Kodiaks fall in Cyclone Taylor Cup finale
A dozen minutes from victory and a gold medal at the Cyclone Taylor Cup provincial junior B hockey championships, the Aldergrove Kodiaks saw their dreams dashed as the Beaver Valley Nitehawks scored four unanswered goals to win 5-2.
The two hockey clubs were playing in the finals on Sunday afternoon at the Nelson and District Community Complex.
With the victory, the Nitehawks advance to the Western Canadian championships, which run April 17 to 20 at Abbotsford’s MSA Arena.
“It was pretty disappointing,” said Kodiaks coach Brad Rihela.
“But I couldn’t be more proud of the boys. They gave it everything they had.”
Jonathan Philley had put Aldergrove ahead 2-1 2:15 into the third period with a power-play goal but Beaver Valley responded with a man-advantage goal of their own six minutes later.
Dallas Calvin would scored twice in a 2:03 span with less than six minutes to play to put the Nitehawks ahead for good. Mitch Foyle added an empty-net goal to complete the scoring.
Rihela said Beaver Valley took over momentum once they tied the score and came at the Kodiaks in waves. And once the Nitehawks took the lead, Aldergrove had their chances, but just could not capitalize.
This was the second time Beaver Valley beat Aldergrove at the tournament as the two teams played in the opener on Thursday, a 4-1 Nitehawks victory.
Beaver Valley was the Kootenay Junior Hockey League champ while Aldergrove was representing the Pacific Junior Hockey League.
In the Kodiaks other games, they beat the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League champion Victoria Cougars 4-1 and then edged the host team, the Nelson Leafs 2-1.
The win against the Leafs allowed Aldergrove to edge Nelson for second place in the round robin standings and advance to the gold medal final.
Kodiaks captain Kenny Prato and rookie Spencer Unger were tied for the team lead with three points in four games.