The Ridge Meadows Flames came within an overtime goal of sweeping the Mission Outlaws, falling 3-2 on Saturday.
Up 3-1 in the first-round series, the local junior B hockey team will try again to eliminate the conference-leading Outlaws on Tuesday in Mission, 6:30 p.m.
The Flames, who finished third in the Harold Brittain Conference, won the first two games against Mission last week, then downed them 4-2 Friday before a good crowd at Planet Ice in Maple Ridge.
The Flames led by two early, but were tied entering the third, when Dale Howell and Alexandre Furlan scored. The Flames, with two power play markers, won despite being outshot 42-29.
Ridge goalie Jason Sandu was named the first star.
Marco Ballarin had a goal and two assists. Andrew Strelezki also scored.
Flames general manager Jamie Fiset was pleased with his team’s effort, adding some key saves and penalty kills were the difference.
Strelezki scored in the first period Saturday in Mission to give the Flames and early lead. However, they needed a goal from rookie defenseman Nolan Ferguson, from the point off a face-off win with 1:01 left in the third, to force overtime.
Bryce Pisiak scored for Mission on a powerplay 1:52 into the extra frame to extend the series.
“It was a tough way to lose,” Fiset said. “We just have to rebound from it.”
Mission again outshot Ridge, 34-25.
Sandu made 31 saves. Cameron Alder had two assists for the Flames, who finished 21 points behind Mission in the regular season.
• A fifth game, if necessary, would be played Friday at Planet Ice in Maple Ridge, 7:30 p.m.