Josh Bruce of the Valley West Hawks knocks down Jake Wilhelm of the South Island Royals during a BC Hockey Major Midget League game Sunday morning at the Langley Events Centre.

Hawks clinch top spot with sweep of Royals

Major Midget League team sets a number of club records while defeating South Island twice

Along the way to their first-ever regular season championship, the Valley West Hawks are setting several club records.

The Hawks clinched a first-place finish in the BC Hockey Major Midget League last weekend at home with a sweep of the South Island Royals, winning 6-0 and 3-1.

Their 31 wins, 63 points and 195 goals scored are all new team records, and with two games remaining in the regular season the Hawks can add to those totals.

“All season long amongst our coaching staff we felt we had a pretty special group,” said Valley West head coach Jessie Leung. “Success in the BC Major Midget League doesn’t come easily and being able to clinch the regular season title with a week left to play is a testament to the group we’ve assembled.”

The team of 15-17 year-olds from Surrey and North Delta went into Saturday’s game at the Sungod Arena a win away from clinching top spot. The Hawks dominated the game from start to finish, firing 75 shots at the Royals goal.

“We talked as a team before the game about the importance of the game, not for today but for our playoff run,” said Leung. “We had a tremendous start to the game roaring out to a 3-0 lead five minutes in. From start to finish, it was a team effort for a full 60 minutes.”

Goals from Josh Bruce, Christian Bosa and Ben Evanish got the Hawks off to their fast start. Daniel Chifan made it 4-0 in the last minute of the opening period. Ilijah Colina in the second period and Bruce in the third closed out the scoring.

Evanish and Michael Farren each had a pair of assists.

The Royals gave Valley West a tougher test Sunday morning at the Langley Events Centre. The teams were tied 1-1 after one period, and Valley West took a 2-1 lead into the third.

Evanish tallied twice more, with Bosa adding one goal.

“We had a bit of a let down. To be honest I was expecting it,” said Leung. “We had a big emotional win the night before and clinched first place. It was important that we found a way to win in a game we weren’t playing very well in.”

Evanish, from White Rock, had a five-point weekend and with 100 points has moved into second place in Valley West career scoring, behind only teammate James Malm and one up on Matt Bradley of Surrey, who is now with the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League.

The Hawks will close out the regular season in Nanaimo against the 5-27-6 (win-loss-tied) North Island Silvertips.

“We’re focused on this weekend and taking four points from the Island,” said Leung. “We expect the games to be a little messy, North Island has very little left to play for.”

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