It wasn’t the sweep many teams earn against the struggling Kootenay Ice, but the Valley West Hawks are satisfied with a win and a tie from two BC Hockey Major Midget League games played last weekend.
The two teams played to a 4-4 draw Saturday night at the South Surrey Arena, before winning 4-2 Sunday morning at the Langley Events Centre.
“Anytime you come away with three out of four points, that’s a good weekend,” said Valley West head coach Jessie Leung. “Kootenay played inspired hockey on Saturday, they are a club that works hard and pushes you every time they take the ice.”
Valley West improved to 12-6-4 (won-lost-tied), but dropped to fifth place in the 11-team league. They are tied with the 13-7-2 Vancouver Chiefs, but have one less win.
The Hawks rallied from a two-goal deficit in Saturday night’s game, and were on the verge of a win until the final minute of play.
Trailing 2-1 after the first period, the Hawks fell behind 3-1 four minutes into the third.
Ben Evanish of White Rock started the comeback, scoring a powerplay goal with 13 minutes remaining in the game. Five minutes later, Bradley Stonnell tied the score, again with the Hawks enjoying a man advantage. Then with just four minutes to go, Langley’s Trevor Ayre put the home side in the lead for the first time in the game.
Kootenay, winners of just three games this season, avoided a 16th loss by tying the score with 56 seconds remaining.
“Our special teams were good this weekend,” said Leung. “Our penalty kill was tested more often than I would have liked. Our style of play hasn’t changed drastically from when we were taking fewer than four minors a game in early November, so I’m not quite sure why we’re up to the high teens in penalty minutes right now.”
In Sunday’s rematch at the Langley Events Centre, the Hawks put the game out of reach by the end of the second period, leading 2-0 and 4-0 at the period breaks. Jeffrey Stewart and Christian Bosa tallied in the first period, with Evanish and Bosa scoring in the second. Evanish also collected third assists for a season-best four-point game.
James Malm, named the MML’s Player of the Month for November, also had a four-point game as he assisted on all four goals.
“Ben Evanish was a workhorse all weekend,” said Leung. “he has really found his groove now and is a major player in our offensive plans. He, Malm and Bosa had a tremendous Sunday.”
The Hawks play the 10-10-2 Vancouver Canadians this weekend. The first game is Saturday evening in Richmond, the second is at 9:15 a.m. in Langley.