The Ridge Meadows Flames enjoyed two blowout wins, with a 8-2 laugher over the Surrey Knights on Thursday night, followed by a 5-0 shutout of the Grandview Steelers on Friday.
Veteran goaltender Paul Tucek was credited with an even 30 saves for his first shutout of the year in front of the home crowd, and was the game’s first star.
Coach Bayne Ryshak said Tucek saved his team from the consequences of a flat start.
“If he didn’t come out playing so well, that game could have been different,” he said.
Joshua Gibbons scored twice, Jesse Nelson had a goal and an assist, and Tyson Tilley and Jarod McKay also scored.
The Flames jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period thanks to some great special teams, getting goals shorthanded and on the power play.
On Thursday night, Nelson had six points on a hat trick and three assists, giving the 20-year-old forward out of Chilliwack nine points in three games.
“He’s going to be able to carry a lot of the load offensively,” said Ryshak.
It was a big points night against Surrey, and Nick Amsler also had five, on a goal and four assists, Ayden Power had a goal and two assists, and McKay, Isaac Tomic and Jackson O’Brien also scored. Ryan Denney and Tetsuya Prior both had two assists.
Ryshak said he has a dynamic line with the BCHL veteran winger Nelson playing with two young forwards who are working their way toward junior A hockey – centre Amsler and winger Denney. Ryshak said that line plays with a high hockey IQ, but is also one of the hardest working lines.
Prior, a 19-year-old out of Richmond, continues to lead the Flames in scoring, with 14 points in 10 games.
The Knights scored first, and were hanging with the Flames through the second period, which ended 4-2, but the Flames blew it open with four third-period goals. The Flames were credited with outshooting the Knights 50-8.
Rookie goaltender Eric Clark was in net for the victory – his third in four outings this year.
Next up for the Flames will be a Wednesday night game in Aldergrove against the Kodiaks. The Kodiaks are off to a tough start to the season, with a record of 4-8.
Friday night Ridge will host the Abbotsford Pilots, who lead the Harold Brittain Conference with a record of 7-2-0-1 (one overtime loss) through the first 10 games. They are one win ahead of the Flames, who have gone 6-3-0-1. Game time is 7:30 p.m. at Cam Neely Arena.