Flames show signs of heating up

After taking the conference's top team to overtime on Friday, and then blowing out an opponent the next night, the Ridge Meadows Flames...

Flames player Nicholas Maydaniuk checks an Aldergrove Kodiaks player in Junior B action at Planet Ice on Friday.

After taking the conference’s top team to overtime on Friday, and then blowing out an opponent the next night, the Ridge Meadows Flames coaching staff is hoping their team has turned a corner.

Friday night at Planet Ice the Flames hosted the Aldergrove Kodiaks, and the top team in the Harold Brittain Conference jumped out to an early 3-1 lead, after the first period. But the Flames got a power play goal in the second period and then a shorthanded goal in the third to force overtime.

Head coach Jamie Fiset noted his team had gone 0-13 against the bears over the past two regular seasons.

“The’ve owned us,” he said.

So, for the Flames to come back and steal a point after trailing almost felt like a win.

Ridge goals were scored by Danny Wilson, Marco Ballarin and Travis Oddy.

Then, on Saturday the offence exploded in a 7-2 beatdown of the Port Moody Panthers, as Ballarin had a goal and two assists, Oddy and newcomer Grant Rostvig each scored twice. Vitaly Morozov had a goal and an assist, and Brandon Inwood also scored.

Now the Flames have seven points in nine Pacific International Junior Hockey League games.

“It felt good this weekend, to get rewarded for our efforts,” said Fiset. “I think we’re a better team than last year. We’re definitely faster and more skilled.”

Rosvig has been a great addition. The White Rock prospect had taken two years off of hockey. When he returned, he chose to come to the Flames in order to play with his good friend, goaltender Tyler Read. Playing with Ballarin and Dale Howell, they are going around opposing defenders like a turnstile.

“A lot of teams have had a hard time handling their speed and work ethic,” said Fiset.

There’s still team captain Travis Oddy, the dangerous Vitaly Morozov and MacLean Hewitt for a second line that is fully capable of being the team’s best line on any given night.

Fiset has been impressed with 20-year-old Oddy’s leadership so far this year.

“He’s really done a great job of bringing these young guys together,” he said. “You can definitely see he’s playing with a purpose.”

The Flames penalty kill was outstanding through the two games, leaving the Kodiaks frustrated at one-for-seven, and allowing Port Moody one goal on nine chances.

“The P.K. really tightened up this weekend,” said Fiset, noting he has cycled through numerous pairings of forwards, and they’re all getting the job done.

“It’s been a complete team effort.”

For their part, the Flames power plays went one-for-five in both games.

The lopsided power plays are not a concern for Fiset – the coaching staff is urging a more aggressive style of play this year, and extra penalties will be an occasional consequence of that.

“We’re letting teams know that we’re here to play,” said Fiset.

Goaltender Read looked good, with 40 saves on 44 shots on Friday, and 27 for 29 on Saturday.

“He had a very good weekend, and he was due for a good one.”

The Flames will host the Panthers on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Planet Ice for a rematch of last Friday’s laugher.

“We know they’ll come out firing.”

Just Posted

VIDEO: Townhouse fourth Maple Ridge blaze in less than a day

UPDATE: Fire victims have much to be thankful for, despite loss of pets on Thanksgiving Day

ON COOKING: Embrace the experience, from beginning to end

A passion for cooking can easily be rekindled according to this chef and culinary instructor

Nostalgic trip down TV theme song lane at ACT in Maple Ridge

Juno nominee jazz artist John Stetch will share his love for television themes

Win and a tie for Maple Ridge secondary

Ramblers beat Garibaldi, tied with Gleneagle

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

BC Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

The one with the ‘Friends’ photoshoot: Kelowna group recreates TV show intro

A friend’s departure prompted them to create something that really says, “I’ll be there for you”

Most Read