U17 Canadians Split in Kelowna and Remain in First Place

by K.P. Wee

The U17 AAA Greater Vancouver Canadians remained in sole possession of first place after earning a split against the second-place Okanagan Rockets at Kelowna’s MNP Place over the weekend, losing on Saturday before bouncing back the following day. 

The Canadians are now 17-5-2-2 after the series split, with 38 points in 26 games, along with a division-best 118 goals for and +40 goal differential. 

On Saturday, the Rockets jumped out to a 2-0 lead en route to a 2-1 victory over the Canadians. John Bethell scored the only goal for GVC, on the power play, with only 6:43 left in regulation, but the Canadians were unable to get the tying goal in the final minutes. Liam Leslie stopped 26 of 28 shots in the loss, including 15 over the final two periods. The loss was just GVC’s fifth regulation defeat in 25 games. 

On Sunday, it was a completely different outcome as the Canadians won 6-1, with both Luca Martyniuk and Joshua Mytton picking up two goals, to earn a split in the series. Although the Rockets scored first, the Canadians rallied for the final six goals of the contest. John Bethell tied things up with nine minutes remaining in the first, and then Henry Goldman and Martyniuk scored in the second to make it 2-1. Martyniuk added his second of the game midway through the third period, and Mytton also scored twice in the final period to wrap up the five-goal triumph. Alan Peregrym stopped 23 shots in the victory. 

With the series split, the Canadians (17-5-2-2) remain four points ahead of the Rockets (15-7-3-1), and also own a six-point cushion over third-place Valley West. 

Next up, the Canadians will play host to the last-place Vancouver Island Royals (6-16-1-3) on Jan. 20-21 at the Richmond Olympic Oval. The first game is scheduled for 2:30 p.m., while the series finale is set for 8:30 a.m. Both games can be streamed live at playfullscreen.com.