Sports

Flames can’t stop Ice Hawks’ rally

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The Ridge Meadows Flames lost in overtime for the second straight game Tuesday night, as the team let a three-goal lead on the Delta Ice Hawks slip away with seven minutes remaining in regulation.

The Flames are now winless in their last four games, and were out-shot for the eighth straight game, this time by a margin of 44-35.

The team started strong, however, taking a 3-0 lead on the Pacific International Junior Hockey League-leading Ice Hawks in their own rink, thanks to goals by Sean Kavanagh, CJ Legassic, and Ryan Stewart.

The Ice Hawks got on the board seven minutes into the second period, but Legassic responded for the Flames to restore the three-goal lead.

Shots were nearly even going to the third period, with Flames goaltender stopping 27 of 28 shots fired his way.

The Ice Hawks, however, were keen to display some of the form that has helped them to 29-6-2 record so far this season.

Four minutes in, the Ice Hawks scored on the power play to draw within two. But again, Legassic, the Flames’ captain, had an answer, scoring less than a minute later to complete the hat trick and keep the Flames three-goal lead intact.

The Ice Hawks pushed to tie the game up, and with less than seven minutes left, their efforts were rewarded.

With the score 5-3, the Flames clung to their two goal cushion until Aaron Merrick potted the Ice Hawks’ second power play goal of the game with four minutes left. Just 23 seconds later, Merrick scored again, tying the game and erasing the Flames three-goal lead in three minutes.

The buzzer sounded with both teams knotted at five apiece, and the extra frame proved to be all too brief, as the Ice hawks scored their fourth goal in seven minutes to win the game, just 22 seconds in.

The Flames were out-shot 16-8 in the third period and overtime, with Klassen allowing five goals in that span.

Legassic was named the game’s second star for his hat trick performance. Dustin Cervo collected a trio of assists, as did Danny Brandys, the Flames’ leading scorer this season.

The loss is the fourth straight for the Flames, who have allowed eight power play goals during that stretch. The team has gone 1-2-2 so far in the new year, and have yet to win on the road in 2011.

With just eight games remaining in the regular season, the Flames sit in third place in the Harold Brittain Conference with 34 points (16-20-2). The Mission Icebreakers, who hold the fourth and final conference play-off berth, are three points behind with three games in hand.

Game time

The Flames next home game is this Friday against the Aldergrove Kodiaks at Planet Ice in Maple Ridge. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

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