A last minute push by the Mission Icebreakers has kept their playoff hopes alive, as the visitors pulled out a 3-2 win over the host Aldergrove Kodiaks, Feb. 8 at Aldergrove Arena.
It was a good night for Kodiaks forward Thomas Hardy, who scored twice in the first period, to earn the game’s third star as well as a season total of 61 points for second place in league scoring. Assists came from Brandon Potomak and Colton Precourt at 21 seconds, and Precourt and Matthew Lloyd at 16:07.
The Kodiaks outshot the Icebreakers 17-8 in the second period but it was scoreless, thanks to good work by Mission keeper Scott Lapp.
It looked like it was going to be another win for the Kodiaks as keeper Ross Baadsvik held off an onslaught of shots, but Mission upped the pressure in the final seven minutes to blast three in for the win.
Total game shots were 48-45 in favour of the Icebreakers.
The Kodiaks still sit atop the Harold Brittain conference with two more points than the Abbotsford Pilots, but Mission still has a long shot at overtaking the Ridge Meadows Flames for the fourth and final spot in the playoffs.
With six games left in the regular season the Kodiaks are on track to beat their previous seasons for total points. Currently, the Kodiaks have 52 points after 38 games (25-11-1-1), while the Pilots have 50 points after 38 games (24-12-2-0) and Port Moody Black Panthers have 25 points after 38 games ((10-23-4-1). The Flames have 17 points after 37 games (8-28-1-0) and the Icebreakers are close behind at 15 points after 38 games (6-29-3-0).
The Kodiaks faced the Tom Shaw conference and league-leading Richmond Sockeyes (64 points after 38 games) Feb. 9 at Richmond Arena. The Kodiaks opened the scoring in the first period on a power play against the host Richmond Sockeyes and ended the second period with a shorthanded goal, but three power play goals for the Sockeyes in the third period sealed the 6-2 win for the Sockeyes.
It was a chippy game but the Kodiaks only scored on one of eight power plays while the Sockeyes netted three for 13. The Sockeyes also outshot the Kodiaks 42-27 that night, although the Kodiaks outshot the Sockeyes 14-10 in the third period.
Kodiak Thomas Hardy scored on the power play at 2:24 in the first, assisted by Colton Precourt and Jordan Pughe, but the Sockeyes evened it up at 10:35.
The Sockeyes netted two more in the second period, before Kodiak Stephen Ryan got the short-handed goal at 15:58, assisted by Ryan Procyshyn and Samuel Ramsay, to give the Sockeyes a 3-2 lead going into the third.
The Kodiaks put in the effort in the third but three power play goals by the Sockeyes ended the game at 6-2.
Next week will be busy as the Kodiaks host the Flames on Feb. 15, travel to Abbotsford on Feb. 17 and to North Vancouver Wolf Pack on Feb. 18.
The Wolf Pack comes to Aldergrove Arena on Feb. 20 for a make-up game, followed by another Kodiaks home game on Feb. 22 against the Panthers.
The final regular season game for the Kodiaks is at Sungod Arena on Feb. 25 against the North Delta Devils.