Junior B Flames closing in on first place

Two games against rival Pilots coming up

The Ridge Meadows Flames ran their winning streak to six straight games with wins over the Aldergrove Kodiaks and Langley Trappers in the past week.

The streak improves the Maple Ridge Junior B squad’s record to 12-4, and they are just two points back of the Abbotsford Pilots, who lead the Harold Brittain Conference of the PJHL. The Flames have a game in hand.

These two teams meet twice this weekend, with first place on the line.

They are games 17 and 18 of a 44-game schedule, but coach Bayne Ryshak said his team is looking forward to the home-and-home series.

“It’s a big weekend for us,” he said. “It’s still November, but I think this will have some playoff feel.”

The Flames have won both earlier matchups against the Pilots.

Friday at Planet Ice they beat the Kodiaks 4-3, as Ryley Lanthier got the game winner early in the third period.

Team captain Andrew Strelezki had a pair of goals, and hometown boy Quenton Magnuson also scored, getting his sixth goal in 13 outings this season.

Liam Evenson, Ian MacDonald and Brendan Murphy each had two assists, while Cooper Anderson got the win in net, with 32 saves on 35 shots.

Ryshak said it was a big win, with six regulars out of the lineup due to illness, injury or suspension.

On Wednesday, the Flames had a hat trick and four points from Halen Cordoni in an 8-2 blowout of the Trappers. Cordoni, a Pitt Meadows resident who started the season with the Timmins Rock in Ontario, now has seven goals and nine points in six games back with his hometown club.

His centreman, Cameron Kovesdi had a goal and three assists, and now has 16 points in 15 games between the Flames and Richmond Sockeyes. He is also from Maple Ridge, and has now played six games for the Flames.

Ryshak said the return of Cordoni has been huge for the club, and the acquisition of Kovesdi, a smart and hard working playmaker, allows Ryshak to reunite the pair with Magnuson for a line that played bantam hockey together in Maple Ridge.

Magnuson scored twice, and MacDoald had three assists in the game. Logan Hunter and Strelezki also scored, while Paul Tucek stopped 38 of 40 shots in net. Maple Ridge’s Dylan Ford, 16, got into his first game as an affiliate player.

The Flames host the Pilots on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at Planet Ice.

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