March 13, 2017
There was one big upset in the BC Major Midget League quarter final playoffs last weekend, as #6 ranked North West Giants upset #3 Okanagan Rockets in two games straight, on the road.
The other games when more or less as anticipated, with the top seeds winning all three series.
#1 Cariboo Cougars took care of business vs #8 Kootenay Ice in two straight, 5-1 and 3-0 at home. Kudos to the Ice who were making their first ever appearance in the playoffs.
#2 North East Chiefs dispatched the #7 Valley West Hawks, 5-3 and 5-0. The Chiefs opened a 4-0 lead after two in game 1 Friday night, then held on as the Hawks rolled for three. An empty netter closed it it out 5-3.
In game two Saturday, the Chiefs opened with one in the first, and then added four in the third, to finish the scoring and move on to round two.
As expected, the #4 vs #5 match up was a little closer, but in the end it was another sweep as the Greater Vancouver Canadians took down the #5 Fraser Valley Thunderbirds; 3-2 and 6-3.
Game 1 was a heartbreaker for the T-Birds, who lead 2-0 with two minutes to go, only to see the lead vanish as GVC forced OT. GVC’s Michael Araki-Young then got the winner.
In game two, GVC got off to a 2-0 start after one, and then stretched it to 5-1 after two, with the shots 22-14 GVC. Each team scored once in the third to finish it off 6-2.
In the big upset series, the Giants went into Kelowna Friday night as a major underdog, but were firing on all cylinders in both games, coming out on top 5-4 and 5-1.
In Game 1 the Giants opened a 4-0 lead after the first and then made it 5-0 early in the second, before the Rockets finally came back with three to make a game of it, 5-4 with ten minutes left. The Giants then held on for the win. Giants goaltender Jessie Makaj was huge, facing 52 shots. Giants put 25 on the Rockets net.
In game two Saturday, the Giants opened a 3-0 lead by the middle of the second, before the Rockets notched one with 7:17 left. But the Giants would capitalize on the powerplay before the period ended to take a 4-1 lead into the final frame. An empty netter closed out an otherwise scoreless third, to finish it 5-1 Giants.
Semi-Finals start next weekend.
#1 Cariboo host #6 North West Giants, a rematch of last year’s semi final. Game 1, Friday, March 17, 3:15. Game 2: Saturday, March 18, 3:15, game 3 Sunday 9:45 am if necessary.
#2 NE Chiefs vs #4 Greater Vancouver Canadians, at Pourier Sport & Leisure Complex, Coquitlam, 7:00 pm, March 17.
#3 Okanagan Rockets
#5 Fraser Valley Thunderbirds.
#7 Valley West Hawks
#8 Kootenay Ice