The Ridge Meadows Flames dealt the Outlaws a serious blow in the race for third place with a 2-1 win at Cam Neely arena in Maple Ridge FRiday night.
For the first 40 minutes of the game, it appeared the Outlaws had gone into hibernation during this recent snowstorm. They were out-shot 19-3 in the first period alone, and were it not for the heroics of Matt Trulsen, the score could have been much worse then the 2-0 deficit the Ourtlaws found themselves in.
The Flames came out hungry, seemingly winning every loose puck battle along the boards and every draw in either end.
The Flames had a pair of stellar chances down a man some six minutes in. First there was a partial breakaway, followed by a rebound chance for Ridge.
The hosts thought they had scored the opening goal on a power-play of their own, but it was waved off due to goaltender interference as the Flames tried to get Trulsen off his game. That was one of many instances where the Flames used a variety of tactics to frustrate the 17 year old net-minder out of Maple Ridge.
They would solve Trulsen and the Outlaws defense on their 15th shot with just over three minutes to go. Brandon Galbraith’s wrist shot evaded Trulsen’s glove after the Outlaws had turned the puck over.
They doubled the lead on a penalty shot after an Outlaws defender gloved the puck in the crease. Taylor Seganfreddo sent a wrist shot home to make it 2-0 at 18:07.
Shots were 19-3 RM.
Both Trulsen and Jack Stradiotti held both teams off the board in the second. The Outlaws had four power-play chances to the Flames two. Shots were 19-10 RM.
The Outlaws must have put some coffee in their water bottles in the third.
With Frank Zhong in box for high sticking, there was a loose puck in the crease waiting for an Outklaws stick, one that never came in time.
The Outlaws finally solved Stradiotti, who appeared in a few games for the Outlaws to start the season. A tic-tac-toe passuing play with Mission up a man saw Jacskon Waniek score his 20th, set up by Michal Holub and Ryan Sharma at 8:12.
Then the pk really stepped up for Mission, as Nathan McCarnan was a one-man wrecking crew on a 5-on-3 Flames opportunity.
The Outlaws had their best chance to tie it, when Holub was chopped down from behind while on a partial breakaway with 5:57 left. Jackson Waniek took the penalty shot, but hit the goal post.
The Outlaws pushed one last time, with Stradiotti stopping a quality Holub chance, then thwarted Waniek on the rebound with 3″31 remaining.
Any comeback thoughts were put on hold as the Outlaws took a penalty with 1:30 left.
Final score 2-1, as Ridge outshot the Laws 49-23.
Here’s what Assistant Coach Nick Thompson offered up after the game.
“We came out flat for the first two periods, gave them a lot of good opportunities in the first and we were lucky Trulsen kept us in it. We had chances to tie the game up in the third and hit a goal post on a penalty shot. We can’t take anything away from the Flames though, they were ready to play from the first puck drop and they played a good game.”
The Flames now sit four points up with just two games left. Both are home home games for Mission, this Saturday against Abbotsford and a game against Delta that needs to be rescheduled due to Snowmaggedon.