The Aldergrove Kodiaks took a 3-0 lead in the Pacific Junior Hockey League finals on Tuesday night at Ladner Leisure Centre.
The Kodiaks have now won eight playoffs games in a row and need only one more win over the Delta Ice Hawks to seal the best-of-seven series and move onto the provincial junior B hockey championships in Creston.
The 2017 Cyclone Taylor Cup runs April 6-9 at the Creston Community Complex, hosted by the Creston Valley Thunder Cats.
If Aldergrove wins the PJHL championship they will play against the Creston host team and the two champion teams from the Vancoouver Island and Kootenay junior hockey leagues. It would be Aldergrove’s third trip to the Cyclone Taylor Cup series, with previous trips in the 2013-14 and 2009-10 seasons.
The winner of the Cyclone Taylor Cup will go on to represent B.C. at the Western Canadian Keystone Cup championships. It is being hosted by the Arbord Ice Dawgs, April 13-15 in Arborg, Manitoba.
The Kodiaks and Hawks play game four Friday in Ladner, and if needed, game five will be Saturday evening at Aldergrove Arena.
Aldergrove opened the scoring in Tuesday’s game with a goal by Ty Pickering, from Clayton Schroeder and Quinncy Leroux. Hawks’ Mark Trotman evened it up 1-1 in the first period.
Aldergrove exploded in the second period, with three unanswered goals in six minutes, to take a 4-1 lead in the period. Goals were by Chase Manderville and a pair from captain Eric Callegari, including a power play goal. Assists came from Cameron Davitt (2), Manderville and Sam Bodnaruk.
Both teams scored a power play goal in the third period to end the game 5-2 for Aldergrove. Hawks Jordan Bogress scored first, followed by Kodiaks Leroux, with assists from Davin Padgham and Callegari.
Callegari’s three point night earned him the game’s first sea. Second star was Manderville, while Kodiaks keeper Dawson Rodin earned a third star for turning aside 29 of the Hawks’ 31 shots on net.
The Kodiaks and Hawks were even on shots on net that night with 31 apiece, however, the Hawks almost doubled the Kodiaks in shots, 13-7 in the third period, in a failed effort to take the game.