Flames open playoffs with an overtime win
Well, that’s a first.
The Ridge Meadows Flames started their best-of-seven playoff series against the Aldergrove Kodiaks by beating them for the first time this season. It took double overtime, but they opened the Pacific International Junior Hockey League playoffs with a 4-3 win on Monday night.
This after going 0-6 against the Kodiaks during the regular schedule.
But Flames coach/GM Jamie Fiset will tell you that the playoffs are a whole new season – one in which his team is off to a great start.
For two periods the game was scoreless, and then an Aldergrove goal got the fireworks started – six more markers in the third period, to send the game to overtime.
Each team killed a penalty in the first overtime period, and then Flames top sniper Matt Bissett ended it on a Flames power play early in the second overtime. Point men Connor Redmond and Ryan Lisowsky tossed the puck back and forth along the blueline as Bissett slid into position beside the net. As a hard pass came from Redmond, he used a jeweler’s touch to deflect it over the Kodiak netminder for the game-winner.
“It was set up beautifully,” said Fiset.
His team has taken points off every other team on the junior B circuit, and the coach was confident the players could get results against the Kodiaks, despite their record.
“It’s been frustrating playing Aldergrove. We haven’t played them well all year. They always seemed to catch us on bad nights.”
Bissett also scored the first Flames goal, and had a four-point night. His line was unstoppable, as Adam Bartsch had a goal and an assist, and Travis Oddy had two assists.
“They were a force all night,” said Fiset.
He also gave props to team captain Alex Smith, who filled in and play defence for just the second time this season, and helped shore up the Maple Ridge end of the ice.
And there was no overlooking the work of goaltender Wes McLeod, who made 60 saves on 63 shots.
“He had to make some big saves on the penalty kill in overtime,” noted Fiset.
The Flames play again tonight in Aldergrove, then the series will shift to Planet Ice for games three and four, on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 7:45 p.m.
“It should be a very entertaining series,” predicted Fiset.