The Flames won a battle with the Pilots for first place in the Harold Brittain Conference on Friday. (THE NEWS files)

The Flames won a battle with the Pilots for first place in the Harold Brittain Conference on Friday. (THE NEWS files)

Flames win key matchup against Pilots

Ridge Meadows junior Bs back atop conference

The Ridge Meadows Flames got a big win in their drive to finish in first place in their conference, as they downed the Abbotsford Pilots 3-2 on Friday night.

Red hot Halen Cordoni scored twice, both assisted by Cameron Kovesdi, as the Flames took a 2-0 lead early in the second period. Ryley Lanthier scored what would prove to be the game winner midway through the third.

Goaltender Paul Tucek got the win, with 23 saves on 25 shots.

With the win, the Flames improve to 21-11-1-0 on the season, and their 43 points gives them a one-point lead over the Pilots atop the Harold Brittain Conference. They play a 44-game schedule in the Pacific Junior Hockey League, and both the Flames and Pilots are now through 33.

The game was part of the Pacific Junior Hockey League’s Winter Classic which is underway at Minoru Arenas. The showcase event, which started Friday, features all 11 PJHL teams playing twice at Minoru. Games run from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. each of the three days.

The Flames play again on Saturday at 4 p.m. against the Surrey Knights, who have just one win on the season.

All the league’s trophies are permanently on display in the upstairs reception area in Minoru’s stadium rink. That area is hosting a beer and wine garden over the Winter Classic. The event is designed for higher tier junior teams, along with university programs to scout potential talent all in the same building.

The event will be hosted by the Sockeyes at Minoru for another four seasons.

The Flames next home game will be a tough matchup against the Richmond Sockeyes, who have gone 22-5-1-2 so far this season. That game will be played on Jan. 12 at 7:30 p.m. at Cam Neely Arena.

Maple Ridge News