Junior hockey action returns to Maple Ridge tonight.
Pre-season games are coming up in the Pacific Junior Hockey League with the Ridge Meadows Flames hosting the Delta Ice Hawks at 7:30 p.m.
The Flames will play their second in-league exhibition game on Aug. 25 in Richmond against the Ice Hawks, then head on a road trip to 100 Mile House for an Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 pre-season series against the Wranglers, who will be the hosts of the 2020 Cyclone Taylor Cup.
General manager Derek Bedard has spent the off-season signing players, and this week announced a commitment by forward Max Mohagen of the BCHL’s Surrey Eagles, where he put up 10 goals and 13 points in 56 games last season.
The Surrey resident was a product of the Delta Hockey Academy, and turned heads with 18 goals and 69 points in just 38 games with the Valley West Hawks of the BC Major Midget League.
The Eagles called the 19-year-old a power forward who can play a 200-foot game.
Last week, on Aug. 8, the Flames shored up their blueline when they traded forward Cam Judson for defenceman Nick Marsh of the Delta Ice Hawks.
“Nick brings championship and leadership experience to our group,” said team’s announcement.
The 20-year-old Marsh has played three seasons and 92 games in the PJHL, and last season posted 12 points in 30 games. The Richmond native also played eight games in the BCHL with the Nanaimo Clippers.
There have been numerous other signings as the roster is re-shaped ahead of the coming season.
The Flames also announced recruiting a pair of new coaches. Dave Griffith is a longtime Ridge Meadows Minor Hockey Association bench boss. He is a former coach of the year in the association, and coached local NHLers Brad Hunt and Victor Bartley.
Justin Georgeson had 222 games in the BC Hockey League, ending in the 2013-2014 season, and put up 56 goals and 140 points. He then played with the UBC Thunderbirds. The 26-year-old is a Maple Ridge resident.
The Flames made the playoffs last season, but were eliminated in five games by a North Vancouver Wolf Pack team that went on to win the league championship.
• The regular season begins on Sept. 6 with a home game against the Langley Trappers, and the Flames again have their regular Friday night home games, at 7:30 p.m., at Cam Neely Arena.