Kootenay Ice faced an uphill climb on the road this weekend taking on the Vancouver North West Hawks.
The Ice fell 7-0 on Saturday and 9-2 on Sunday to one of the top teams in the BC Major Midget League. With the wins, the 15-5-0-0 Hawks move into sole possession of second place in the 11-team league, two points back of first-place Okanagan Rockets.
The Ice held the North West Hawks to just one goal through two periods in their opening match, until the host team exploded for six in the third period.
The talented Hawks team were too much for the Ice side on Sunday, taking a 7-0 lead into the third period until Kootenay’s Austin McKenzie and Joel Smyth scored for the Ice in the 9-2 setback.
The 7-11-0-0 Ice remain in sixth spot a point up on Valley West Giants and South Island Royals at the midway point in the season.
Kootenay is scheduled to play the Vancouver North East Chiefs this weekend, for their second go-around this year. Another tough opponent, the Chiefs are in third place with 26 points and a 13-4-0-0 record, and swept their two games on Oct 12-13 by scores of 7-3 and 6-1.
Highly touted Chiefs forward Dante Berrettoni is tied for the lead in league scoring with 16 goals and 27 points. The Burnaby product has already doubled his total points output, 13, from last season.
Kootenay will need to be at the top of their game when they host the Chiefs. The Ice’s leading scorer is Nelson product Noah Quinn who has tallied eight goals and 16 points, followed by Trail native Jacob Smith with three goals and nine points, and Ashton Underhill, Kaleb Percival, and McKenzie all with eight points.
The Chiefs, who draw talent from east Burnaby, New West, the Tri-Cities and Ridge Meadows zone, sit four points back of Okanagan, and if the season was to end today, would play the Ice in the first round of the BCMML playoffs.
According to the BCMML website, Kootenay and the Chiefs face off at 1:15 p.m. at the Cominco Arena on Saturday, and at 9:15 a.m. Sunday morning.