by Rick Kupchuk
It was third time lucky on home ice for the North Delta Devils.
After losing their first two games of the season at the Sungod Arena, the Devils posted their first victory at home Saturday night, edging the Ridge Meadows Flames 2-1 in a Pacific Junior Hockey League contest.
North Delta went in front midway though the first period on a goal by Landen Matechuk, a shorthanded effort assisted by Tristan Craighead and Blake Gorrill.
The Devils added a power play goal six minutes into the second frame. Josh Smith netted what would prove to be the winning goal, with Nicholas Holowko and Ben Vikish assisting.
The Flames pulled to within a goal before the period was out, but didn’t mount much of a challenge in third period, as they were outshot 15-4 by the home team.
North Delta was one-for-five on the powerplay, while Ridge Meadows were scoreless on six powerplay chances.
Former Devils netminder Tyler Read of White Rock earned the game’s second star, stopping 38 of 40 shots in the Flames goal. Dawson Aulenback stopped 13 of 14 shots while playing the first half of the game in the North Delta net, giving way to Tyler Robinson who stopped all 13 shots he faced.
The Devils finished the first month to the season with a 2-3-1 (won-lost-tied) and are in the basement of the five-team Tom Shaw Conference.
They host the Abbotsford Pilots (3-3-1) Saturday night at 7:15 in the Sungod Arena, and visit the Grandview Steelers (3-1-1) Sunday at the Burnaby Winter Club.