Fraser Valley Thunderbirds goaltender Dawson Pelletier in action earlier this season during BC Major Midget Hockey League action. Trent Rolfe

Heartbreaking OT loss for Fraser Valley squad

Playing at the prestigious Mac’s Midget tournament in Calgary, Fraser Valley Thunderbirds lose to champs in quarter-finals

Losing a playoff game doesn’t usually elicit laughter from a coach, but that’s all Peter Hay could do when asked about his team’s performance at the prestigious Mac’s Midget Hockey Tournament.

“You can only cry or laugh and I am choosing to laugh,” said the head coach of the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds.

His team was playing at the elite Calgary tournament last week (Dec. 26 to 31), an annual invite-only event featuring top midget hockey teams from North America and Europe.

The Thunderbirds were playing in the event for the first time in their program’s history and after a 3-1 showing in pool play, the team advanced to the quarter-finals.

SEE: Fraser Valley squad spreading its wings, heading to prestigious Calgary hockey tournament

Facing the powerhouse Regina Pat Canadians (23-3-2-1 in league play), Fraser Valley led 2-0 after 20 minutes in what Hay called the best period he has seen his team play.

The deficit was down to one goal after 40 minutes and the Thunderbirds nursed their one-goal lead for the first half of the third period.

But disaster struck with about eight minutes to go as two of Fraser Valley’s top defenceman were each hit with checking from behind penalties. In addition to the two minute minor, players are also automatically ejected from the game. Despite that, the Thunderbirds weathered the storm and with 41 seconds to play, had a face-off in the Regina zone.

Unfortunately, the Pat Canadians would gain control and force overtime with 10 seconds to play.

Down to four defencemen, Hay knew his team was in tough and despite some good scoring chances, could not capitalize. Regina would then net the winner for the 3-2 victory, and add two more wins to claim the Mac’s title.

Despite the earlier than wanted exit, Thunderbirds’ goaltender Dawson Pelletier (Hope) was named to the tournament all-star team after finishing with a .900 save percentage and a 3.44 goals against average.

“Really top-end goaltending; he saved a lot of tough chances, a lot of clutch, key saves,” Hay said about his goaltender, who did all this despite being under the weather for much of the tournament.

Ethan Bowen (Chilliwack) led the team in scoring with three goals and seven points in four games while Gage Goncalves (Mission) was right behind with three goals and six points.

Hay anticipates the tournament experience will benefit his team as they kick off the second half of the BC Major Midget Hockey League season. The Thunderbirds are 16-6-1-1 and sit in third place heading into their next game on Jan. 12.

“(This) leads us in with a lot more confidence,” he said. “I saw kids step up and rise way above anything I had seen (from them) before. That is really exciting to see that we have a team than can rise to the occasion.”



sports@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Fraser Valley Thunderbirds goaltender Dawson Pelletier in action earlier this season during BC Major Midget Hockey League action. Trent Rolfe

Just Posted

Fire at Anita Place Tent City in Maple Ridge

Third fire at homeless camp in 18 months.

Students rock out at Maple Ridge secondary

MRSS Rock Band students put on their first performance at lunchtime on Dec. 7.

Pitt Meadows council looking for place of remembrance

No place in the city for people to grieve said Simpson

Untrending: Planning to enjoy an un-Christmas

‘I find the festive season kind of magical’

Cold night, long time for cab ride in Pitt Meadows

Senior waits 90 minutes for a taxi

VIDEO: Highway overpass protest against United Nations ‘compact’ on immigration

Demonstrators say Canada will have less control over who is allowed in the country

Boeser scores 3, Pettersson has 5 points as Canucks hammer Blues

Vancouver picks up impressive 6-1 win in St. Louis

B.C. police stop drunk driver who offered up burger instead of ID

Roadblock checks over the weekend found at least two other impaired drivers

In Canada, the term ‘nationalism’ doesn’t seem to have a bad rap. Here’s why

Data suggest that Canadians don’t see the concept of nationalism the way people do in the United States

Small quake recorded west of Vancouver Island

No injuries or tsunami warning after 5.4 rumble felt some 400 kilometres from Victoria

B.C. suspends Chinese portion of Asian forestry trade mission due to Huawei arrest

Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of U.S. in Vancouver

Canadians spent $1.7 billion dollars online in December 2017

Online retail sales accounted for 3.4 per cent of total retail sales

2-year investigations nets $900,000 in refunds for payday loan customers

Consumer Protection BC says selling practices were ‘aggressive and deceptive’

China: Canada’s detention of Huawei exec ‘vile in nature’

Huawei is the biggest global supplier of network gear for phone and internet company

Most Read