The Omineca Ice played two home games this weekend, smashing the Terrace River Kings on Sunday 7-5 and losing by a goal in a close game against the Lac La Hache Tomahawks on Saturday.
The Tomahawks opened up the scoring on Saturday’s game with three goals in the first 13 minutes of period one. The first came after six minutes from Tye Moses and less than two minutes later a second came from Drew Rose. With just over six minutes left of the first period, team captain Robert Gilbert brought in a third goal for the Tomahawks.
The Ice fought hard to come back in the last five minutes of period one and it paid off with two additional goals to close the scoring gap. The first came from Dave Gordin, assisted by Kieran Friesen in the 16th minute of the period. A couple of minutes later, Drew Rose of the Tomahawks came in with a fourth goal for Lac La Hache temporarily widening the scoring gap to 4-1.
With just seconds left in period one, and with Vanderhoof on the power play, Matt Stang brought the score board to 4-2 with a second Ice goal assisted by Phil Simoes. Period one saw both teams matched in penalties with three each.
The Omineca Ice took control of the game in the second period with a goal in the third minute from Tyrell Turgeon, assisted by Dave Gordin and Matt Stang, bringing the game to 4-3. A second goal from Dave Gordin, assisted by Tyrell Turgeon brought the teams to a 4-4 tie with just over six minutes left in the second period. Once again both teams were matched in penalties in the second period with four each.
The Tomahawks brought more aggression in the final period and it paid off with their fifth and final goal of the game from Tye Moses leaving Lac La Hache in the lead 5-4.
Despite a couple of power plays, the Ice were unable to answer with another goal by the end of the period.
On Sunday the Ice faced the Terrace River Kings in a cross-divisional game which saw Vanderhoof take the two points, despite being short of a few players.
With just under 10 minutes left of the first period, Vanderhoof opened up the scoring on the power play with a goal from Tyrell Turgeon assisted by Matt Stang and Dustin Erickson. The River Kings tied the score just 30 seconds later with a goal from Calen Findlay, assisted by team captain Steve Cullis. Two minutes later another goal from Tyrell Turgeon, assisted by Phil Simoes brought the Ice back in front for the start of period two.
Terrace brought the game back to a tie with a goal after seven minutes from Skyler Andrews, the tie didn’t last for long however, with an Ice goal from Nolan O’Brien 30 seconds later. With just over three minutes left of the second period, the Ice briefly widened their lead with a goal from Dave Gordin assisted by Dustin Erickson and Justin Alessandrini. The last minute of the game saw Vanderhoof in penalty trouble and a third goal from the River Kings bringing the score to 4-3 for the start of the last period. Despite a penalty-heavy second period for the Ice in comparison with a penalty-free period for the River Kings, Vanderhoof managed to hold on to their lead.
Period three saw the River Kings open up the scoring on the power play after five minutes with a goal from Richard Clair, bringing the score to a 4-4 tie.
Less than a minute later, Ice player Tyrell Turgeon scored a hat trick-goal assisted by Matt Stang, to bring the Ice a goal ahead. Ice player Dave Gordin widened the gap even further with a goal assisted by Kieran Friesen and Tyrell Turgeon with seven minutes left of the final period.
Despite a hard fight by both teams in the last few minutes of the game, Vanderhoof remained on top. The River Kings got in one last goal from Skyler Andrews with four minutes left, but Vanderhoof answered 25 seconds later with the final goal of the game from Matt Stang bringing the final score to 7-5 for Vanderhoof.
“We were shorthanded today but the guys worked really well together,” said Omineca Ice coach Chris Reed.
“The guys were really organized on their break-outs, they knew where they were and the goals we got came at the right times.” Ice player Dave Gordin had a great weekend, Reed added, scoring four goals for the team.
“He played amazingly this weekend. He played like a veteran, made awesome passes, smart choices, hit hard and he scored four goals. He’s a leader in our dressing room and he really picked up the play this weekend so we’re happy,” said Reed. He also praised players Dustin Erickson, Matt Stang and Tyrell Turgeon.
Saturdays game against Lac La Hache was disappointing said Reed.
“Last night’s game we lost by a goal and thats kind of the way it’s been going – we’re not getting blown out – we’re losing close games,” he said.
“But last night we were pretty upset because we were a little disorganized.
“Some guys were playing with each other for the first time and they didn’t know where they had to be on the ice so their break-out was no good – every time we tried to bring the puck out we were getting shut down,” he said.
The Omineca Ice play again this Saturday away against Houston. Reed described the upcoming game as a war.
“We’re going to need a lot of bodies … it’s a war, every time we go out there the games are really rough and intense. “It’s a fun place to play hockey but it’s a harder place to win … but we have a good team this year so we’re going to give them a run for their money.”