Skip to content

PJHL finals: Delta Ice Hawks get needed road win over Flames

Brayden Sinclair celebrates being named PJHL Rookie-of-the-Year with game-winning goal with just over six minutes remaining
Yuji Akimoto and the Delta Ice Hawks climbed back into their PJHL championship series with the Ridge Meadows Flames after a 5-3 game three win on Monday night in Maple Ridge. Mark Booth Photo

The Delta Ice Hawks reverted back to their regular season ways to climb back into the Pacific Junior Hockey League championship series.

A goal from PJHL rookie-of-the-year Brayden Sinclair with 6:16 remaining lifted the Ice Hawks to a 5-3 win over the Ridge Meadows Flames on Monday night at Cam Neely Arena. The result came after the Flames swept a pair of games at the Ladner Leisure Centre to jump out to a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. The teams battle again on Wednesday night in Maple Ridge before heading to Ladner for game five on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

Delta produced a sizzling 20-4 record on the road en route to winning the Tom Shaw Conference regular season title and needed to be at its best Monday in enemy territory to avoid falling into a huge series hole.

The Flames answered each of the Hawks’ opening three goals before Sinclair scored his sixth of the post-season from Carson Hemenway and Payton Hu. The Flames had a great opportunity to force overtime when Hemenway was sent to the penalty box with 1:09 remaining, but his team hung on behind the goaltending of Marek Erickson. Conner Merriman added a shorthanded empty-netter in the dying seconds.

The loss snapped the Flames’ nine-game post-season win streak, dating back to game two of their quarter-final series with Chilliwack back on Feb. 24.

“It was a timely and hard-fought win,” said Ice Hawks’ GM and head coach Steve Robinson. “We just needed that initial breakthrough and overcoming that adversity late made it even sweeter and more useful moving forward. Games four and five are going to be hotly contested and massive obviously.”

Colin Jang and Merriman each scored twice. Erickson made 30 saves in his first start of the series after coming on in a relief role in game two Saturday when the Flames took a 3-1 second period lead en route to their 5-4 win.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks