The Valley West Hawks finished the weekend in exactly the same place they started, in fifth place in the BC Hockey Major Midget League, one point back of the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds.
The Hawks split their two games with Fraser Valley last weekend, losing 3-2 to Fraser Valley Saturday in Abbotsford before rebounding for a 4-1 triumph Sunday at the Langley Events Centre.
Valley West now has a record of 16-9-1-2 (win-loss-tie-overtime loss). The Thunderbirds are 16-8-3-1. Each team has a dozen games to play.
The Hawks battled for 60 minutes against the Thunderbirds in Abbotsford, only to give up a game-winning goal on a penalty shot in the final minute of play.
Alek Sukunda late in the second period and Aidan Barfoot midway through the third scored for Valley West, each goal tying the game after Fraser Valley took a one-goal lead.
Valley West finished the game down two defencemen, as Surrey resident Mitch Savage and Cloverdale’s Bobby Russell were ejected before the game was half over. The Hawks battled penalty trouble all game, as they were assessed 42 minutes in penalties, compared to 18 for the Thunderbirds.
The penalty situation was reversed Sunday in Langley. Valley West took just four minor penalties, while the Thunderbirds received 10 minors, two misconducts and a game misconduct.
After Trevor Isaksson of North Delta and Jerret Raymond scored second period goals to give Valley West a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes, the Hawks put the game out of reach with a pair of powerplay goals in the third period.
Carson Franklin of Cloverdale tallied 82 seconds into the period for a 3-0 advantage, and defenceman Kabir Gill of White Rock completed the scoring with two minutes remaining in the game.
Valley West will play the Greater Vancouver Canadians this weekend in an important two-game set in Richmond.
The sixth-place Canadians are just two points back of the Hawks, and will host Valley West at 6 p.m. tonight (Friday) and again tomorrow at 9:45 a.m. Both games are at the Richmond Oval.