Thanks to some consistency in the net from new Aldergrove Kodiaks keeper Michael Lauriente, the team is back in the win column two games in a row.
Lauriente, a 17 year old from Semiahmoo’s top Midget team, has found his proper place on the team and his growing confidence enables him to play a key defensive role as well as keeper, according to team owner and general manager Rick Harkins.
Lauriente turned aside all but three of 22 shots on his goal by the visiting Port Moody Panthers on Wednesday night in Aldergrove Arena. And the Kodiaks, for their part, made the best of their opportunities to score on five of their 32 shots on the Panthers’ net.
It started in the first period, when in their first of three penalty kills, the Kodiaks scored a short-handed goal. Kodiak Kyle Bosko nabbed a shot on goal in the attacking zone face-off, and as it bounced off Panthers’ keeper Jack Stradiotti, Kodiak defender Jesse Conroy swept in from the other side and nailed it into the net before Stradiotti could leap back into the open side.
That beauty put the Kodiaks up 1-0 in the first period, and another pair of goals by the Kodiaks sandwiched the sole Panthers’ goal in the second period to put the Kodiaks up 3-1. Scoring for Aldergrove were John Lee and captain Matt Oliver, with assists from Oliver, Davin Padgham, Bosky and Ty Pickering.
Oliver also scored the first goal of the third period, from Bosky, before the Panthers rallied to sore a pair of their own, to make it 4-3 for the Kodiaks at the 13:36 mark.
The Panthers pulled their keeper in the dying minutes to give them a man-advantage but were foiled by an empty-netter by David Stickey, from Oliver, to end the game 5-3 for the Kodiaks.
It was a four-point night for Oliver, who is in the top-three of the Pacific Junior Hockey League’s leaders with 29 points after 14 games. Bosko’s three points puts him in seventh place in the league with 22 points after 14 games. The two Kodiaks were the game’s first and second stars, respectively, while the Panthers’ Brayden Szabados was third star for his pair of assists.
The result puts the Kodiaks in third place in the Harold Britain conference, with 14 points after 14 games (6-6-0-2), being the Ridge Meadows Flames an Abbotsford Pilots, both with 22 points after 15 games. Langley Trappers and Mission Outlaws follow at 10 points each, while the Surrey Knights trail at one point.
The reinvigorated Kodiaks travel to Planet Ice to play the Ridge Meadows Flames this Friday Oct. 27, and the host the Mission Outlaws on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 7:15 p.m. at Adergrove Arena.