One more loss and the season ends for the Ridge Meadows Flames. The Junior B squad has slipped to a 3-1 deficit in their best-of-seven series against the Aldergrove Kodiaks.
Game 5 of the Pacific International Junior Hockey League series goes tonight (Wednesday) in Aldergrove.
The Kodiaks won 2-1 game in Maple Ridge on Friday, then blew the Flames out 9-2 on Saturday at Planet Ice.
On Friday night, the Flames outshot the Kodiaks 26-16, but Adam Bartsch was the lone Flame to beat goaltender Mark Menicucci.
“It was the best game we played of the series, but sometimes you just can’t score,” said Flames coach/GM Jamie Fiset.
The Flames had two good looks at open nets, but shot wide.
“We felt pretty confident coming out of that game, which I think worked against us – we took our foot off the gas,” lamented Fiset.
Saturday, the Kodiaks benefitted from four power-play goals in the first period, and went up 5-1 after the opening stanza.
Goaltender Wesley McLeod, who had started the night before, allowed five goals on 11 shots, and was replaced by R.J. Bruni for the final two periods.
“Two them were goals he usually doesn’t let in, and he looked tired,” said Fiset.
Matthew Bissett scored twice for Ridge. He has hit, blocked shots and generally elevated his game, and the coach said the second-year forward has been his best player in the series.
“In three out of four games in this series, we’ve played as well as them or better,” he said.
“For us, more than anything, we can’t beat ourselves.”
If the Flames can extend the series to a Game 6, it will be played on Friday night at Planet Ice, at 7:30 p.m.
Fiset expects his team to play a desperate game.
“For our guys, there is no tomorrow.”
In other action, the Abbotsford Pilots swept their series against the Mission City Outlaws in four straight, and the Delta Ice Hawks also took a broom to the North Vancouver Wolf Pack. The Pilots await the winner of the Aldergrove/Ridge series.
The Richmond Sockeyes are up on the North Delta Devils 3-0.