Kaelen Anderson of the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds goes down as he tangles with Valley West Hawks defenceman Ian Ross during a BC Hockey Major Midget League game Saturday at the Langley Events Centre. The Thunderbirds won 3-2.

Hawks end slide with win over Thunderbirds

Major Midget team wins one, loses one, slides to third place

Their three-game losing streak has been snapped, but not before the Valley West Hawks lost another position in the standings.

The Hawks lost 3-2 to the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds at home Saturday afternoon in Langley, but won the rematch 2-0 Sunday in Abbotsford.

“It was a tough weekend, I thought we deserved a sweep based on the way we played,” said Hawks head coach Jessie Leung. “But (Fraser Valley goalie Paul) Tucek played very well for them.”

The Hawks have a record of 8-3-1 (win-loss-tie), which leaves them tied for third place with the Okanagan Rockets in the BC Hockey Major Midget League, one point back of both the Vancouver Giants and Cariboo Cougars.

Valley West has two games in hand on the Cougars and the Rockets, and will visit Okanagan in Kelowna next weekend.

Against the Thunderbirds, the Hawks had a pair of one-goal leads in Saturday’s game, yet lost for the third consecutive time. Ben Evanish opened the scoring midway through the first period, giving Valley West a 1-0 lead after one period. Ilijah Colina assisted on the goal.

Fraser Valley tied the score just eight seconds into the second period, and the score remained 1-1 for the next 18 minutes.  Evanish and Colina set up Christian Bosa, who scored a powerplay goal with 27 seconds left for a 2-1 Hawks lead. But the Thunderbirds responded quickly, tying the game 12 seconds before the second intermission.

The Thunderbirds scored the only goal of the third period, netting the winner with 3:35 remaining.

“Fraser Valley played very well Saturday,” said Leung. “The difference was they capitalized on their chances, and we didn’t.”

Reece Klassen earned the shutout in Sunday’s victory, the second time this season the Hawks have held the opposition scoreless.

Neither team could score until Valley West went on the powerplay late in the game. Evanish got the winning goal with 80 seconds remaining, with Colina and Josh Bruce assisting.

“Evanish stepped up with a huge goal like he’s done all season,” said Leung. “We got the powerplay, drew  up a play, and got the goal.”

Justyn Gurney added an insurance goal in the final minute of play into an empty net.

The Hawks were without forwards Luka Burzan and Avin Gill, who were with Team BC at the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup tournament in Calgary. Team BC defeated Saskatchewan 7-2 in the bronze medal game.

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