In BC Major Midget Hockey League (BCMML) action, the Kootenay Ice dropped two close road games to the Vancouver North West Hawks at Abbotsford Centre on the weekend.
Ten teams gathered in Abbotsford for the weekend BCMML Showcase, which highlights the league’s top talent for college and junior scouts from across North America. The Showcase match-ups proved an exciting mix for the attending scouts as six of the 10 games at the Showcase were decided by just one goal, an indication of the league’s strength and parity.
The Ice lost 2-1 to the Hawks on Saturday followed by another close 3-1 defeat on Sunday to fall to 2-4-0-0, while the Hawks improved to 5-1-0-0, good for first place in the BCMML standings.
In Sunday’s match, Kootenay jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on a Mason McLeod goal just 54 seconds into the first period, with assists to Dawson Reinfjell and Noah Quinn. However, the Hawks answered before the period was out when Eric Shipley beat Ice goalie Charles Curiston with 37 seconds to play.
The game remained tied at 1-1 through a physical second period. But the Hawks netted what proved to be the game winner at 15:22 of the third on Jake McLean’s league-leading seventh goal of the season. McLean then set up linemate Tyler Cristall for the insurance marker at 5:16. Both McLean and Cristall are tied for the league lead in scoring, McLean has seven goals and 12 points, while Cristall has scored six times and assisted on six.
In Saturday’s tight match, the Ice once again struck first, with McLeod putting Kootenay on the board at 14:31 of the second period. However, less than a minute later, McLean tied it and Hayden Gelbrand notched the winning goal at 18:20 of the third period.
Despite the two losses, it was a strong effort by the Ice against one of the league’s powerhouses, and Kootenay will have a chance to recoup much needed points when they host the 1-3-0-0 North Island Silvertips this weekend.
Kootenay is scheduled to play the Silvertips at 4 p.m. on Saturday and at 9:45 a.m. on Sunday at the Cominco Arena.