U17 Canadians Swap 5-3 Victories in Home-and-Home vs. Giants

by K.P. Wee

The first-place U17 AAA Greater Vancouver Canadians earned a split in a home-and-home series against the U17 Valley West Giants over the weekend (Dec. 9-10), losing 5-3 on Saturday in Delta before winning by the same 5-3 score on Sunday at the Richmond Olympic Oval.

The split gave the Canadians 28 points in the standings, tied with the Okanagan Rockets (12-6-3-1), who won both of their games over the weekend. The Canadians (12-4-2-2), however, have two games in hand (20 to 22).

On Saturday at the Planet Ice Delta, the Canadians jumped out to a 2-0 lead on first-period goals by Vlad Ursache (short-handed) and Sorash Ramlal. The Giants, though, scored three goals in the second period to take the lead, before Sean Wickenden tied things up with only 6:53 remaining. The Giants ultimately broke the tie with 3:48 left and added an empty-netter to make the final score 5-3. Despite the loss, the Canadians held the Giants to only 10 shots over the final two periods.

On Sunday at the Oval, the Canadians again outshot the Giants, this time by a margin of 40-28. GVC goaltender Liam Leslie stopped all 25 shots he faced, as the only Giants goals were empty-netters, with the Canadians employing a 6-on-5 attack (or 6-on-4 during some power plays) at various points during the contest (at least eight separate occasions). Joshua Mytton scored two goals in the first two periods as the two teams battled to a 2-2 tie in the second before Aidan Yao gave GVC a 3-2 lead with 3:35 left in the period. The Giants tied it up with 8:17 remaining in regulation, their third empty-netter of the game, but Neven Heer scored only 21 seconds after that to give the Canadians the lead for good. Aidan Mark then added an insurance goal with only 1:27 left to close out the victory.

Next up, the Canadians will take on the Thompson Blazers (8-11-0-1) on Dec. 16-17 at the Richmond Oval, their final two games before the Christmas break. The Saturday game is at 5:15 p.m. while the Sunday finale is at 11:15 a.m. Both games can be seen on playfullscreen.com.