September 14, 2013 –
The Burnaby Winter Club Academy E-15 team finally hit the ice in game action for the first time this weekend. Taking part in an icebreaker tournament against other academy teams, BWC players and coaches are getting an opportunity to learn how they stack up against the competition.
BWC and the Delta Hockey Academy Wild played to a 1-1 draw on Saturday in a game where some lack of familiarity with linemates and early season nerves were evident in both teams. Kevin Wong put BWC ahead 1-0 after converting on a quick pass out of the corner midway through the second period. Delta was able to tie the game courtesy of a tipped in powerplay goal later in the period, but were unable to convert again on the man advantage when given an opportunity late in the third.
“They were really positive on the bench,” said BWC Coach Leland Mack. “There were some areas to work on, but that’s expected this early in the season. The players are excited to back on the ice and I am too.”
Some of the game’s best chances came from turnovers or players slipping away from defensive coverage.
“We want to play a skilled game, so you have to deal with turnovers and that sort of thing, but we’re just going to have to progress and evolve over the season,” said Mack.
Ian Gallagher, who is Delta Hockey Academy’s Director, was pleased to see his team compete against Burnaby for the first time and feels that the level of competition throughout the Canadian Sports School Hockey League this season will be great for players.
“I think all 3 (academies – BWC, Delta and Yale) will be very competitive now and going forward,” said Gallagher. “They all have done a good job of spreading the word and recruiting top players. The players are going to be getting 5 days a week on the ice and professional coaches, so it’s going to help them develop.”
The academy clubs will be back on the ice a couple more times this weekend to wrap up the preseason tournament.
In games Saturday night, BWC won 5-3 over OHA; PoE and Delta battled to 4-4 draw and Yale defeated Sea Dogs 5-3.