Split on the Island drops Hawks to third place
They were looking for a sweep to stay atop the BC Hockey Major Midget League standings, but the Valley West Hawks dropped a 5-3 decision to the South Island Royals Sunday morning in Victoria, and settled for a split of their two-game series on Vancouver Island.
The loss dropped the Hawks' record to 4-2 (won-lost), and with both the Okanagan Rockets and Vancouver Giants winning twice on the weekend to improve to 5-1, Valley West now sits third in the 11-team league for elite 15-17 year-old players.
The Hawks fell behind early in Sunday's game but couldn't pull even with the home side, which was looking for its first win after drive losses to start the season.
A pair of goals in the final five minutes of the opening period gave the Royals a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes. It was 3-0 midway through the game before Luke Gingras of Langley netted the first score of the game for Valley West, then five minutes later Matt Bradley of Surrey pulled the visitors to within one.
South Island made it 4-2 with a goal in the last minute of the second period.
White Rock's Davis Koch tallied with six minutes to go to put Valley West within one for the second time in the game, but an empty net goal in the final minute clinched the first win of the season for the Royals.
Koch also had an assist, while Surrey's Paul Savage and Eric Callegari of Langley each had a pair of assists.
In Saturday night's win, it was Valley West taking an early 2-0 lead and staying in front the rest of the way. Surrey forward Mitch Newsome and Bradley opened the scoring, and after South Island got their first of the game, Savage made it 3-1.
The Royals made it 3-2 after one period, and traded goals with Valley West in the second, with Paul Smith of White Rock scoring for the Hawks.
Jesse Lansdell (Langley) and Jordan Funk (Cloverdale) found the net for the Hawks in the third period. Funk also had two assists to finish with a game-high three points.
The Hawks will play twice against the 204 Vancouver Canadians next weekend, facing off at 10:15 a.m. Saturday at the Langley Events Centre and 10 a.m. Sunday at the Burnaby Winter Club.