As originally posted on Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News by Neil Corbett
The Ridge Meadows Flames are now on a five-game winning streak, after a 6-4 win over the Grandview Steelers on Sunday night at Minoru Arena in Richmond, as part of the league’s Winter Classic event.
The game was knotted at 3-3 until Maple Ridge rookie Jack Foster scored his 15th of the year to put the Flames ahead 4-3 with less than four minutes to play.
The Steelers pulled their goaltender, which resulted in two empty netters for Ryan Denney, giving him a hat trick in the contest. Goals come easy to Denney at any time, and he now has potted 37 in 33 games, which is 10 more than any other player in the Pacific Junior Hockey League.
The Flames’ recent win streak included some blowout wins, and Denney and Nic Amsler were able to vault to the top of the league scoring race, both tied with 58 points apiece over 33 games. Both are Maple Ridge products. Amsler has 18 goals and 40 assists on the season. Denney has benefited from some high-scoring contests, like an unheard-of six goals in a September game. But he has also been remarkably consistent lately, with at least one goal in 10 of the last 11 games.
Defenceman Linden Perry got his first goal in Junior B against the Steelers, while both Foster and Brendan Chabot each finished with a goal and an assist.
Last week the Flames blasted the Abbotsford Pilots by scores of 7-2 and 10-1, and over those two games, Denney had four goals and four assists, while Amsler also had eight points on two goals and six assists.
Craig Schouten also tallied two goals and five assists against Abbotsford. He was a mid-season acquisition from the Richmond Sockeyes who was intended to offer depth scoring, and he has delivered like Skip The Dishes, with 30 points in 20 games. He has 16 goals and 14 assists.
The Flames’ recent success has them at 23-8-1-1, which is good for first place in the Harold Brittain Conference. They are just one point ahead of the Langley Trappers, who hold two games in hand.
The Flames will be back at Cam Neely Arnea on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. when they host the Mission City Outlaws. Mission has gone a respectable 13-13-1-3.