The Aldergrove Kodiaks took a 5-3 win Friday as the battle for the Cyclone Taylor Cup became an even race, with all four teams having one win each in four games.
This means that whichever team wins the two games on Saturday (today) will face each other for the gold and silver medals in the junior B hockey provincial championship game on Sunday.
After losing their first game Thursday, 2-0 to the host Creston Thunder Cats team, the Kodiaks bounced back on Friday to defeat the other Kootenays team in the tournament, the Beaver Valley Nitehawks.
And Vancouver Island’s top team, the Campbell River Storm also bounced back from a Thursday 6-0 defeat at the hands of the Nitehawks to down the Thunder Cats 6-2.
Aldergrove took a 2-1 lead in the first period on Friday with a pair of goals from Jacob De Waal and Davin Padgham (assists from Jerey Lagler, Cameron Davitt (2) and Quinncy Leroux).
The Kodiaks kept the lead, 3-2 in the second, with another marker from Leroux, assisted by Padgham.
Aldergrove scored twice again in the third for the 5-3 victory. The goals were from De Waal, followed by a last-minute, short-handed, empty-netter by Elijah Vilio (unassisted). Chase Manderville and Davitt gave De Waal his assists on his second goal.
De Waal earned the game’s first star and Kodiaks keeper Dawson Rodin was second star for his work in turning aside all but three of the Nitehawks’ 34 shots at his net. The Kodiaks also outshot the Nitehawks 39-34.
It’s been an outstanding first season for De Waal on the Kodiaks junior B team, after De Waal helped take the Aldergrove Bruins Midget team to the championship last season.
Aldergrove faces Campbell River today (Saturday) at 3:30 p.m. at the Creston community centre and the Nitehawks and Thunder Cats finish the preliminary games off tonight at 7:30 p.m.
The battle for third and fourth place follows on Sunday, April 9 at 2 p.m. with the gold and silver games at 7:30 p.m.