Junior B Flames fall in playoff preview to Kodiaks

Penalties cost Ridge Meadows in Aldergrove

The Ridge Meadows Flames came up short Wednesday night as they lost 4-1 to the Aldergrove Kodiaks on the road in what could be a preview of the first round of the Pacific International Junior Hockey League playoffs.

The Kodiaks currently sit atop the Harold Brittain Conference standings with 54 points, while the Flames have a four-point cushion on the fourth and final conference playoff berth with 19 points. With four games left to play in the regular season, a first round matchup between the two teams seems more than likely

The Flames could be in for a difficult series if Wednesday night’s game is any indication.

The Kodiaks peppered Flames’ goalie Wesley McLeod with 45 shots, and were able to convert on three of five powerplay opportunities.

The Kodiaks opened the scoring late in the first with a powerplay goal after Sean Pesut took a two-minute minor for delay of game. The Kodiaks stretched their lead to two with their only even-strength goal of the game five minutes into the second period.

The Flames’ leading scorer Danny Bradys got Ridge Meadows on the board with less than three minutes to go in the middle frame. However, a hooking minor to Keagan Hunter put the Kodiaks back on the powerplay, allowing Scott McHaffie to score with under a minute to go in the period, restoring Aldergrove’s two-goal lead.

The Flames handed the Kodiaks a two-minute long two-man advantage in the third period as Hunter went back to the box for an unsportsmanlike conduct and Marco Ballarin went off for slashing.

The Flames managed to hold off the Kodiaks for more than a minute into the five-on-three before Daniel Higgs scored to put Aldergrove ahead 4-1.

Pesut and defenceman Joe Szabados each earned assists.

The Flames return home tonight (Friday) to face the Mission Icebreakers at Planet Ice in Maple Ridge. Game time is 7:30 p.m.