesday with a 5-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.

The game-winner came on a fortuitous bounce at the 14:25 mark as Tkachuk’s centring pass went off the skate of Chicago defenceman Seth Jones and over the shoulder of goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

Dillon Dube, Milan Lucic and a pair of empty netters from Trevor Lewis and Johnny Gaudreau rounded out the scoring for Calgary (12-3-5).

Reese Johnson had a goal and an assist — his first two NHL points — to lead the offence for Chicago (6-11-2). Brandon Hagel also scored.

Jacob Markstrom had 19 saves as the Flames extended their win streak to four games. Calgary sits alone atop the Western Conference.

Coming off a 40-save shutout against the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday, Marc-Andre Fleury had a tough start to the night, getting beat twice on the first six shots before slamming the door until late in the third. He finished with 34 stops and fell to 5-8-0.

Both Blackhawk goals were the result of costly turnovers.

After the Flames grabbed the lead just 1:19 into the game, Hagel tied it at 8:57 when Tyler Pitlick coughed up the puck along the sideboards and Hagel whipped a quick shot into the top corner.

Lucic’s goal at 13:06 gave Calgary a 2-1 lead after the first period, but Chicago tied it 3:51 into the second on another freebie.

From behind the net, Markstrom’s pass attempt to Elias Lindholm went off the heel of Lindholm’s stick and was promptly fired into the open net by Johnson.

After that miscue, Markstrom made a string of saves to keep the game tied.

First, he squeezed a dangerous shot from Patrick Kane from 20 feet out as he broke in off the right wing.

On his next shift, Kane got a breakaway, only to see Markstrom to turn him aside again, getting a blocker on a shot that also ticked off the post.

Later in the period, Markstrom jabbed out his pad to make a skate save on Kirby Dach. Right after that, he acrobatically got across the crease to rob Hagel after he was set up on a two-on-one by Jonathan Toews.

Dube opened the scoring on Calgary’s first shot when he fired a wrist shot off the left wing just over the pad of Fleury.

NOTES: Johnson’s goal was the first that the Flames’ top line of Lindholm, Gaudreau and Tkachuk have surrendered at five-on-five all season. … Calgary improves to 12-1-3 when scoring first while the Blackhawks fall to 0-9-1 when falling behind 1-0. … Chicago captain Jonathan Toews has yet to score in 19 games. Having sat out last season, his last goal was on March 5, 2020.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 23, 2021.

Darren Haynes, The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Alberta ombudsman says she doesn't have the power to probe EMS dispatch consolidation

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EDMONTON — Alberta’s ombudsman says she doesn’t have the power to investigate a complaint about the decision to consolidate ambulance emergency dispatch services in the province.

The complaint was filed by the cities of Red Deer, Calgary, Lethbridge and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

The municipalities have contended that the decision to consolidate the dispatch services to save the government money could put the lives of people in their communities at risk.

In a release late Friday, Ombudsman Marianne Ryan says the decision was technically made by Alberta Health Services, which her office is prohibited by law from investigating.

When the United Conservative government announced the consolidation in August 2020, then health minister Tyler Shandro said the province’s dispatch system would allow for better co-ordination of all ground ambulances and air resources.

At the time, the four mayors of the municipalities, none of whom are now still in office, said they were blindsided by the decision and would fight the change.

“While the issue being complained about clearly affects many Albertans, I am bound by my governing legislation to only investigate matters that are clearly within my jurisdiction,” Ryan said in the release.

“Given the substance of the complaint has been widely reported in the media and that it relates to an issue affecting a great many Albertans, I advised the mayors that I would be making a public statement.”

Last February, a judge granted an interim injunction sought by Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services after the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo stopped transferring emergency medical calls to the provincial dispatch centre.

The municipality, which includes Fort McMurray, stopped transferring calls after its council decided the provincial ambulance dispatch service was putting patients at risk due to delays and confusion.

A lawyer for Wood Buffalo had argued it was in the public interest for the municipality to keep handling emergency medical calls through its own dispatch centre.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2021

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Alberta Ombudsman can’t do anything about City of Red Deer complaint about 9-11 Dispatch

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Ombudsman Responds to Municipalities’ Complaint About Ambulance Dispatch

Marianne Ryan, Alberta’s Ombudsman took the unusual step of publicly commenting on a complaint received involving Alberta Health Services.

The City of Red Deer, along with the municipalities of Calgary, Lethbridge and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo filed a complaint to the Ombudsman regarding Alberta Health Services’ consolidation of ambulance emergency dispatch services.

The Ombudsman Act authorizes the Ombudsman to investigate administrative decisions of government ministries and many related bodies, but the Act specifically prohibits her from investigating decisions of Alberta Health Services (AHS).

“My office thoroughly analyzed the complaint and confirmed that the decision to consolidate ambulance dispatch services was indeed made by AHS. While many government-related bodies fall under my jurisdiction, AHS is not one of them,” stated Marianne Ryan, Alberta’s Ombudsman. “In fact, the Ombudsman Act specifically states that my powers of investigation do not apply to health authorities. My ability to investigate AHS decisions would require a change in legislation. While the issue being complained about clearly affects many Albertans, I am bound by my governing legislation to only investigate matters that are clearly within my jurisdiction.”

Investigations by the Ombudsman are conducted in confidence, and it is the Ombudsman’s general practice not to comment publicly on complaints, especially ones that are not being investigated.

“Given the substance of the complaint has been widely reported in the media and that it relates to an issue affecting a great many Albertans, I advised the mayors that I would be making a public statement.”

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