The Ridge Meadows Flames dropped their second game in a row Friday night, losing 3-0 at home to the Delta Ice Hawks, the top team in the Pacific Junior Hockey League.
The Flames trailed by only a goal until late in the third period.
The Ice Hawks opened the scoring with a goal from Kody Botterill at 7:20 of the first period. The score remained 1-0 until Flames defenceman Max Metzner was sent to the box for tripping at the 17:21 mark of the third period. The Ice Hawks made the most of the opportunity, with Tanner Gattinger scoring on the ensuing power play.
The Flames pulled starting goalie Wes McLeod for the extra attacker with 51 seconds remaining, allowing Gattinger to score his second of the night, an empty-netter with 23 seconds left in regulation.
The Ice Hawks outshot the Flames 30-16, including 12 shots in the third.
The Flames were unable to muster much offence at the other end of the ice, registering just four shots in the final frame.
McLeod made 27 saves on the 29 shots he faced, while Ice Hawks goalie Scott Lapp had to stop just 16 pucks for his second shutout of the season.
Flames forward Marco Ballarin was named the game’s third star, and given Player of the Week honours by the Flames for his hard work at both ends of the ice.
With the loss, the Flames’ record slips to 5-7-2 this season, good for 12 points. The Flames now sit in third place in the Harold Brittain Conference behind Abbotsford (21 points) and Aldergrove (15 points).
The Flames travel to Mission this Thursday to take on the Mission City Outlaws before returning home to Planet Ice Friday night to host the Port Moody Panthers. Game time is 7:30 p.m.