The Ridge Meadows Flames got a 6-5 win Thursday over one of the league’s top teams, the Richmond Sockeyes.
But then they lost to one of the bottom-feeders the next night, 2-1 to the White Rock Whalers.
The Sockeyes are among the elite in the Pacific Junior Hockey League, in a close battle for second place, and have gone 16-6-2-1 this season.
But the middling Flames (12-11-0-3) got offensive contributions from up and down the lineup in the Thursday night victory.
“Our compete level was there, and our attention to detail,” said coach Bayne Ryshak. “I thought we took over for the last 40 minutes.”
Eric Bourhill was the game’s first star, as he and Tetsuya Prior each had a goal and two assists.
Ryshak said it was a great game by Bourhill.
“He’s pretty impactful, he’s an offensive catalyst, and he’s always around the puck,” said the coach.
Prior scored with 90 seconds left in the game into an empty net, on a well-aimed shot from his own end, and that insurance marker proved to be the game-winner.
Jackson O’Brien also had a goal and an assist, Ryan Denney and Nick Amsler both had two assists, and Jarod McKay, Ethan Kitsch and Tyson Tilley were goal scorers.
Eric Clark, the rookie goaltender out of Maple Ridge, got the win in net with 45 saves on 50 shots.
After all that scoring on Friday, the Flames faced a surging Whalers team and didn’t have enough offence to come back.
The expansion Whalers scored twice on goals a minute apart midway through the first, then cruised to a 2-1 win.
Ryshak tipped his cap to them.
“They’re hard to play against. They stick to their systems, work hard and they get good goaltending,” he said.
The Whalers are lifting themselves closer to respectability, have a three-game win streak going, and are now 10-15-0-1 on the season.
Jesse Nelson scored for the Flames, assisted by O’Brien and Amsler.
This Friday, the Flames play the Surrey Knights, who have gone 0-25-0-1 this year for just one point in 26 outings. They score half as many goals as the rest of the league’s teams (42), while allowing about twice as many (194).
Last season, Surrey did manage one win, but in the 2016-2017 season, they had none.
“I’m not taking anything for granted,” Ryshak said. “We don’t have any easy nights this year.”
On Sunday, the Flames will be at the Burnaby Winter Club to take on the Grandview Steelers.