An intense but scoreless third period saw the Aldergrove Kodiaks hold on to a 5-4 victory over the Delta Ice Hawks, Wednesday, Dec. 4 at Aldergrove Arena.
The final two minutes of the game were very difficult for the Kodiaks as the Hawks pulled their goalie and had a 6-4 man advantage that kept the puck deep in the Kodiaks’ end – although only the Hawks’ goal post stopped the Kodiaks from scoring an empty-netter in the dying minute.
The win puts the Kodiaks firmly in the lead of the Junior B hockey league with 36 points after 23 games (17-4-0-2), five points ahead of the Abbotsford Pilots in the Harold Brittain conference. The Hawks have 39 points for the lead in the Tom Shaw conference but after 27 games, leaving the Kodiaks with four games in hand.
The Kodiaks were up 4-1 at the start of the second period and 5-1 at 1:48 of the second, however, the Hawks made a comeback with the final three goals of the game in the second period.
Scoring for the Kodiaks were Scott McHaffie and Stephen Ryan with a pair of goals each, and Joshua Cronin. Assists were from Spencer McHaffie (2), Adam Callegari (2), captain Kenny Prato (2), Quinncy Leroux, Jonathan Philley, Elvis Jansons, and goalie Jordan Liem.
Liem stopped 37 of the Hawks’ 41 shots, and the Kodiaks had 51 shots on goal. The Hawks scored on two of eight power plays while the Kodiaks scored on one of nine.
First star of the night was Spencer McHaffie, second star was Hawks’ Benjamin Blake (who had two assists) and third star was Callegari.
Ryan is firmly in place as the league’s leading scorer with 22 goals and 45 points after 23 games, followed by Prato with 39 points (13 goals) and Callegari with 37 points (13 goals).
The Kodiaks will be busy with seven games left before the Christmas break. Two away games are set for Dec. 5 vs Mission City Outlaws and Dec. 8 vs Grandview Steelers, before they host the North Delta Devils, Dec. 11.
On Dec. 14 the Kodiaks travel to Port Moody Panthers before they host their final home game of this year on Dec. 18 vs Abbotsford Pilots. The Kodiaks have two more away games, Dec. 20 vs Ridge Meadows Flames and Dec. 21 vs Delta Ice Hawks.
In the new year the Kodiaks host Ridge Meadows Flames on Jan. 1 and travel to play the Richmond Sockeyes on Jan. 2.
All home games on Wednesdays at Aldergrove Arena start at 7:15 p.m. and fans who bring a non-perishable food item for the Aldergrove Food Bank receive $1 off the admission price. In addition the Dec. 18 game against Abbotsford will feature a “teddy bear toss” for the Christmas Bureau. Fans should bring a teddy bear, wrapped in clear plastic, and these teddies will be tossed onto the ice after the Kodiaks score their first goal.