The Ridge Meadows Flames were blitzed 9-4 by the Richmond Sockeyes on Friday night in Maple Ridge.
Craig Schouten had a massive six-point night (two goals, four assists), and former Flames team captain Ryan Wellburn racked-up four assists. The 20-year-old was traded to the Sockeyes earlier in the season.
It was a 5-3 lead for Richmond going into the third period, but they blew it open with four straight goals, including three on the power play, in the third period.
The Sockeyes improved their road record to a phenomenal 15-5-0.
Jackson O’Brien was the Flames high scorer with a goal and two assists, Ryan Denney had two helpers, and goals were scored by Trevor Townsend, Jayden Genberg and Tetsuya Prior.
The Flames are sitting in eighth place at 18-19-1-3 and are likely to finish no higher than seventh in the league. So they will face a powerhouse team from the Tom Shaw Conference in the first round of the playoffs – most likely either the Delta Ice Hawks (30-7-2-3) or the North Vancouver Wolf Pack (31-9-0-1).
The Flames have been scuffling, and had just a win and a tie to show for eight games in January, and have now begun February with a loss.
They have just three games left to get on a roll, before the playoffs, as they face the Mission City Outlaws at the Mission Leisure Centre tonight (Saturday).
They will take on the Surrey Knights, who have gone 2-40-0-1 on Thursday night at the North Surrey Rec Centre. Next Friday their calendar wraps up against the Wolf Pack in a game that could be a playoff preview. That game will be at 7:30 p.m. at Cam Neely Arena.