It took the second game of a back-to-back series versus the Kootenay Ice for the Valley West Hawks to get their first loss.
After gunning out to a 7-0 start, the Hawks lost their first game of the season to the Ice on Oct. 21st. They beat Kootenay on Oct. 20th 4-3, but then lost the second game of back-to-backs up in Trail, B.C. 5-4.
“Kootenay is a good team this year,” said Hawks head coach Rob Evers. “We completely outplayed them in the first game, and in the second game we outshot them by 20. We just didn’t get the type of goaltending in that second game.”
Following the loss, the Hawks traveled back to Langley to host their first home game of the season on Oct. 28th.
They didn’t let their foot off the gas pedal, beating the Vancouver NW Giants 6-1.
“There was a lot of energy in the building for our home opener,” Evers said. “About 500 people came out for the game and 300 stayed around out back for the barbecue.”
“We came out in that game and dominated them.”
In the next game of back-to-backs on Sunday, Oct. 29th, the Hawks traveled to Burnaby 8 Rinks to face the Giants. Their performance in that matchup wasn’t nearly as dominating.
“We always warn the guys that beating somebody one day and then playing them the next day isn’t a cakewalk in this league,” Evers said.
That was surely the case against the Giants, where the Hawks slumped out of the gate and were forced to play catch-up.
The Hawks scored a power play goal with ten seconds left in the second period against the Giants, closing the deficit to make the game 4-3. With a monster third period, the Hawks were able to preserve a 7-6 victory, in large part thanks to five power play goals.
Three guys that have really stepped up for the Hawks have been Arshdeep Bains, Nolan Krogfoss and Max Mohagen. Bains leads the BCMML right now with 25 points in 10 games.
Bains is a part of the Red Deer Rebels system, and hopes to play for their team next year.
Krogfoss isn’t far behind Bains, with his 22 points being good enough for second overall in scoring in the BCMML. He’s affiliated with the Trail Smoke Eaters, and was second star in a game earlier this year when he was recalled.
Mohagen, whose affiliated with the Surrey Eagles, has 11 points in nine games.
“Nolan, Arshdeep and Mohagen were three guys that we expected to carry this team all year long,” said Evers. “Those are two 16-year-olds and a 17-year-old that all have experience playing at this level.
The Hawks also added some more experience to their lineup, with Hunor Torzsok joining the team after being cut from the Vancouver Giants.
That experience has helped the team remain a powerhouse, even with Justin Sourdif and Cameron MacDonald missing time due to the WHL Cup.
Sourdif and MacDonald did slot back into the lineup for the team over the weekend after missing four games due to the tournament.
“Both of them were a little bit tired and beat up, but they didn’t play poorly,” Evers said.
MacDonald also had a notable week after he was announced as part of the affiliate roster for the Powell River Kings of the BCHL.
— Powell River Kings (@BCHLKings) October 30, 2017
“Cam had a bunch of teams approach him,” Evers said. “His decision was based on schools in the area along with a long-standing coach.”
Kent Lewis is the head coach of the Kings, a position he’s held since 2006-07, according to HockeyDB. He was previously a head coach and an assistant on the club since 1989-90.
Up next for the Hawks is a matchup against the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds, who have a 6-3-1 record through their first ten games. Evers’ believes it’s a winnable weekend series.
“Their record might be conducive of them playing some easier teams,” he said.