What could have been a very productive weekend on the road slipped away from the Valley West Hawks in Victoria last weekend.
The BC Hockey Major Midget League team blanked the South Island Royals 3-0 Saturday evening, but were handed a 4-1 defeat Sunday morning.
The Hawks are 10-6-2 (won-lost-tied) on the season, and in fourth place in the 11-team league.
“We were pretty sluggish this weekend,” said Hawks head coach Jessie Leung. “I’m not sure if players are getting hit with a touch of the flu or if they were finding themselves dehydrated. But we didn’t have the jump in our strides that we normally do.”
Langley’s James Malm scored a pair of goals, with Ben Evanish of White Rock adding a single. Nick Talarico of Surrey had the shutout. The Hawks led 2-0 and 3-0 at the period breaks.
“Saturday’s game was never in doubt,” said Leung. “I felt we controlled the game from start to finish, limiting the Royals to 20 shots. It was a physical but clean affair. However, you could sense the hate starting to build.”
Trevor Ayre (Semiahmoo minor hockey) netted the only goal Sunday, tying the game 1-1 late in the second period. The Royals scored three times in the final frame for the win, getting the winning goal with 15 minutes to play and an insurance marker two minutes later. An empty net goal with three seconds left completed the scoring.
“Sunday was a tough one. We never seemed to find our stride and were hammered by penalties,” Leung said. “The Royals came to play on Sunday. They were a desperate team that outcompeted us.”
Penalties will also cost the Hawks the services of a pair of players. Justin De Vos of Surrey will sit both game next weekend after receiving a fighting major. Cole MacEwen was assessed a check from behind penalty in the last 10 minutes of play, earning a one-game suspension.
The Hawks will close out the first half of the season with two games against the North Island Silvertips at the Langley Events Centre. The first game is Saturday at 5 p.m., followed by a rematch Sunday at 11 a.m.
“We are in good shape heading into the final weekend of the first half of the season,” said Leung. “We have the opportunity to finish the first half with a record of 12-6-2 which would be 2 points off our 14-6-0 record last year.