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Ice Hawks win in Maple Ridge to force game 7 of PJHL finals tonight

A trip to the 2023 Cyclone Taylor Cup in Revelstoke will be on the line in Langley after road team wins yet again in PJHL finals to push series to the limit
Goaltender Merik Erickson bounced back with a clutch performance, earning second star honours, in the Delta Ice Hawks' 2-1 game six victory at Cam Neely Arena on Saturday night.

The Delta Ice Hawks and Ridge Meadows Flames are headed to a seventh and deciding game tonight in the Pacific Junior Hockey League championship series.

An early third period goal by standout blueliner Yuji Akimoto and a 24-save performance from goaltender Merik Erickson lifted the Ice Hawks to a 2-1 game six victory in front of a near capacity crowd on Saturday night at Cam Neely Arena.

Remarkably, it was the sixth straight time the road team has won in the series. Delta will be the home team for game seven but it will be played at the George Preston Recreation Centre in Langley at 7 p.m. after the ice was taken out of the Ladner Leisure Centre on Friday. The winner will advance to the four-team Cyclone Taylor Cup provincial junior “B” championships, slated for April 13-16 in Revelstoke.

The Ice Hawks showed plenty of resiliency to bounce back on Saturday night with their season on the line, especially Erickson, after the Flames exploded for five third period goals on seven shots to win game five 7-3 48 hours earlier in Ladner.

Kyle Robinson scored in the late stages of the opening period in game six to give the visitors the lead. The Flames answered at the 17:49 mark of the second, setting the stage for Akimoto’s fourth of the playoffs on a feed from Austin Kofler who also assisted on Robinson’s goal.


-The Ice Hawks will welcome back versatile veteran Henry Smith for tonight’s game after serving a two-game suspension.

-Delta finished the season a perfect 5-0 at Cam Neely Arena including a pair of regular season wins. The Flames went 4-1 in Ladner.

-Delta will be trying to win its fifth PJHL title in franchise history. Its last championship came back in 2018 against the Flames in what was GM and head coach Steve Robinson’s first year with the club. The Flames are coached by former NHLer and New Westminister Bruin standout Brent Hughes.

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