Flames win first two games of new season

The Ridge Meadows Flames have won their first two games of the new Pacific Junior Hockey League season.

The Ridge Meadows Flames have won their first two games of the new Pacific Junior Hockey League season.

The Flames beat the Surrey Knights 8-0 on Friday night in their season opener at Planet Ice Maple Ridge.

Rookie goaltender Paul Tucek got his first win with a 27-save shutout.

Team captain Andrew Strelezki and power forward Bradley Crompton both had three assists on the night, and Jonah Lige scored twice.

The Flames had everybody rolling, and other scorers were Brandon Galbraith, Ryan Crosby-Jones, Mathieu Melanson, Quenton Magnuson, Alex Furlan and Tristan Tressel.

Surrey enjoyed the balance of power plays, but could not score in eight tries with the man advantage.

On Saturday, the Flames won a closer game, beating the Port Moody Panthers 3-2.

The Flames got out to a 3-0 lead early in the second period, on goals from Crompton, Strelezki and Galbraith, and then held on to the win.

The offence is rolling, with goals from nine different players already.

“Teams that rely on one line, when that line isn’t scoring, they struggle,” said coach Bayne Ryshak. “We’re getting contributions from all four lines and the defence.”

The Flames other rookie goaltender, Braedon Fleming, made 41 saves on 43 shots for his first win.

“Our goalies did awesome,” said Ryshak. “They both battled really hard, and they’re stopping everything they’re seeing.”

Ridge again gave up nine power plays. They allowed one power play goal midway through the third period, but then killed off three more penalties in the last seven minutes to hang on to the victory.

Ryshak said it was one frustrating aspect of a good opening weekend.

“We took some lazy and undisciplined penalties that we shouldn’t have,” he said, but added that his team also seemed to be hit with “game management” penalties by the referees.

“Crompton seems to be targeted, because he’s so big,” he said.

The menacing forward was whistled for two minors in each game.

The Ridge power play went one-for-five.

• On Wednesday night the Flames are in Aldergrove to take on the Kodiaks, and then on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. are back home at Planet Ice Maple Ridge to take on the North Vancouver Wolf Pack.