The remedy for the Ridge Meadows Flames' three-game winless skid came Saturday in the form of the toothless Port Moody Panthers.
The Panthers are struggling this season, to say the least.
They entered the game with a 5-26-0-1 record.
The Flames proceeded to hand the Panthers their 14th consecutive loss, and league-most 27th setback of the season, by beating them 7-4 at Port Moody Arena.
The win improved the Flames' record to 11-16-2-4.
Thirteen points back of the second place Aldergrove Kodiaks and 11 points clear of the fourth place Mission City Outlaws, the Flames seem destined to finish third in the Pacific Junior Hockey League's Harold Brittain Conference.
Head coach and general manager Jamie Fiset isn't surprised to see the Flames sit where they are at this point of the campaign.
"It's all about being prepared for the playoffs," he said. "Right from day one in camp, we expected to be right in middle of the [conference] pack. In that respect, there are very few surprises."
Looking back at Saturday's game, Fiset said the win was much needed after frustrating nights against Richmond and North Delta in the team's previous two games.
"It's huge," Fiset said. "Anytime you have a game where you explode for seven goals and play well, it builds confidence."
The victory also takes a bit of the sting out of Ridge Meadows' first two outings of 2013.
During a 7-0 loss to Richmond on Jan. 4, the Flames were in the game until late in the third period, when the Sockeyes scored five times in the final 4: 32 of regulation.
Prior to the goal explosion, the Sockeyes held a somewhat tenuous 2-0 lead.
Fast forward to this past Friday, Jan. 11 at Planet Ice, and the Flames trailed 3-2 early in the third period before the Devils struck for three goals over a 4: 13 span to take a 5-2 lead, essentially putting the home team away.
"We were frustrated the first two games [of January]," Fiset said. "Our first game back against Richmond we had a 5-0 meltdown. The same with the second [North Delta] game. We think we get some momentum back, and over a three or four minute span, they put three goals into the net."
Fiset said the Flames "finally got some bounces" against Port Moody.
"I think they're better than their record indicates," Fiset said, of the Panthers.
"They came close against Richmond and they do compete reasonably well. I think they've improved - that said, we were expecting to win that game."
Nolan Wallinger scored two goals and an assist to pace the Flames' attack.
"He played a very strong game," Fiset said, regarding the 18-year-old forward.
Wallinger has already surpassed last season's goals and points totals, with seven goals and 12 points in 27 contests.
In 37 games last season with the Mission Ice Breakers, the Delta native scored four goals and 10 points.
Wallinger has also shaved his penalty minute totals from 126 last season to 21 thus far this campaign.
Fiset said Wallinger is a far more effective player this year, playing with much more controlled emotion.
"Wally's been doing a really good job re-inventing himself this year," Fiset said.
Other Flames' goals versus Port Moody came off the sticks of Alexander Smith, Michael Nolan, Marco Ballarin, Matthew Bissett, and Paul Piluso.
Bissett and Piluso added assists for two-point nights.
Ridge Meadows' schedule this weekend is a tough one.
The Flames are heading to MSA Arena in Abbotsford tomorrow (Jan. 18) to take on the Harold Brittain Conference-leading Pilots.
Winners of their last three games, the Pilots have a conference-best 24-8-0-2 record. Opening puck drop is 7: 30 p.m.
On Saturday, the Flames are off to North Delta's Sungod Arena for a date with the Devils. North Delta has a decent 17-15-1-3 mark, good for third in the PJHL's Tom Shaw Conference.
That game has an early 6: 45 p.m. start time.
"These are two big games for us," Fiset said. "You want to get on a roll, and play consistently for 60 minutes."
Junior B fans will get to see their Flames on home ice next Wednesday, Jan. 23 when they host the Pilots at Planet Ice.
Game time is 7: 30 p.m.