Hawks move close to clinching third place

Spencer Gerth of the Valley West Hawks checks Cody Paivarinta of the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds during a BC Hockey Major Midget League game Sunday. - DAN FERGUSON / BLACK PRESS
Spencer Gerth of the Valley West Hawks checks Cody Paivarinta of the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds during a BC Hockey Major Midget League game Sunday.
— image credit: DAN FERGUSON / BLACK PRESS

The Valley West Hawks have doubled their lead over the Vancouver Chiefs in a race for third place in the BC Hockey Major Midget League.

The Hawks took three of four points from the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds last weekend, while the Chiefs lost a pair of games to the Vancouver Giants. Valley West, at 21-11-2 (won-lost-tied), is now six points clear of the fourth-place Chiefs with six games to play.

It also assures the Hawks of a top-eight finish, and a position in the provincial playoffs which begin in four weeks.

In an 8-3 win Saturday in Abbotsford, Valley West took an early lead and never looked back in a victory over the Thunderbirds. Paul Savage and Ty Westgard netted goals just 11 seconds apart before the game was 10 minutes old.

Leading 2-1 after one period, the Hawks buried Fraser Valley with four more in the second. Surrey forward Matt Bradley notched two goals, with Jordan Funk of Cloverdale and Davis Koch of White Rock adding singles.

Each team tallied twice in the final 20 minutes. Mitch Newsome of Surrey and White Rock’s Matt Barberis were the Valley West goalscorers.

The Hawks scored first in Sunday’s game, a tally from Koch with five minutes remaining in the first period, but were tied 1-1 and trailing 3-1 at the period breaks.

Barberis got the Hawks to within one with seven minutes to play, then Newsome tied the contest 17 seconds later to lift Valley West into a 3-3 tie.

The Hawks will host the struggling, Kamloops-based Thompson Blazers next weekend. Saturday’s game is at 3:30 p.m. at the Langley Sportsplex, followed by a game Sunday at 1:15 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre.

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