After missing part of the third round with injury, Conner Merriman is back in the lineup for the finals and had two goals in the Hawks’ Game 2 loss to the Ridge Meadows Flames.
The Ridge Meadows Flames have taken a 2-0 series lead in the PJHL Finals, taking home a 5-4 win over the Delta Ice Hawks in another close game at the Ladner Leisure Centre.
The Hawks were the first to go on the penalty kill, but that didn’t matter, as Alex Lucchesi read the play and stepped into a Flames pass in the neutral zone, going on a breakaway and scoring short-handed over the left shoulder of Cam Connolly for a 1-0 Delta lead.
But the Flames were still successful on the power play, with Lukas Ravenstein scoring just 46 seconds after Lucchesi to even the score.
The Flames came out flying in the second period and popped two quick goals past Zach Shaughnessy, putting the visitors up 3-1 and causing a Delta goaltending change.
Thirty seconds after Merik Erickson entered the Ice Hawks’ net, Brayden Sinclair drew his team within one, converting a chance all alone in slot top right corner.
After a few minutes, the Flames regained their lead on a goal from David Stepputat to make it a 4-2 game for Ridge Meadows.
But, the Ice Hawks took advantage of a power play opportunity, with Carson Merriman setting up his brother Conner Merriman for a one-timer from the left circle, making it 4-3 with less than 10 minutes to go in the second frame.
The Flames scored one more time, with a shot from Zack Legrange saved by Erickson, but the rebound hit Carson Hemenway’s skate and went in, as Hemenway was skating backward for defensive positioning.
To round out the busy middle period, Carson Merriman won a puck battle in the neutral zone and tapped it up to Kyle Robinson. Robinson passed across to an open Conner Merriman, who scored his second of the game with 29 seconds left to make it 5-4.
With such a busy second period, more action was expected in the third, but neither team was able to find the back of the net, which means the Ridge Meadows Flames earned the win and a 2-0 series lead.