A playoff date at home versus Comox looms this weekend for Sooke’s Bantam A Thunderbirds following a couple of decisive wins last weekend.
Following the tried and true principle that you can only influence the games you play, the bantams bagged a bushel of goals – a 13-4 win last Saturday over Victoria and a Sunday 9-1 triumph over Saanich.
These wins, based on previous results, were not unexpected although the Sooke team deserves credit for staying focused on each of the tasks at hand.
Saturday’s game at SEAPARC began with Victoria taking the upper hand early.
It was the midway point of the first frame before the hosts would tie it up on a marker by Cody French, set up by Brandon Cornbill and Charlie Richardson.
This was bad news for the guests as, once primed, the Sooke crew would tally often – including four more before the first period was done.
This was a stats-glut whose outcome was never in doubt. There was a fair bit of contact but nothing to speak of in the way of chippy play. Eight penalties were assessed to Sooke although all of their goals were scored at even strength. It’s important to note that netminder Lucas Blatchford was extremely sharp in this contest.
Because every stat is important, here’s a rundown of the scoring information from Saturday’s game, with scorers names followed by assisters in brackets:
Cody Lajeunesse (Luke Pitre, Aaron Lott); Jonah Philip (Abe Lamontagne); Lajeunesse (Jack Kendall); Al Nelson unassisted; Lamontagne (Connor Lott); Quinton MacDonell (Lamontagne, Philip); Cornbill unassisted; Philip (Lamontagne, MacDonell); Nelson (French); Lamontagne (Cornbill, Philip); Lamontagne (Philip, Connor Lott); MacDonell (Lajeunesse).
Got that straight? A statistical breakdown for Sunday’s game was not available by press time, but 9-1 gives a good impression of how things went.
An important moment was observed late in the Saturday game as coach Don Senft was overheard exhorting his players to be gracious, to avoid any grandstanding or taunting and be respectful of their opponents, and the boys followed the advice to the letter.
Senft later agreed that blowouts are not necessarily enriching for anyone involved.
Teams must do what they train for, however, and let the net bulge as it may.
“We have to appear, we’ve got to bring the kids out so we try and get something of value out of it as you heard on the bench,” he explained, “to be good winners or losers.”
Jonah Philip was upbeat later on, as was another player, Cody Lajeunesse who was asked for post-game comments.
“We did our sets good,” said Philip. “We just had good teamwork. That first (Victoria) goal kind of woke us up and we just kept on going.”
The positive review was echoed by Lajeunesse.
“Our whole team was good throughout the whole game,” he said “Our goalie (Blatchford) probably could have got a shutout if we’d tightened up and played more defensive.”
The squad, as mentioned earlier is now preparing for a Saturday home test with Comox. Game time had yet to be announced as of press time.