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

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Who won and who didn’t in the Lower Mainland votes

A look at the region’s mayoral races, starting with Doug McCallum coming back to win in Surrey

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

Highway 3 vehicle crash cleared

Drive BC reporting the incident happened 20 kilometres west of Manning Park

Majority of residents who responded to survey support marijuana sales in Hope

647 responded to a District of Hope survey on the sale and use of recreational pot

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Fraser Valley man dead after head on crash in Okanagan

Accident occurred at about 7:35 a.m.

Newly-elected Lower Mainland mayor won’t drink his city’s tap water

White Rock’s Darryl Walker is concerned about its quality

Kennedy Stewart challenged with building bridges as mayor of Vancouver: expert

The former NDP MP, who ran as an Independent, will lead 10 councillors divided across four parties

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

Vancouver drag queens receive royal treatment during Kootenay Pride

Vancouver drag queens discuss the importance of Pride and growing acceptance of LGBTQ community

Most Read