The Ridge Meadows Flames started their season 2-0, with wins over the Port Moody Panthers 5-4 on Saturday, and a 7-2 blowout of the Langley Knights in their home opener on Friday.
On Saturday, winger Halen Cordoni led the Flames with two goals and an assist, and was the game’s first star.
Cordoni was a Maple Ridge midget A1 player last season, and Flames GM/coach Jamie Fiset said he has quickly showed he is not out of place in the junior ranks.
Joe Olson had three assists, and centre Jordan Rendle had a goal and an assist. Brandon Inwood and Nicholas Maydaniuk also scored.
In goal, Tyler Read made 40 saves on 44 shots, and was selected the game’s second star. He started both games on the weekend, and was also the third star of Friday’s game, with 31 saves on 33 shots.
In that game, team captain Danny Wilson led the offence with two goals and assist.
“He was a force at both ends of the ice,” said Fiset.
Andrew Strelezki scored twice, Cameron Alder had a goal and an assist, and Boston Colley and Michael Bell also scored.
The Flames power play went to work efficiently, going five for nine against the Knights. Fiset said his team is running the same power play as last year, but with greater execution.
“Our power play really clicked,” he said. “The guys are way more comfortable with it.”
He has three groups that can run the power play. Rather than have a top six group of forwards who are offence-minded, and a bottom six who are defence-first in approach, Fiset decided to take a different approach in the makeup of his team this year.
“We wanted the best hockey players possible,” he said. “And then we’ll teach them to block shots, or work on their scoring touch.”
The results is scoring depth throughout the lineup, that saw 12 goals from nine different players in the two games.
All the positives added up to the first victory in a Flames home opener since the 2007-2008 season.
The new and apparently improved Flames will face what should be a tough test this young season on Wednesday, when they travel to the Aldergrove Community Centre to take on the league champion Kodiaks.
Aldergrove has a younger team this year, and they tied with Mission – a league doormat through most of its existence – but Fiset expects a close game.
“They’re a very well-coached team. They’ll work hard, and they’re in their home barn.”
On Friday night, they will host the North Vancouver Wolf Pack, at 7:30 p.m. at Planet Ice.
Rendle has had a good start, and leads the Flames with a goal and five points through the first two games.
Troy Kaczynski of the Richmond sockeyes has sprinted out to a lead in the league scoring race, with six goals and 10 points in two games. The 20-year-old last played in the league in the 2011-2012 season.
“Not only can he score, but he’s big and physical as well. He can be a dominant player every night and we haven’t really had a player like that in a while,” said coach Judd Lambert. “I hope he can keep it going, though averaging five points a game is obviously not realistic.”