Kodiaks, seen here during a November regular season game, opened their new season with a double win at the PJHL Winter Classic on Dec. 30 and Jan. 2. (Langley Advance Times file)

Kodiaks, seen here during a November regular season game, opened their new season with a double win at the PJHL Winter Classic on Dec. 30 and Jan. 2. (Langley Advance Times file)

Aldergrove Kodiaks triumphant at Winter Classic

A shutout and a ‘gutsy’ short-handed win at PJHL event

Aldergrove Kodiaks were unbeatable at the PJHL Winter Classic in Richmond, taking both games at the league’s kick-off to the second half of the season.

Kodiaks won their Thursday, Dec. 30 game against Port Moody Panthers 9-0, with goals from Taylor Chiu, Cameron Northard, Carson Preston, Hunter Brown (who scored twice), Lewis Nikkel, Justin Ralph, Connor Droux and Landon Walter.

Coach Chris Price said “the guys kind of exploded there. It was good to see.”

Chiu opened the scoring at 5:22 of the first period, with an assist from Parker Kubilius. Then, Northard scored at 14.47 off Chiu and Trevor Baron.

In the second, Carson Preston scored at 1:08 with Chiu and Ryan Sullivan assisting.

Less than a minute later, Brown notched his first, with Kale Taylor and Preston assisting.

Nikkel made it 5-0 at 12:01 with Preston and Chiu at 12:01.

Ralph, with Baron, scored at 16:11, and Brown got his second at 17:25 with Taylor and Preston.

In the third, Droux scored at 2:35, with Landon Walter assisting and Walter then scored at 11:58, with Droux and Chiu assisting.

Kodiaks netminder Mark Paton had the shutout, turning aside 23 shots.

READ ALSO: Omicron outbreak forces Langley Trappers to withdraw from Winter Classic

On Sunday, Jan. 2, a short-handed Kodiaks started the new year with a 7-4 win over Delta Ice Hawks at Minoru arena.

Kale Taylor had a hat trick, and Hunter Brown, Trevor Baron, Landon Walter, Carson Preston also scored for Aldergrove.

Price described it as a “gutsy” performance by the team, after three players couldn’t take part due because of possible exposure to the COVID Omicron variant.

“We had some guys who weren’t feeling 100 per cent,” is how Price put it.

“It was better to be safe than sorry.”

In the first period, Delta struck first, with Dominic Passalacqua-Main scoring at 8:14 .

Kodiaks responded at 16:55 with a goal by Hunter Brown, assisted by Lewis Nikkel and Carson Preston to tie it up.

Then, at 18:16, Trevor Baron, with an assist from Taylor Chiu, put Aldergrove ahead.

READ ALSO: Kodiaks win, Trappers lose last pre-Christmas games

In the second period, Kodiaks scored three in a row, at 3:10, Landon Walter, with an assist from Connor Droux; at 7:44

Kale Taylor got his first of the game, with an assist from Walter and Callum MacDonald; at 13:08 Carson Preston scored with an assist from Brown.

In the third, after Carson Merriman scored twice for Delta, and Taylor got his second goal of the game.

At 11:27, Yuji Akimoto had the final goal for delta, assisted by Merriman and Alex Lucchesi.

At 18:42 Kale Taylor notched his third of the night.

On Tuesday, Price confirmed at least one Kodiaks player tested positive for the virus.

Kodiaks next scheduled game is set for Wednesday, Jan. 12 at Aldergrove Credit Union Community Arena at 7:15 p.m.

Their Wednesday Jan. 5 game against Langley Trappers was postponed after eight players on the rival team tested positive.

Have a story tip? Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

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