Hawks creep closer to first

Valley West wins, loses against Okanagan Rockets

They remain in fourth place, but the Valley West Hawks moved a little closer to the top of the BC Hockey Major Midget League (MML) last weekend.

The Hawks split their two games against the Okanagan Rockets at the Langley Events Centre, and trail the Kelowna-based team by three points in the standings. Valley West went into the weekend four points behind the first -place Cariboo Cougars, a team which lost twice.

Ten of the 11 MML teams played two games each last weekend in Langley, the host site of the league’s first Showcase Weekend.

The Hawks dropped a close 7-6 decision to Okanagan Saturday, but won the rematch 3-1 Sunday morning.

The two teams were tied 1-1 after 20 minutes in the Saturday night contest, with Matt Bradley of Surrey netting the Hawks goal. Cole Plotnikoff, also of Surrey, tallied twice in the second period for Valley West, but it was the Rockets taking a 5-3 lead into the third.

The lead was upped to 7-4 before the Hawks attempted to rally. Surrey forwards Rhett Wilcox and Darien Craighhead as well as Langley’s Eric Callegari scored in the last seven minutes of play, leaving the home side a goal short.

Valley West never trailed in Sunday’s contest, scoring once in each period for a 3-0 lead before the Rockets tallied on the powerplay in the final minute of play.

Craighead, Jake Fletcher of Surrey and Cloverdale’s Jakob Stukel were the goal scorers, with Bradley earning a pair of assists.

The Hawks are now 5-3-0 (won-lost-tied), two points back of the Vancouver Giants (6-0-0) and Cariboo Cougars (6-2-0), and three behind the 6-1-1 Rockets.

Valley West will play twice against the Giants next weekend, facing off in Burnaby Saturday night before the rematch Sunday at 2:45 p.m. at the Surrey Sports and Leisure Complex.

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