Aldergrove Kodiaks #11 Colton Precourt fires a zinger past Mission Icebreakers goalie Lukas Simpson in the third period. The Kodiaks won the Feb. 2 home game 5-1.

Aldergrove Kodiaks #11 Colton Precourt fires a zinger past Mission Icebreakers goalie Lukas Simpson in the third period. The Kodiaks won the Feb. 2 home game 5-1.

Kodiaks clawing back up



Aldergrove’s Bears are clawing their way back up.

A long dry spell for the Kodiaks has come to an end, after they decimated the Mission Icebreakers 5-1 at home on Feb. 2, and moved within two points of Mission in the battle for the last playoff spot.

New assistant coach Tim Preston has brought a steely-eyed and tough-talking discipline back to the Kodiaks bench and it’s paying off for the struggling players. Head coach Rick Harkins is still away dealing with serious health issues in his family, but many observers are remarking that Preston’s style echoes Harkins’ in the way that he drives the boys to play hard-hitting but smart hockey.

Mission, on the other hand, were undisciplined in racking up four penalties in the opening period, and they paid for it with two power play goals against them.

Kodiaks opened the scoring at 3:56 by Eric McEwan from Mitchell Guiel and Colton Precourt, followed at 10:25 by Matthew Liggett from Jordan Pughe and Tyson Solotki.

The Kodiaks upped the ante to 4-0 in the second period.

Kodiaks scored at 9:34 by Matt Garb from Ryan Veillet and Caleb Staniland, and at 13:05 by Mitchell Guiel from keeper Ross Baadsvik.

Mission finally saved themselves from a shutout in the third with their first and only goal at 6:43 from Keegan Hunter from Mattias Schmitt, but Precourt closed the game at 5-1 at 8:41, with assists from affiliate Matthew Lloyd and Cody Hoy.

Baadsvik turned aside all but one of Mission’s 48 shots to earn the game’s first star. Aldergrove had 55 shots on goal.

Second and third stars went to Guiel and Garb, respectively.

This bumps the Kodiaks up to 33 points after 40 games (13-20-7) just behind Mission’s 35 points after 40 games (15-20-5). Both teams have six games left in the regular season, with two apiece left against the conference-leading Abbotsford Pilots (39-23-11-5-51). Port Moody sits at second with 46 points and Ridge Meadows at third with 38 points.

UPDATE:

The Aldergrove Kodiaks took a bruising at Richmond Arena on Feb. 3, with an 8-1 loss to the Sockeyes.

The Sockeyes scored twice in the first, and potted another two in the second before Kodiak Mitchell Guiel scored at 10:10, assisted by Eric McEwan.

The Sockeyes added another in the second and three more in the third to annihilate the Kodiaks.

Neither team scored on power plays and the Sockeyes outshot the Kodiaks 55-23. Penalties were minimal, however, Sockeye Turner Popoff and Kodiak Jordan Pughe did receive game misconducts for a second period fight.

The Kodiaks remain stalled in fifth place in the conference, with 33 points after 41 games (13-21-7).