The Aldergrove Kodiaks clawed their way to a 9-3 blowout of the visiting Port Moody Black Panthers, Sept. 26 at Aldergrove Arena.
The team showed markedly improved discipline and cohesiveness, after a disappointing series of three losses had put them near the bottom of the league.
“They are buying into the program and it’s paying off,” remarked general manager Rick Harkins after the game.
Particularly impressive was the production of the first line offence of twins Spencer and Scott McHaffie and Darcy Rai. Spencer notched four goals that night, assisted by Scott and Rai, to earn the trio the night’s three game stars.
Returning goalie Mark Menicucci also got off to a good start, stopping all seven shots in the first 10 minutes before an injury forced him to pull out in favour of keeper Brendan Sharp. Unfortunately, Menicucci is likely to be out and healing for more than just this game, according to Harkins.
The Kodiaks also outshot the Panthers 59-40, however, they couldn’t score on their five power plays, while the visitors scored on two of seven.
Spencer McHaffie opened the night’s scoring at 11:33 of the first, Cole Gastel from Jackson Waniek netted one a few seconds later, followed by Jean-Phillip Bouchard from Adam Plonski at 12:19, and the McHaffies-Rai line put the Kodiaks up 4-0 at 14:46. At this point the Panthers came back with their two power plays, at 18:08 and 19:56, to end the first at 4-2.
The Kodiaks owned the second period, scoring three more, starting with the McHaffies-Rai line at 1:34. That was followed by Waniek, unassisted, at 9:30 and Stefan Gonzales from captain Daniel Higgs and Rai at 12:39.
Already up 7-2 the Kodiaks scored twice more in the third before the Panthers closed the game with a goal at 8:45. Kodiaks scorers were Brandon Dolby from Matthew Lloyd and Stephen Ryan at 7:52 and McHaffies-Rai at 8:29.
The 9-3 win puts the Kodiaks at four points after five games, with two wins and three losses.
They travel to Ridge Meadows Friday to take on the Flames and host Abbotsford Pilots Wednesday, Oct. 3 at Aldergrove Arena.