At the midway point of their B.C. Hockey Major Midget League season, they Valley West Hawks sit in fourth place in the 11-team league, not far off from where head coach Jessie Leung hopes to finish when the regular season concludes in three months.
After they split a weekend series with the Vancouver Chiefs, Valley West has an 11-6-1-2 (win-loss-tie-overtime loss) record, four points back of the third-place Chiefs. But three other teams are within three points of the Hawks.
“I’m not too concerned,” said Leung of Valley West’s standing, convinced the Hawks will be in the top four when the season ends. “We look to have home ice advantage, at least for the first round. to me, the important part of the season is late February and early March.”
Valley West edged the Chiefs 3-2 in overtime Saturday afternoon at the Langley Events Centre.
Kabir Gill had the Hawks ahead 1-0 five minutes into the game, but the Chiefs led 2-1 after 40 minutes. Jonas Leas netted a tying goal four minutes into the third period, and Mitch Savage notched the winner less than three minutes into extra time.
Sunday morning in Coquitlam, the two teams were even through 30 minutes before the Hawks faded in what became a 6-2 loss.
“We were missing a few bodies,” said Leung, adding the team was down three defencemen by the midway point of the game. “Bobby Russell was called up to the Kootenay Ice (of the Western Hockey League), Savage was tossed in the second period (with a game misconduct) and Gill was injured.
“The momentum swung and the the game got away from us.
The Hawks got goals from Devon Taylor and Tyler Ho, the second tally tying the game midway through the third period. The Chiefs took the lead 47 seconds after the second Valley West goal, then added three unanswered goals in the third period.
Valley West will begin the second half of their season Saturday night at 9 p.m. at Queen’s Park Arena against the South Island Royals. The two sides will play again Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre.