The Vancouver Giants did to the Valley West Hawks what they’ve been doing to all BC Major Midget League opposition this season – handing them a pair of losses.
The Hawks, riding a six-game win streak, lost to the Giants 6-5 Saturday morning at the Langley Events Centre and 5-2 Sunday at the Burnaby Winter Club.
Valley West fell into fourth place in the elite league for 15-17 year-olds with a 6-4-0 (won-lost-tied) record, while the Giants climbed into first place at a perfect 10-0-0.
“At the end of the day the results you saw were very much the product of an older experienced lineup finding a way to win early in the season over a team with a younger make up,” said Hawks head coach Jessie Leung.
“Ultimately the Giants capitalized on more of our mistakes than we did on theirs.”
Valley West was three minutes away from becoming the first MML team to take a point from the Giants. In Saturday’s game, Vancouver broke a 5-5 tie late in the game after the Hawks had rallied from two goals down to pull even.
Christian Bosa of Langley with his second goal of the game and Semiahmoo Minor Hockey’s Jeffrey Stewart tallied early in the third period to erase a 5-3 Giants lead.
Semiahmoo’s Logan Webber and James Malm of Langley also scored for the Hawks. Malm also had a pair of assists.
“We had a good push back,” said Leung. “The game was slipping away from us but we battled back hard and closed the two-goal deficit we entered the period with.”
The Giants had an easier time Sunday morning after taking a 1-0 lead late in the first period. They were up 2-0 when White Rock’s Matt Barberis got the Hawks on the scoreboard. And Vancouver led 4-1 before Justin De Vos of Surrey netted his first-ever MML goal with two minutes to play.
Valley West played without leading goal-scorer and team captain Luke Gingras of Langley for the two weekend games, as he was called up by the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League on Friday night. He was in the Blades lineup Saturday evening in Saskatoon, a 6-1 loss to the Portland Winterhawks.
Gingras is expected back next weekend when Valley West will face-off twice against the 4-4-2 Fraser Valley Thunderbirds. The two rivals play Saturday morning at the Abbotsford Recreation Centre, and again Sunday evening at the Langley Events Centre.