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

Letter: Don’t worry, government leaders thought shelter location through

They know there is a elementary school a block away with our vulnerable children.

Pitt Meadows councillors don’t support rail underpass

Gateway projects will need city support says MP Ruimy

People can now sleep at night on Katzie reserve in Pitt Meadows

Peace and quiet now predominate after gates blocked off to outsiders

Input sought for road works for Maple Ridge

Consultation on Haney Bypass upgrades

Traffic accident puts part of Maple Ridge into the dark

About 4,000 homes affected for several hours

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

Carpet bowlers have been excluded from BC 55+ Games and Canada 55+ Games

Gold medal carpet bowling winners not able to defend their titles in 2018

No crackdown, just education as BC Ferries’ enacts smoking ban

Fines and extra patrols not happening at this time as ban begins Monday

Police to provide update on unsolved 13-year-old B.C. girl’s murder

IHIT say no one has been arrested or charged in connection with Marrisa Shen’s death

Rural B.C. students score visit with Canadiens netminder Carey Price

Two students from the Caiboo Chilcotin can hardly wait to meet hometown hero Carey Price in Montreal.

VIDEO: Elk parade on Vancouver Island is awesome sight

They’re out in force for a morning stroll. Check out some of Youbou’s famous elk.

North Delta’s Colton Hasebe named BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s 2018 Champion Child

Colton takes the reins from 2107 Champion Child and Tsawwassen resident Taylin McGill

LIVE: B.C. announces anti-racism funding

Ravi Kahlon said money will go to B.C. Organizing Against Racism and Hate (OARH) program

Most Read