Clinging to third place a week ago, the Valley West Hawks are now clearly a top-three team in the BC Hockey Major Midget League.
Facing off against the fourth-place Vancouver Chiefs in a two-game series last week, the Hawks won twice to turn a three-point lead into a seven-point cushion. Two games away from the midway point in the season, Valley West is now part of a three-team group that has pulled away from the rest of the league.
Following their 3-2 win Saturday in Langley and 7-5 victory Sunday in Coquitlam, the Hawks are now 12-6-0 (won-lost-tied) and are one point back of the 12-3-1 Vancouver Giants and three behind the Okanagan Rockets.
The Hawks are idle next weekend, then will close out the first half of the schedule with a pair of home games Nov. 30-Dec. 1 against the seventh-place North Island Silvertips.
The Hawks got the jump on the Chiefs last weekend, taking a 3-0 lead 10 minutes into the first game on goals by Justin Wilde of Surrey, White Rock’s Devante Stephens and Langley’s Eric Callegari. Jesse Lansdell of Langley had a pair of assists.
The Chiefs tallied twice in 59 seconds later in the period, then the two rivals played the final 40 minutes without a goal.
Sunday’s rematch featured plenty of offense, but after taking a 2-0 lead less than three minutes into the game, the Hawks never trailed. Luke Gingras of Langley opened the scoring two minutes into the game, then Surrey’s Shakeel Ebrahim added another Valley West goal 16 seconds later.
After the Chiefs got on the scoreboard, Matt Bradley of Surrey made it 3-1 before the first intermission. Lansdell and Gingras upped the count to 5-1 midway through the second period, before the Chiefs notched their second of the game.
Vancouver scored three times in the third period, but Bradley’s second goal of the game and Wilde’s second of the weekend kept Valley West in front.