The North Island Silvertips proved to be a more difficult opponent than expected, but the Valley West Hawks still earned three of a possible four points in BC Hockey Major Midget League play last weekend at the Langley Events Centre.
The Hawks tied the 10th-place Silvertips 2-2 Saturday evening, then won 5-3 Sunday morning to improve to 11-6-3 (won-lost-tied). North Island fell to 2-14-4.
“We were a depleted squad with four regulars out of the lineup,” said Hawks head coach Jessie Leung, noting defencemen Ian Ross and Spencer Berry, both from Semiahmoo Minor Hockey, were out with injury while two other players were serving suspensions.
“(North Island) came in as a desperate squad. We didn’t give very much up on Saturday but managed to cough up two golden opportunities on which North Island capitalized.”
The Silvertips led 2-1 after 40 minutes. Matt Barberis of White Rock scored the first Hawks goal midway through the second period which tied the game 1-1. He tallied his second of the game with 2:39 to go.
“Our captain (Barberis) was a stabilizing force for us down the stretch and scored two big power play goals for us to salvage a tie,” said Leung.
“Each shot was almost identical — Barberis took a hard pass from the half wall and bombed a slap shot post and in both times.”
The Hawks trailed 1-0 early in the first period before James Malm went to work.
The Langley forward assisted on goals by White Rock’s Ben Evanish and Christian Bosa of Langley, before scoring himself for a 3-1 Hawks lead.
North Island cut the difference to 3-2 just before the first intermission, but Daniel Chifan of Cloverdale netted the eventual winner midway through the game.
The Silvertips again reduced the lead to a goal, then Tyson Talhan of Surrey completed the scoring with three minutes to go in the second period. Malm collected his third assist of the game on the final goal.
“We made a switch in our forward lines putting Evanish with Malm and Bosa,” said Leung. “The three combined on our first two goals and really got the ball rolling.”
The Hawks will host the Kootenay Ice (3-15-2) this weekend, with games scheduled for 8:15 p.m. Saturday in the South Surrey Arena and 11 a.m. Sunday at the Langley Events Centre.