Ridge Meadows Flames burnt by Kodiaks 8-2

Marco Ballarin of the Ridge Meadows Flames lays a body check on Mitchell Guiel of the Aldergrove Kodiaks in their PIJHL playoff game Monday night at Planet Ice. The Flames lost to the Kodiaks 8-2. - Colleen Flanagan
Marco Ballarin of the Ridge Meadows Flames lays a body check on Mitchell Guiel of the Aldergrove Kodiaks in their PIJHL playoff game Monday night at Planet Ice. The Flames lost to the Kodiaks 8-2.
— image credit: Colleen Flanagan

The Aldergrove Kodiaks snuffed out the Ridge Meadows Flames 8-2 in Maple Ridge  Monday night to take a stranglehold on the best-of-seven Pacific International Junior Hockey League playoff series, three games to one.

After a rousing 5-2 win on home ice Friday night, the Flames melted down on Monday.

The Kodiaks took a 3-0 lead in the first period as the Flames struggled to get anything going offensively, getting outshot 16-3.

After falling behind 5-1 after the second period, the Flames took 64 penalty minutes in the final frame, as the game devolved into fisticuffs. The Kodiaks outshot the Flames 29-1 in that period, scoring three powerplay goals.

In all, the Flames were outshot 52-18 over the course of the game. The Kodiaks scored four powerplay goals on 10 opportunities, while the Flames were 0-for-4.

The playoff series returns to Aldergrove tonight (Wednesday) for Game 5, where the Kodiaks will have the chance to take the series on home ice. Should the Flames stave off elimination, the series returns to Planet Ice in Maple Ridge for Game 6 Thursday night at 9 p.m.

The Flames special teams were clicking Friday night as the local junior B hockey club scored two powerplay goals and two shorthanded goals to beat the visiting Kodiaks 5-2.

The win was the Flames’ first against the Kodiaks in eight previous meetings this season, bringing the series to two games to one, in favour of the Kodiaks.

Seventeen-year-old rookie forward Marco Ballarin opened the scoring for the Flames 14 minutes into the first period with a shorthanded goal. The Flames made it 2-0 midway through the second period with a powerplay goal from Paul Piluso.

The Kodiaks answered back, however, with Scott McHaffie and Matthew Luongo scoring to tie the game at 2-2.

Keagan Hunter restored the Flames’ lead with less than 30 seconds to play in the middle frame with yet another powerplay goal. The Flames’ leading scorer, Matthew Bissett, stretched the team’s lead 30 seconds into the third period for the Flames’ first even-strength goal of the game.

Hunter added his second of the night with a shorthanded empty net goal in the final seconds of the game to give the Flames the 5-2 win, their first of the series.

The Flames managed to score five goals on just 21 shots. Flames goalie Jordan Hospes saw 25 shots come his way, turning aside 23.

Ballarin was named the game’s first star for his two point effort, while Trevor Harris was named second star. Nicholas Beck, Shane Harle, Sean Pesut, Danny Brandys,  Reece Rivard, and Dean Gilmore each had assists.

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