Valley West Hawk Josh O’Keefe (left) evades a collision with Coleton Bilodeau of the Okanagan Rockets during Sunday’s game.

Valley West Hawks go winless on weekend

Major-midget hockey squad falls twice to Okanagan Rockets after last-minute goals.

The Valley West Hawks slid down the standings of the BC Major Midget League last weekend, after going winless in a pair of games against the first-place Okanagan Rockets.

On Saturday at North Delta’s Sungod Arena, the Rockets rode a strong first period to a 4-3 win, and followed up Sunday afternoon with another one-goal victory, 3-2 over Valley West at the Langley Events Centre.

The losses dropped the major-midget hockey squad into a fifth-place tie in the MML with a 7-4-1-2 record (win-loss-tie-overtime loss), while the Rockets boosted their record to 11-1-0-0.

Though he wasn’t pleased to see his team fail to pick up any points on the weekend, Hawks head coach Jessie Leung hoped the two games would help refocus his team.

“It was a wake-up call for all of us,” he said. “We played good at times, but we waited too long to get going (in both games), and they scored late goals in each game. It is what it is… but we aren’t hitting the panic button just yet.”

On Saturday, Okanagan jumped out to an early lead against the Hawks, scoring twice in the first three minutes of the game.

Valley West’s Sahvan Gill of Surrey got the home team on the board midway through the first, though the Rockets re-established a two-goal cushion less than two minutes later.

In the second, Hawks forward Justyn Gurney scored to make it 3-2, and the team tied the game with just 2:27 left in the third period when Tyler Ho’s shot found the back of the net.

The Rockets, however, scored the winning goal with just 33 seconds left in the game.

“We didn’t connect on some power-plays… We didn’t do enough to help ourselves,” Leung said.

On Sunday,  Okanagan won on another late goal – this time with 17 seconds left on the clock.

Neither team scored in the first, Okanagan’s Tanner Bahm scored the only marker of the second period, and the third remained scoreless for the first 16 minutes before Valley West scored two goals inside a minute – from Kabir Gill and Nolan Krogfoss.

But as the clock ticked down and the game appeared headed for overtime, Rockets’ Coleton Bilodeau scored to give his team the team.

The Hawks left today (Friday) for Trail, where they’ll play twice this weekend against the Kootenay Ice, who sit nine points back of Valley West in the standings, with a record of 4-8-0-0.

“It’s still early, and there’s lots of time left,” Leung said. “And this weekend is a good opportunity to get away with the team and (refocus).”