Flames fall to Kodiaks in season opener

Local junior B squad readies for home opener Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Planet Ice in Maple Ridge against the Mission City Outlaws

Ridge Meadows Flames goalie Wesley McLeod stares down an Aldergrove forward

The Ridge Meadows Flames saw their first action of the 2012/13 Pacific Junior Hockey League season Wednesday night in Aldergrove, losing 3-1 to the hometown Kodiaks.

Given the Flames lost 9-2 to Kodiaks in their first meeting last season, head coach Jamie Fiset sees a big improvement over the team that started last season.

“I’m happy with our performance, an I saw a lot of positives to build off,” he said. “The goals they got were from mistakes that we made, mistakes that are easily remedied.”

While Flames’ starting goalie Wesley McLeod gets tagged with the loss, his efforts between the pipes was commendable, with 50 saves to his credit.

Fiset would have preferred to have generated more opportunities at the other end of the rink, instead of being outshot 53-30.

“We’re not the kind of team that throws a lot of shots away, but we have to find the back of the net more often,” he said.

The Flames were outshot 21-10 in the first period, but managed to make it to the dressing room with the game still scoreless.

“Our rookies had some jitters in the first period, but they settled down by the second [period],” Fiset said. “It was the first real game for them at this level, I thought they did well.”

The Kodiaks opened the scoring in the second period with a shorthanded goal from Stephen Ryan, who scored unassisted. The Flames were able to make their next power ply count, however, as Darcy Rai was given five minutes and a game misconduct for a slash to Flames defenceman Nick Coltura.

That set the stage for Matt Bissett, who scored with the man-advantage with less than 20 seconds left to play in the period to even the score. Bradley Wardner and Sean Pesut had assists on the play.

“With him in the lineup, it’s an extra goal or two per game,” said Fiset of Bissett, who tallied 50 points in just 33 games last season. “It’s a matter of keeping him with players that can set him up and create space for him.”

The Kodiaks retook the lead four minutes into the third period. The Flames were pressing for the late equalizer when, with six minutes remaining, Paul Piluso was given a major penalty and a game misconduct for a hit to the head.

“That really hurt us,” Fiset said. “Piluso is a bigger player, and the guy he hit was a lot smaller. When that happens, you’re going to get that call.”

The Kodiaks didn’t take long to capitalize on the five-minute power play, with Daniel Higgs scoring 20 seconds later.

With less than minute left on the clock, the Flames pulled McLeod for the extra attacker, but were unable to cut the Kodiaks’ lead.

“We took a 1-1 tie into the third period, so it was a winnable game,” said Fiset. “We traded chances with them, but they we’re able to get better chances.”

He said he expects a better result tonight (Friday) for the Flames’ home opener against the Mission City Outlaws at Planet Ice in Maple Ridge.

The Flames were 2-1-1 against Mission in preseason play, the last place team in the league last season. However, Fiset said his team can’t afford to take anybody lightly.

“They’re a good team, and I think they’ll have a few more veteran players in the lineup this time,” he said.

Success for the Flames will come down to speed and tenacity, Fiset said.

“We have to out-skate and out-check them,” he said. “When we do those two things, things go well.”

 

Game time

• The Ridge Meadows Flames host the Mission City Outlaws in their home opener tonight (Friday) at Planet Ice in Maple Ridge. Game time is at 7:30 p.m., with a tail gate party and barbecue before the game at 6:30 p.m.

 

Just Posted

Update: City starts safety improvements at Maple Ridge camp

Following on recent decision in Supreme Court

Measles case confirmed within Fraser Health region

One case within Fraser Health is related to the outbreak in three Vancouver schools.

Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows business women to pitch their products to the stars at this years Oscars

One will attend the Luxury Gifting Suites in Hollywood while the other will help stack the swag bags

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Man sentenced to 7 years for smuggling drugs and shooting at border guards in Sumas

Nathan Hall was arrested in Abbotsford in 2013 after day-long manhunt

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death for young man has not been released

Most Read