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Flames’ scoring returns
The Flames had plenty of goals to show for their two games last weekend, however it was the points that eluded the local junior B hockey team as it dropped two straight contests.
The Flames lost 9-4 to the Delta Ice Hawks in Pacific International Junior Hockey League action Friday night at home, before falling 7-4 to the Port Moody Black Panthers on the road Saturday night.
For a team that has only averaged two goals per game this season, the Flames’ eight goals show at least a glimmer of promise for team’s offence.
However, the team’s defence, staffed largely by rookie blueliners, once again proved to be the Flames’ undoing.
Matt Bissett scored a hat trick to lead the Flames offence Friday against the Ice Hawks. Despite losing 12-1 in their last meeting, the Flames held a 2-1 lead over the Ice Hawks after the first period.
However, the Ice Hawks came alive in the second period, out shooting the Flames 22-5 while taking a 6-2 lead.
The Flames managed a pair of goals in the third, but could only muster 16 shots on net all night, compared to 44 by Delta.
The Black Panthers led from start to finish Saturday night after taking an early 2-0 lead in the first period. The teams traded goals through the much of the first and second periods, with the Flames trailing 4-3 at the midway mark of the game.
However, Port Moody pulled away in the third period, handing the Flames their 12th loss in 14 games this season.
“Let’s be honest, the start we’ve had has been terrible,” said coach Tavis Eaton. “But we’re making improvements ... and we’re looking forward.”
Newly acquired goalie Wesley McLeod faced a combined 97 shots over the weekend, registering a .835 save percentage. Having only played one game this season prior to this weekend, McLeod is still getting his feet wet, said Eaton.
“We’re very happy with him,” he said. “He’s a very competitive player and he never gives up.”
Despite having only played four games with the club, Bissett has emerged as the team’s scoring leader with six goals and two assists in that span.
Eaton hopes as the team’s defensive core gains experience, the wins will come.
“I think we can win every time out,” said Eaton. “If you come prepared to play and are willing to work hard, the wins will come.”
The Flames are in Burnaby tonight (Wednesday) to take on the Grandview Steelers before facing conference rivals, the Abbotsford Pilots, on the road Friday.
• The Flames next home game is Friday, Nov.18, at 7:30 p.m. against the North Delta Devils.