New junior B Flames coach notches first win

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The newly named head coach of the Ridge Meadows Flames didn’t have to wait long to notch his first win with club. Unfortunately for coach Jamie Fiset, he wasn’t there to witness it.

The Flames trounced the Mission Icebreakers 7-1 on Thursday, giving Fiset his first win as  head coach of the local junior B hockey team.

Fiset was hundreds of kilometres away, however, attending his daughter’s hockey tournament in the Okanagan.

“It’s something I do every year, and it just happened to fall on last weekend,” he said. “The guys were texting me from the dressing room, so I was in the loop.”

Despite not being able to witness it in person, Fiset said the win was crucial for the club as it moves towards the playoffs.

“Thursday’s game was huge,” he said. “We needed to have a strong showing, and we did.”

The Flames had no problems generating offence, despite the absence of leading scorer Danny Brandys.

Trevor Harris opened the scoring for the Flames early in the first period. Goals by Alexander Smith, Trevor Sutton, and Keagan Hunter soon followed, giving the Flames a 4-0 lead going into the second period.

The Icebreakers scored shorthanded just 14 seconds into the middle frame, but it would be their only goal.

Sean Pesut scored twice in the third period, while Bradley Wardner had one goal, to give the Flames a 7-1 win. Matthew Bissett finished with three assists, while goalie Wesley McLeod stopped 36 of 37 shots he faced.

Fiset and the Flames didn’t fare as well Friday night, as the hometown Flames fell 2-1 to the visiting Port Moody Black Panthers.

The Flames opened the scoring midway through the first period with Hunter’s third goal in as many games.

The Flames again gave up a short-handed goal early in the second period, allowing Port Moody to tie the game. The Black Panthers scored with five minutes to play to take the lead. Despite pulling their goalie for the extra attacker, the Flames were unable to equalize.

McLeod was again busy in net, stopping 29 of 31 shots fired his way, and was named the game’s third star.

The loss effectively eliminates any chance for the Flames to catch Port Moody in the Harold Brittain Conference standings. With five games left to play in the Pacific International Junior Hockey League’s regular season, the Flames sit eight points back of the Black Panthers, with a game in hand.

However, Fiset said his goal for the team remains the same.

“My goal is still to finish our remaining games above .500, and hopefully get a streak going down the stretch” said Fiset.

The Flames next face the conference-leading Aldergrove Kodiaks on Wednesday, the team they are more than likely to meet in the first round of the playoffs.

“We know where we are in the standings,” said Fiset. “This should be a good tune up game for to see where we’re at.”

Perhaps raising the stakes this Wednesday is the fact the Flames’ recently resigned head coach, Tavis Eaton, will be behind the opposite bench, after he signed on as the Aldergrove Kodiaks assistant coach last week.

“There’s no bad blood between us, but it’s always fun to play against the guys you know,” Fiset said. “It pushes you to try extra hard.”

The Ridge Meadows Flames next home game is this Friday as they play host to the Mission Icebreakers. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

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