An empty-netter in the dying seconds sealed the Aldergrove Kodiaks’ 4-1 win over the Ridge Meadows Flames, Wednesday, Feb. 27, and the team now advances to the PJHL semi-finals against Abbotsford Pilots.
It was the fourth consecutive victory for the Kodiaks, after losing the opening game to the Flames in the first round of playoffs.
The Kodiaks begin the next round of the Harold Brittain conference Tuesday (Feb. 5) at MSA Arena and host the Pilots the next night, Feb. 6, 7:15 p.m. at Aldergrove Arena. Over in the Tom Shaw conference it is the Richmond Sockeyes versus the Delta Ice Hawks.
The Flames put up a good fight but were outshot 41-32 by the Kodiaks, who led the scoring through all three frames. It was an entertaining game and the arena was packed to capacity with appreciative hockey fans.
The Kodiaks were up 1-0 a mere 45 seconds into the game when Joshua Cronin dashed to the Flames net and scored, assisted by Spencer and Scott McHaffie.
The Kodiaks scored twice more in the second period, seconds apart, when Spencer McHaffie scored on a power play at 15:25, assisted by Scott McHaffie and Cole Gastel, and Adam Callegari scored at 15:56, assisted by Ryan Simpson and Kenny Prato.
The Flames finally found the back of Kodiaks’ keeper Mark Menicucci’s net at 7:43 of the third, scored by Alexander Smith. The Flames pulled goalie Wesley McLeod in the final minute in the hopes of scoring at least two more, but Kodiaks’ Callegari got the puck and sent it flying from the Kodiaks’ end straight into the Flames’ empty net at 19:43.
Callegari and Menicucci earned the game’s first and second star, respectively, while Smith earned third star.