The BC Major Midget Kootenay Ice put in a couple of strong efforts against the Valley West Giants, but came away with a point to end their home season on the weekend.
The Ice earned a 5-5 tie on Saturday, before falling 6-3 to the Giants on Sunday morning.
Kootenay captain Mason McLeod tallied all three goals for the hat trick on Sunday, scoring his 16th goal and 32nd point of the season. The Dawson Creek native tied the game at 3-3 just 15 seconds into the third period, but the Giants replied with three unanswered goals for the 6-3 win.
The Giants jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but McLeod notched his first of the game at 10:32 of the first period on a set up from Jaxson Waterstreet and Noah Quinn to cut the lead to one. He then tied the game at 2-2, sniping it by the Valley West goalie on a pass from Kaleb Percival and Waterstreet at 4:15 of the middle frame.
Less than a minute later, however, Walker Erickson put the Giants back up by one with 3:35 to play in the second.
McLeod completed the hat trick, but goals from Bryce Margetson, Jacob Dorohoy and Dawson Penner gave Valley West the win.
Valley West has secured the eighth and final playoff spot with a 14-20-4-2 record. The weekend games completed the Giants 40 game season, as the team enjoys a bye next week. As it stands, the Giants would play the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds in the first round of playoffs. The 27-9-1-1 Thunderbirds are tied with the 25-7-4-2 Vancouver North East Chiefs in points but earn the first seed by virtue of having more wins.
On Saturday, the Ice held a 5-3 third period lead, but couldn’t hold on as two third-period goals from Walker Erickson, including the game-tying tally with 33 seconds to play, stole a point for the Giants.
Whitehorse product Joshua Austin opened the scoring for the Ice at 18:09 of the first period, but Dakoda Miller brought the Giants even at 14:30.
Erickson scored his first of the game at 16:24 of the second to give Valley West a 2-1 lead, but back-to-back tallies from Quinn and Nelson native Joseph Davidson put the Ice back up 3-2.
Dorohoy tied it once again, but McLeod responded with 40 seconds left in the middle frame to put the Ice up 4-3.
Kootenay forward Slade Desharnais tallied his fifth of the season to give the Ice a 5-3 lead, but Erickson brought the Giants within one with 6:42 to play, then completed his hat trick by tying the game in the final minute.
Kootenay competed well for most of the season, but, as they did on the weekend against the Giants, struggled to count points when they had a chance. The Ice wrap up their Major Midget season on the road this weekend when they face the Greater Vancouver Canadians in Richmond.