Aldergrove Kodiaks open the 2020-2021 season with a four game winning streak. (Aldergrove Star files)

Aldergrove Kodiaks open the 2020-2021 season with a four game winning streak. (Aldergrove Star files)

Aldergrove Kodiaks start COVID restricted season with a roar

Playing in cohorts, the junior hockey team’s first game against Surrey Knights resulted in 7-0 win

The Aldergrove Kodiaks dominated the Surrey Knights in their season opener held on home ice last month, kicking off a four-game winning streak.

The Oct. 21 game ended in a score of 7-0, though no fans were allowed in the stands to enjoy the win.

Four goals were scored in the second period by Cameron Orthard, Connor Droux, Braeden Hallman, and Nico Marini and then three in third, one again by Marini two from Lucas Thompson.

Rick Harkins, general manager of the Kodiaks, said the team has started the season off on a positive note, even with it being what he referred to as “a rebuilding year.”

“We did that without holding any exhibition games too,” Harkins noted. “We didn’t get those goals until the second period, so it did take a little to knock the rust off.”

The Kodiaks would again defeat the Knights 4-0 one week later, and then go on to best the Ridge Meadows Flames 3 to 2 on Oct. 25.

Landon Walter and Nico Marino put the Kodiaks in the lead in the second period while Dayton Spink secured their win in the third.

Again the Kodiaks jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in a second game against the Flames last week, and held on for a 6-4 win, including an empty netter.

Aldergrove got two power play goals in the first period, and went three-for-six overall with the man advantage.

Aldergrove’s Nic Marini had three goals and an assist for the first star honours.

“The result is great,” Harkins assured, “but what it’s all about is seeing that they are trying to do what you’re teaching them – and they are really starting to play as a unit.”

The junior “B” ice hockey team, which is part of the Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL), has 13 teams who are playing in four different cohorts to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The Kodiaks are currently playing in a cohort that includes the Flames, Knights, and White Rock Whalers.

Harkins said that because of the number of players, coaches, and crew members in the rink at one time, to keep the limit to 50 people, no spectators will be allowed.

The general manager did say that a PJHL commentator is still able to attend to announce and have music in between plays so the feeling is closer to that of a regular game.

The PJHL has adjusted the 2020-21 season to consist of a 36 game schedule.

After the first 18 games wrap up in December, teams will then take a full league hiatus to quarantine where the cohorts will then be adjusted for the remainder of the season and playoffs.

The BC Hockey League (BCHL) meanwhile cancelled a game between the Langley Riverman and Surrey Eagles after a Surrey player tested positive for COVID-19.

BCHL said the athlete was placed in a 14-day quarantine and all other players and team personnel have been tested.

There has yet to be any positive COVID tests amongst PJHL players.

READ MORE: Aldergrove Kodiaks begin practises as league gears up for COVID-safe season

Harkins told the Aldergrove Star that broadcasts will be set up in early November so fans can get a chance to see the action and catch home games online.

More information on the league and upcoming game schedules can be found at www.aldergrovekodiaks.com.

The team faces the White Rock Whalers for a second time on Nov. 7.

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Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@aldergrovestar.com

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