Flames forward Jack Steffens (17), seen here in an earlier game against the Langley Trappers, was the game’s first star on Friday. (The News files)

Flames forward Jack Steffens (17), seen here in an earlier game against the Langley Trappers, was the game’s first star on Friday. (The News files)

Flames beat Trappers in one of best games of the year

Maple Ridge Junior Bs to host Surrey on Friday night

The Ridge Meadows Flames started December with a pair of wins, including a 5-3 win over the conference leading Langley Trappers on Friday.

It was a meeting of two of the powerhouse teams in the Pacific Junior Hockey League, and the Flames had five goals from five different scorers – everyone was going for the home team at Cam Neely Arena.

“It was a great team effort – I felt it was one of our best overall games,” said coach Brent Hughes. “It was a boost to their confidence.”

Forward Jack Steffens was named the game’s first star, and that’s the guy whose play stood out to the coach.

“He had a goal and an assist, and he was a big contributor to the win,” said Hughes.

Nic Amsler and Ryan Denney also had a goal and an assist each, and Craig Schouten and Zack Lagrange also scored. Brendan Chabot had a pair of assists.

On Dec. 1 they beat the Aldergrove Kodiaks, thanks to a pair of goals by Jack Foster.

The head coach has been impressed with the play of the rookie forward from Maple Ridge, who has 11 goals and 11 assists in his first 16 games in Junior B.

“He’s one of the best contributors every game, and he’s really stepped up,” said Hughes.

Amsler was the first star with a goal and an assist, and Denney also scored. Rookie goaltender Cameron Connolly made 32 saves on 33 shots. The team announced he has been given an affiliation with the BCHL Surrey Eagles.

The Flames have a record of 17-6-1-1, which ties them for third in the league. Hughes said the win over a rival like Langley allows them to still have a shot at finishing first in their conference, and getting home ice advantage through the early rounds of the playoffs.

This weekend they will face the Surrey Knights, whom he said have played better hockey lately, after several seasons in the league basement.

“They’ve got themselves a goaltender,” said Hughes, adding that they have also improved defensively. “They’re not an easy win anymore.”

The puck drops on Friday night, 7:30 p.m., at Cam Neely Arena.

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