A battle of conference leaders in the Pacific Junior Hockey League saw the Delta Ice Hawks skate away with a convincing 6-1 victory over the Ridge Meadows Flames.
The Flames were outshot 42-28 by the Ice Hawks, who have gone 26-2-0-1 on the season.
Flames head coach Bayne Ryshak said his injury riddled lineup suffered a blow in the first period when rookie Ian Macdonald was hurt. The 18-year-old out of Maple Ridge is second on the team in scoring by defencemen, with four goals and 19 points in 30 games.
That left the coaching staff to juggle four full-time defencemen and an affiliate player.
Ryshak praised the work of his AP Dylan Ford, a Ridge Meadows Minor Hockey product who is now with the Vancouver Northeast Chiefs, saying he plays a mature game.
But without eight regulars who were out with injury, the game was not a good measure of where the Flames are at, said Ryshak.
“I don’t think yesterday was reflective of what we’re capable of.”
A pair of rookies out of Chilliwack, Jesse Nelson and Blake Bonnar, each scored twice for the Ice Hawks.
Cameron Kovesdi scored the lone marker for the Flames.
The Flames remain one point up on second placed Abbotsford in the Harold Brittain Conference standings. Both clubs have 13 games remaining on their schedules.
The Flames get a shot at redemption, as they host the Ice Hawks on Friday night at Cam Neely Arena.
Ryshak said he hopes to get some reinforcements from the injury list, and the coaching staff will look at changing some things up.
The puck drop at 7:30 p.m.