If you are suffering from 80-plus days of hockey withdrawal due to the NHL
lockout you can certainly get a quick and refreshing fix watching minor hockey here in the Comox Valley.
Glacier Gardens Arena opened its doors to a PeeWee House exhibition
game between the HiTec Rangers and the visiting Gold River Hawks on Saturday night, Dec. 1.
Sporting Movember Moustaches in December and custom embroidered team toques from their sponsor HiTec Screening & Printing, the Comox Valley's Rangers arrived at the arena ready to give their families and fans their fill of great hockey. The price of admission .... love of the game!
A truly inspiring locker room pep talk had the Rangers hitting the ice first for their pre-game skate, motivated by their volunteer/parent coaches Marlies Tinkler, Jonathon Veale and Paul Krismer.
The Hawks made it onto the scoreboard first with a goal at the three-minute mark by Adam Leighton. But the Rangers answered one minute later with a charge up ice and great passing from Sofia Cecic to Isaac Guinan who found captain Lukas Meertens in front of the net.
Minutes later, Meertens snuck it past the Hawks' goalie for a second goal, made possible by some strong back checking from HiTec defenceman Dylan Usher-Alkane. The Rangers had the lead at the end of the first period.
The Canucks might want to take a look at the Rangers back-up goalie for future consideration. The Comox team had a Behrens Wall in young netminder Scott Behrens, an AP called up from Atom at the 11th hour to replace the Rangers' regular goalie who was off sick.
Scottie allowed only one additional goal to sneak past him in the second period, scored by Jacob Tarasoff. However, with 3:39 left in the second period the Rangers again answered back with a shot from Kenton Doust finding the back of the net, assisted by Isaac Guinan and Harry Buckle.
The third period was all HiTec, made possible by the stellar team efforts of Georgia Veale, William Bird, Thomas Virtue and Ashley Wilson. With a goal from Stephen Lamon minutes into the third period the score was 4-2, and the two young teams battled it out with exciting end-to-end hockey that we dream of watching in the NHL. There was no messing with defenceman Anna Erickson, efforts always worthy of a Norris Trophy, who stood her ground against a Hawk trying to get near the Comox goalie.
With five minutes remaining in the game, Allistair Brown scored a fifth goal for Comox, unassisted. The game appeared to be in the bank when, with less than two minutes to go, Meertens completed his hat trick, a goal he credits was earned by every player on the team. The final score was a sweet 6-2 victory for HiTec.
According to the Rangers, wins such as these are credited to the huge community effort of every player on the team, their parents for coming out to cheer them on, the stellar coaching, the amazing refs, the Gold River Hawks for making the journey to the Comox Valley, and team sponsors.
– HiTec Rangers