Flames fall in home opener

It wasn’t the start to the Pacific International Junior Hockey League season the Ridge Meadows Flames were hoping for Friday night as they were shut out 3-0 at home by the Grandview Steelers. Their fortunes didn’t improve Saturday night either, as the Flames lost 4-1 to the North Delta Devils on the road to fall to 0-2 to start their 2011/12 campaign.

The Steelers didn’t waste any time getting on the board Friday night as they silenced the home crowd with the opening goal just a minute and a half into the game. The Steelers held their 1-0 lead until midway through the second period, when Kentaro Tanaka scored on the power play to give Grandview a two-goal lead after Terence Trusdale was called for cross-checking.

The Flames’ fortunes didn’t fare any better in the third as a costly giveaway resulted in the Steelers scoring short-handed, putting the game out of reach.

Saturday saw the Flames get off to a good start against the North Delta Devils, with Peyton Lupul scoring late in the first to give Ridge Meadows a 1-0 lead. However, the Devils responded early in the second with a pair of goals to pull ahead of the Flames. North Delta added two more in the third, handing the Flames their second loss of the season.

Flames goaltender Tyler Klassen received third-star honours both nights as he made a total of 74 saves to keep the Flames competitive. However, with just a goal to their credit in their first two regular season games, the Flames will need much more than goaltending if they want to start registering wins.

Help is on the way, with the return of forward Danny Brandys imminent. Brandys was the Flames leading scorer last season with  20 goals and 52 assists, good for second in the Pacific International Junior Hockey League with 72 points.