The BC Major Midget League opened its regular season this weekend, seven weeks after opening training camps August 9.
Ten of the eleven teams in the league were in action with two game series at the host team rink. Only the Prince George Cougars were not in action.
The defending league champion NW Giants travelled to Nanaimo Saturday morning and came home with a split, winning game one 6-2 and losing game two 3-2 vs the North Island Silvertips.
The Greater Vancouver Canadians were also on the Island, facing the South Island Royals in Victoria. GVC won both games, a 5-3 empty-netter in game one, followed by an exciting 7-5 win on Sunday.
The NE Chiefs hit the road to Kamloops, tying home town Blazers, 1-1 on Saturday and then posting a 4-1 win in game 2.
The Okanagan Rockets were host to Fraser Valley Thunderbrids, and posted two home wins, a 10-3 blowout on day one, followed by a tight 6-5 win Sunday.
The Valley West Hawks travelled the furthest, heading east to face the Kootenay Ice in Nelson. It was a good trip for the Hawks, and a tough one for the home town Ice, who dropped both games, 7-4 and 9-1.
Full game recaps below, courtesy of BC Hockey.
South Island Royals vs. Greater Vancouver Canadians
The Greater Vancouver Canadians started the 2013-2014 season with a pair of wins on the road over the South Island Royals.
In game one (1), the Royals opened the scoring mid-way through the second period when Haydn Hopkins (Victoria) buried one off a pass from Kurtis Gamble (Victoria). The Canadians answered back a couple minutes later with a power play goal by Sean Gillespie (Vancouver), followed by another power play goal less than a minute later by Kyle Uy (Vancouver).
The Canadians increased their lead early in the third with two (2) goals from Braeden Gurney (Delta) and Ryan Jones (Delta). With less than three (3) minutes remaining in the game, the Royals scored twice thanks to Duncan Cochrane (Victoria) and Guiney, to make it a one (1) goal game.
Nathan McCarnan (Vancouver) secured the Canadians victory with less than 30 seconds remaining in the game off a pass from Owen Seidel (Richmond).
In game two (2), Andrew Jack (Duncan) opened the scoring for the Royals with a shorthanded goal just over the half way mark of the first period off a pass from Cochrane. The Canadians came out strong in the second scoring four (4) straight goals in the first six (6) minutes thanks to Dante Hannoun (Delta), McCarnan and two (2) by Jordan Deyrmenjian (Vancouver).
Hopkins scored the Royals second shorthanded goal minutes later followed by a Canadians goal by Gunnar Wegleitner (Vancouver). Cochrane netted the Royals third goal late in the second with help from Brandon Tutte (Victoria).
With just over a minute remaining in the middle frame, Blake Hayward (Vancouver) scored the Canadians sixth goal off a pass from Kyle Hofmann (Richmond). Late in the third, the Royals scored back to back goals thanks to Guiney and Jacob Malloch (Victoria), but it wouldn’t be enough as Ryan Wilkinson (Richmond) netted the Canadians final goal with just a few minutes remaining in the game.
North Island Silvertips vs. Vancouver North West Giants
The North Island Silvertips and the Vancouver North West Giants split their season opening double header in Nanaimo. The Giants opened the scoring in the first game thanks to a goal by Colton Kerfoot (West Vancouver), assisted by Mitchell Stapley (North Vancouver) and Dante Fabbro (Whistler).
The Silvertips netted two (2) goals by the end of the first thanks to Hunter Findlater (Powell River) and Grady McInnes (Campbell River) to take an early lead. Owen Stout (West Vancouver) scored an unassisted goal for the Giants just over a minute into the second followed by the go ahead goal from Justin Szeto (Burnaby).
The Giants secured their victory in the third with three (3) goals from Nash Dabb (North Vancouver), Quinn Thompson (West Vancouver) and Keyvan Mokhtari (Burnaby).
It was a close battle in game two (2) between the Silvertips and the Giants on Sunday. McInnes opened the scoring for the Silvertips, assisted by Findlater and Tyler Madden (Powell River). The Giants answered back just over a minute later thanks to Tak Anholt (North Vancouver) from Thompson.
The Silvertips regained the lead late in the first when Clayton Pearce (Nanaimo) scored off a pass from Rowan Siider (Nanaimo). Late in the third, McInnes scored his second of the game, giving the Silvertips a two (2) goal lead with just under seven minutes remaining. With less than two (2) minutes on the clock, Anholt scored his second goal of the game for the Giants off a pass from Kerfoot, but it wouldn’t be enough as the Silvertips were able to hold the Giants.
Okanagan Rockets vs. Fraser Valley Thunderbirds
It was a big weekend at home for the Okanagan Rockets as they opened the season with a pair of wins over the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds.
The Rockets took an early lead in game one (1) with three (3) straight goals thanks to Cory Santoro (Kelowna), Mahlon Head (Kelowna) and Branden Wagner (Kelowna) in the first period.
Early in the second, the Rockets increased their lead with a pair of goals by Tyson Jost (Kelowna) and Liam Finlay (Kelowna). Minutes later, Brice Sharp (Mission) put the Thunderbirds on the board with help from Austin Wellsby (Chilliwack) and Nicholas Ponak (Abbotsford), but the Rockets answered back with two (2) quick goals by Linden Hora (Kelowna) and Jost.
With just over 20 second remaining in the middle frame, Wellsby scored a power play goal for the Thunderbirds off passes from Andrew Stelezki (Mission) and Ponak. The Rockets added three (3) more goals in the third thanks to Jake Kryski (Kelowna), Head and Tanner Campbell (Kelowna).
Just one (1) minute into game two (2), Sharp opened the scoring for the Thunderbirds off a pass from Stelezki. The Rockets answered back 40 seconds later with back to back goals by Oliver Mitchell (Kelowna) and Josh Johnston (Kelowna).
Mid-way through the second, Campbell scored a shorthanded goal for the Rockets with help from Cory Santoro (Kelowna).
The Thunderbirds answered back with a pair of power play goals by Dryden Downing (Chilliwack) and Stelezki to tie the game heading into the final period. The Rockets scored two (2) goals early in the third thanks to Gen Bryshun (Kelowna) and Finlay, followed by Sharp’s second goal of the game for the Thunderbirds.
Hora scored the Rockets final goal off passes from Campbell and Wagner. Just over 30 seconds later, Ponak brought the Thunderbirds within one (1) after he scored a shorthanded goal, but it wouldn’t be enough as the Rockets held them off for the final few minutes of play.
Kootenay Ice vs. Valley West Hawks
The Valley West Hawks were on the road this weekend as they took on the Kootenay Ice and came home with a pair of wins. The Ice opened the scoring early in the first off passes from Sam Weber (Nelson) and Spencer McLean (Montrose).
Under two (2) minutes later, Justin Wilde (Surrey) tied the game for the Hawks with help from Jordan Funk (Cloverdale) and Shakeel Ebrahim (Surrey). The Ice regained the lead thanks to a late goal by Aigne McGeady-Bruce (Nelson), assisted by Ryan Neil (Fruitvale) and Coy Prevost (Kimberley).
Each team scored a pair of goals in the second period; Trevor Van Steinburg (Cranbrook) and McLean for Kootenay and Ebrahim and Paul Smith (White Rock) for Valley West.
The Hawks dominated the third period scoring four (4) unanswered goals for the win thanks to Eric Callegari (Langley), Funk, Paul Savage (Surrey) and Mitch Newsome (Surrey). Jesse Lansdell (Langley) helped the Hawks with four (4) assists in game one (1).
The Hawks came out strong in game two (2) with four (4) unanswered goals in the opening period thanks to Funk, Davis Koch (White Rock), Newsome and Smith.
Funk scored his second of the game for the Hawks early in the second followed by the Ice’s lone goal. Before the end of the middle frame, Koch and Luke Gingras (Langley) each scored another goal for the Hawks.
Paul Savage (Surrey) and Gingras rounded out the Hawks scoring in the third period. Ty Westgard (White Rock) had five (5) assists and Koch had a pair of goals and two (2) assists in game two (2).
Thompson Blazers vs. Vancouver North East Chiefs
It was a close battle in game one (1) as the Thompson Blazers hosted the Vancouver North East Chiefs. Tyler Collens (Salmon Arm) opened the scoring for the Blazers midway through the first off a pass from Nii Noi Tetteh (Revelstoke).
The Chiefs tied the game early in the second with a goal by Matthew Hermary (Coquitlam), assisted by Lucas Johansen (Port Moody) and Lucien Serban (Port Coquitlam).
Caleb Fantillo (Port Coquitlam) opened the scoring in game two (2) for the Chiefs midway into the second off passes from Jordan Henderson (Coquitlam) and Ziyan Karim (Port Moody) followed by a goal by Connor Burk (Coquitlam), assisted by Cameron Trott (Anmore).
The Chiefs lead two (2) to zero (0) heading into the final period. With just over 10 seconds remaining in the game, Matthew Davis (Port Moody) scored the Chiefs final goal unassisted.
The BC Hockey Major Midget League was established in 2004 to provide elite level 15, 16 and 17 year olds an opportunity to play within their own age group at a high level and be developed for the next level of hockey. These teams have an opportunity each year to compete for the National Midget Championship.