Playoff spot clinched
verything fell into place for the Valley West Hawks on the final day of the B.C. Hockey Major Midget League schedule.
The Hawks needed either a win Sunday, or a loss by the North Island Silvertips, to qualify for postseason play. And in the end, they got both.
Valley West took both ends of a double header with the last-place South Island Thunderbirds last weekend at the Langley Sportsplex. After a 5-0 victory Saturday evening, the Hawks clinched sixth place when the Silvertips lost in Nanaimo to the Okanagan Rockets Sunday morning.
No longer needing a win, the Hawks got one anyway, closing out their 40-game schedule with their 20th victory, a 3-1 triumph Sunday afternoon.
Angus Redmond of Langley was in goal Saturday, earning a shutout while Cloverdale defenceman Cole Bevan, Justin Klimek and Daniell Lange of Langley, and Surrey forwards Ram Brar and Mitch Friesen scored the goals. Rhett Wilcox of Surrey and Langley defenceman Jordan Klimek collected two assists each.
Friesen scored twice, including the winning goal with 10 minutes to play, in Sunday’s win. His 22nd tally of the season put the Hawks up 2-0, and after the Thunderbirds pulled to within one with two minutes left, Friesen found the empty net in the final minutes.
Matthew Cox of White Rock opening the scoring five minutes into the second period. Luke Stripp of Surrey was in goal, turning aside all but one South Island shot.
The Hawks, owners of a 20-17-3 (won-lost-tied) record, will play the third-place Vancouver Chiefs in a best-of-three quarterfinal series on the weekend. Game one is at 4 p.m. tomorrow (Friday) at Planet Ice in Coquitlam, with a rematch Saturday at 8:15 p.m. Saturday night in the Port Coquitlam Recreation Complex. A location for a third game, if necessary, has yet to be announced.
BLUE LINES: Friesen added 33 assists to his 23 goals to finish atop the Hawks scoring race with 56 points in 40 games played, five points better than Lange, who also scored a team-high 23 goals. Friesen finished sixth in the league.
Jordan Klimek led the team with 34 assists, which combined with his eight goals, left him as the top scoring defenceman in the league with 42 points.