Considering that the Aldergrove Kodiaks had nine affiliate players on the ice against rival Abbotsford Pilots the team put up a great fight Wednesday, Feb. 13 at Aldergrove Arena.
The game result wasn’t important as the Kodiaks are destined to play the first round of playoffs against the Ridge Meadows Flames, starting Monday, Feb. 18 at Aldergrove Arena.
Kodiaks GM Rick Harkins said that after last year’s experience of having several key players placed on the injured list just as the playoffs started he wasn’t willing to risk the same outcome as this year’s regular season wound down.
Harkins was pleasantly surprised with the performance of the affiliate players, however, as the Kodiaks held the Pilots back for the first two periods and were even up 2-1 midway through the second period.
The Pilots were up 1-0 at the start of the second period, but the Kodiaks scored twice in the second. The first Kodiaks goal was at 7:10 by CJ Lillies, assisted by affiliate Philip Gauthier and Ryan Simpson. This was followed by a power play goal from Gauthier at 10:33, assisted by Roshen Jaswal and Tyson Solotki.
Gauthier earned a well-deserved second star of the game.
The inexperience of the affiliates caught up the team in the second half as they made the mistake of not keeping their eyes on the coaching bench and were caught twice for having too many men on the ice.
The Pilots scored on both of these power plays, with the first one in the dying minute of the second period helping the Pilots even the score at 2-2.
The Pacific Junior Hockey League has set the dates for the first round of playoff games between the Aldergrove Kodiaks and Ridge Meadows Flames.
The Aldergrove Kodiaks playoff games schedule begins Monday evening, Feb. 18 at Aldergrove Arena. The following are the dates and locations of the series:
Mon., Feb. 18, 8:30 p.m. Ridge Meadows Flames at Aldergrove Kodiaks, Aldergrove Community Arena
Wed., Feb. 20, 7:15 p.m. Ridge Meadows Flames at Aldergrove Kodiaks, Aldergrove Community Arena
Fri., Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m. Aldergrove Kodiaks at Ridge Meadows Flames, Planet Ice
Sat., Feb. 23, 7:45 p.m. Aldergrove Kodiaks at Ridge Meadows Flames, Planet Ice
Wed., Feb. 27, 7:15 p.m. Ridge Meadows Flames at Aldergrove Kodiaks, Aldergrove Community Arena
Fri., March 1, 7:30 p.m. Aldergrove Kodiaks at Ridge Meadows Flames, Planet Ice
If needed, game seven will be hosted by the Kodiaks at Aldergrove Arena, date to be announced.
The Pilots scored four more in the third, including two on power plays, to end the night in a 6-2 win.