Michael Farren of the Valley West Hawks scored three goals in two games last weekend.

Hawks get an invitation to Mac’s tournament

Local midget team will be at major hockey event in Calgary

After blowing a two-goal lead Saturday in a 6-4 loss, Sunday’s blow-out win over the Okanagan Rockets was very important to the Valley West Hawks in more ways than one.

More than salvaging a split from the two games in Kelowna, the 7-2 victory bumped the Hawks back into third place in the BC Hockey Major Midget League (MML). And it also may have convinced organizers of the Mac’s Midget AAA tournament Dec. 26 to Jan. 1 in Calgary.

“Last evening we heard from the Mac’s selection committee and we have qualified for the Mac’s midget tournament,” said Hawks head coach Jessie Leung. “They only take the best. Our win on Sunday sealed the deal.”

The 25-team Mac’s tournament traditionally features to top teams from across Western Canada, and can often include teams from the rest of Canada, the United States and Europe.

“We’re honoured to be selected,” said Leung. “This is a great showcase for our players to scouts and coaches from across North America.”

The Hawks are in a tight race near the top of the standings of the MML, just three points out of first place yet just two points up on the seventh-place team as the season nears the midway point.

Had the powerplay been working better Saturday, Valley West might have left Kelowna with a pair of wins. They did score once with the man-advantage, and went into the third period with a 4-2 lead.

But the Rockets tallied four times over the final 20 minutes to escape with a win.

“We had some opportunities to extend the lead with powerplays including a two-minute five-on-three, but couldn’t find the twine,” said Leung. “Our powerplay was in a funk. We never seemed to get on the same page and really didn’t threaten all game.”

Michael Farren scored twice for Valley West, with Armahn Sidhu and Daniel Chifan adding one goal each. Ben Evanish and Luka Burzan contributed with two assists apiece.

Special teams were very effective for the Valley West squad Sunday morning, as they tallied five times with the man advantage and gave up just one goal in 12 shorthanded situations.

“We made some adjustments Saturday night that really paid off,” said Leung. “We built our team in the off season to be able to play different styles. We decided to be more physical Sunday. We can play the skill game and we can play a heavy game. We wanted to see if Okanagan could do the same.”

The Rockets scored just 89 seconds into the game, but trailed 3-1 after one period as Farren, Justyn Gurney and Ilijah Colina replied for the Hawks. Burzan upped the lead to 4-1 early in the second period, then Okanagan cut the difference to two goals midway through the game. Colten Gerlib made it 5-2 by the second intermission, then Christian Bosa and Gurney added powerplay goals in the third frame.

“The efforts of our D-core was exceptional with players going down with injury throughout the weekend,” said Leung. “At one point in the third, we went a stretch of 10 minutes with only three defensemen ready to play.

“I thought there was a lot of desire in our group on Sunday.”

Now at 9-4-1 (win-loss-tie) and tied with the 9-6-1 Rockets for third place, the Hawks will play twice against the 7-4-3 Vancouver Chiefs next weekend.

“The Chiefs eliminated us in the playoffs last season before going on to win the league championship,” noted Leung. “We’re in for another tough matchup. We know we’ll get their best game and will need to be ready for it.”

The two teams face-off tomorrow (Saturday) at 2 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre, and again Sunday at 9:45 a.m. at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre in Coquitlam.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Thousands of ‘PPE’ donated in Surrey, where one care home is ‘preparing for the worst’

SafeCare BC’s Operation Protect drive involves drop-off dates in Guildford

Psychologist’s advice on parenting in the pandemic

SFU psychology prof Dr. Tanya Broesch, with expertise in child development, discusses short and long-term impacts COVID-19 pandemic is having on children and parents alike

‘Shocking decision’: Surrey soccer club won’t offer refunds to 350 teams for cancelled tourney

Registration fees would top $171K for Surrey Mayor’s Cup, called off due to COVID-19

Surrey brewery distilling hand sanitizer in effort to fight pandemic

Central City Brewers is producing it in bulk and ‘more convenient’ sizes

‘Every little step counts’: Surrey businesses donate meals for frontline hospital workers

Surrey Hospital Foundation has now received more than $70,000 in donations

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

B.C. health care workers gain access to virtual health care options

During COVID-19 many clinics have closed, leaving health care workers with nowhere to turn

Tax collectors, auditors to help field ‘historic’ numbers of benefit-seeking callers

‘If you work for CRA, people think we are just there to take money from your pockets.’

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

Family uses social media to help truckers find places to eat during pandemic

Restaurants Serving Drivers in Western Canada seeks to provide a list of places open for drivers

Advocates sound alarm over COVID-19 limiting access to contraceptives, abortion

The COVID-19 outbreak has hit sexual-health services from almost every angle

Abbotsford man who tries to start gas-station fight gets sprayed with gasoline

Suspect returns with knife and throws it at victim, but is quickly arrested by police

Abbotsford family of 5 who was stuck in Vietnam is now back home

Janzen family sends ‘huge and heartfelt’ thank you to everyone who helped

Most Read