The last time the Sooke Midget A Thunderbird boys met the Victoria Ice Hawks they had an easy and decisive win. But on Sunday, Feb. 6, Sooke severely underestimated Victoria and it almost cost them an important game.
The first period of Sooke’s first game in the southern Vancouver Island playoffs was lacklustre and uneventful until Victoria logged two quick goals near the end of the period. They were saved by the buzzer and coach Ken Radcliffe had a chance to regroup them.
Early in the second, Clay McClimon scored from a pass by Tom Kirk but Victoria answered to keep their two-goal lead.
In the third period Bradon Senft closed the gap again, assisted by Keltan Chandler and McClimon. Later, with a little more than five minutes left to play, Victoria scored again. A lot of teams might have given up and gotten chippy at that point, but not Sooke.
Their chance came with a slashing call for Victoria. Radcliffe called goaltender Nick Dueck to the bench to give Sooke a two-man advantage.
The gamble paid off and Sooke poured on the offense until Jordan Barber’s shot got through off a pass from Ryan Litoski.
Dueck headed back for the net, and Derek McDougall grabbed the puck from the face off. He whipped it to Zach Lafontaine who scored to tie the game.
With momentum on their side and Victoria looking a little rattled, Litoski got the go ahead goal unassisted. With about a minute left to play,
Victoria pulled their goalie. A final shot by McDougall at the empty net found the mark but it landed as the buzzer sounded so it didn’t count toward the 5-4 win.
Next weekend, the southern Vancouver Island playoffs wrap up. Sooke hosts Juan de Fuca at SEAPARC on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and they travel to Saanich on Sunday.
Chris Piatkowski scored twice while Tyler Fogarty and Tait Bishop added single markers to earn the Novice 3 Thunderbirds a 4-4 draw with the Victoria Racquet Club Kings. The first period was tight checking as the Kings jumped out to an early 1-0 lead and held that slim margin for the rest of the first frame. After a brief discussion and encouragement from the coaches, the Thunderbirds scored two goals in the first two minutes of the second period. Piatkowski converted a rebound for his first goal of the game and Ben Ackinclose made a spectacular play at the Kings’ blueline to spring Fogarty in the clear to put the Thunderbirds up 2-1.
The Kings scored a couple of goals late in the second to take a one goal lead into the final period.
The T’birds played a great third period and scored two of the nicest goals of the year. Piatkowski’s second goal was a give and go with Ireland Greenhough, who’s delicate pass through the skates of one of the Kings’ defenders set up Piatkowski with an open net to make the score 3-3.
Midway through the period the Thunderbirds had penalty problems. While shorthanded, Grant Gilbertson sent Bishop away on a partial breakaway. Bishop muscled his way up the right side and while fending off a defender he managed to flip a precise backhand to the top corner to give Sooke a 4-3 lead.
The Thunderbirds killed off more penalties led by John Richardson, Quinn MacDonald and Owen Phipps. Penalties too much to overcome as the Kings scored on a 5-on-3 advantage to round out the scoring.
This is the third straight 4-4 tie between the teams The T’Birds are preparing for this weekend’s game against the Juan de Fuca Grizzlies.