After getting steamrolled by the Abbotsford Pilots last Friday, the Ridge Meadows Flames got back up, dusted themselves off, and proceeded to trip up a team of Devils the next night.
Coming off a 9-2 thumping at the hands of the Pilots at Abbotsford's MSA Arena, the Flames bounced back with a 4-2 win over the host North Delta Devils in Pacific Junior Hockey League action at Sungod Arena.
"We regrouped in style," Flames' head coach Jamie Fiset said. "That's what we wanted to see: a pushback."
Pilots 9, Flames 2
The Harold Brittain-conference leading Pilots took a 6-0 lead into the third period en route to a lopsided victory.
Flames trailed 3-0 after a first period that saw them get outshot 20-3.
Their slow start could be partly attributed to the fact that a few of the Flames players arrived 40 minutes later than anticipated, due to an accident that slowed traffic on the freeway.
"Our guys were not satisfied with our game in Abbotsford," Fiset said. "I could tell we were not in that game mentally. We had no bounces that night. In a lot of ways, it was one of those games where everything goes wrong."
That said, the Flames had a decent final 20 minutes of play, in which the Pilots had a 3-2 edge in goals.
Sean Pesut ruined Abbotsford goaltender Aaron Oakley's shutout bid when he scored 44 seconds into the frame. The Pilots responded with three unanswered goals to take a 9-1 lead before Ridge Meadows' Matthew Bissett finished the night's scoring with a powerplay goal 13: 55 into the period.
Dylan Cusmano and Joel Atkinson each scored a pair for the Pilots, who also got goals from Kyle Star, Devon Allenby, Adam Rossi, Michael Tebbutt, and Brandon Daase. Tebbutt and Daase added three helpers apiece.
Flames 4, Devils 2
Backed by a 28-save performance from RJ Bruni, the Flames bounced back nicely from the shellacking they absorbed the night before.
Ridge Meadows grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals from Bissett and Connor Redmond.
The second period was all Devils, who outshot the Flames 15-8 while getting goals from Latrell Charleson and Levi De Waal.
The Flames got their groove back in the third frame, with Pesut netting the winner with 2: 20 to go in regulation, set up by Ryan Lisowsky and Michael Nolan.
Bissett scored into the empty net with 14 seconds remaining to seal the Devils' fate.
"We played a very simple game and focused on our defensive zone," Fiset said. "We had a good first period, in the second we were a little sloppy, and our rookie goalie played outstanding in the third period for us. He made sure they didn't get that 3-2 goal. That was huge for us."
The weekend split gave the Flames a 12-17-2-4 record heading into their game last night (Jan. 23) against the Pilots at Planet Ice.
The contest got underway after the TIMES went to press yesterday.
Win or lose, the Flames will remain in third place in the Harold Brittain.
Going into the game, they were 15 points back of the second place Aldergrove Kodiaks and 13 points clear of the fourth place Mission City Outlaws.
The Pilots are running away with the division with a 26-8-0-2 mark.
Earlier this week, Fiset said the Flames were taking an even keeled approach to the game.
"When we lose games we're not happy; when we win games we're just satisfied. The guys expect to win games. It's like, 'This is what came to do,'" Fiset said.
"Every game's different, with a different set of things to go work on. We want to build on consistency and a very balanced game. That's basically it."