Sockeyes clinch #3 seed as playoffs loom

Richmond hosts Langley Thursday in regular season home finale

The Richmond Sockeyes have managed to lock up the No. 3 seed for the upcoming PJHL playoffs as they prepare for another busy stretch to conclude regular season play.

The Sockeyes (28-10-2-1) rolled to a 9-4 road win over the Ridge Meadows Flames on Friday night. The result came 24 hours after a 4-3 home ice victoryagainst the Abbotsford Pilots.

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It’s a good thing the PJHL decided to change its playoff format this season as the league’s three best regular season teams all reside in the Tom Shaw Conference. Instead of a potential quarter-final match-up with the Delta Ice Hawks or North Vancouver Wolf Pack, the Sockeyes could see one of three other teams depending on how the final week of games play out.

Currently the Grandview Steelers are the No. 6 seed but are just three points back of the Langley Trappers and one ahead of the Aldergrove Kodiaks.

The Sockeyes will have a big say in the matter as they travel to Aldergrove on Wednesday night then return to Minoru Arenas 24 hours later to host the Trappers at 7 p.m. The schedule will conclude at Port Moody on Saturday.

Richmond completed a four-game season sweep of the Abbotsford Pilots to secure the No. 3 seed in dramatic fashion.

Rookie blueliner Gabriel Suessenbacher-Fu’s shorthanded goal tied the game with 5:12 remaining and Ryan Wellburn notched the game winner just 53 seconds later.

Konstantinos Rados and Craig Schouten had the other Richmond goals while Jeremy Kelleway made 28 saves.

In Maple Ridge, first-year standout Craig Schouten had a six point night, including a pair of goals, in the dousing of the Flames. The 17-year-old from Surrey leads the league in goals among rookies with 27. Brady Sprague added a goal and two assists, while Jacob Kermidschieff and Wellburn each had four helpers.

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