The Comox Valley Glacier Kings rang in the new year with a win and loss in their first two Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League games of 2016.
The Yetis got the year off to a solid start on Jan. 2 with a 4-2 win over the Saanich Braves in Courtenay then put up a good fight against North Division leaders Campbell River Storm on Jan. 3 before falling 4-3 in The River City.
The results left the Icemen solidly entrenched in third place in the North Division, although they have a chance to make up some ground on both the first-place Storm and second-place Nanaimo Buccaneers this week as they visit the Bucs on Thursday then host the Storm on Saturday.
Newcomer Marcus Gloss from Houghton, Michigan stood every bit as tall as his 6'3", 220-pound frame would allow on Jan. 2, kicking out 38 shots and earning first star honours as the G-Kings clipped the Braves 4-2. Saanich out-shot Comox Valley 40-24 and went 2-for-4 on the power play to the Yetis' 0-for-6.
The home team went up 3-0 by the 17:47 mark of the first frame on goals by third star Grayden McInnes, second star Liam Nijhoff and Kyle Wade before the Braves got one back courtesy of Taylor Leger on the power play.
Sheldon Brett made it 4-1 early in the third, and although Saanich out-shot Comox Valley 15-7 in the third their only reward was a PP goal by Dale McCabe.
On Jan. 3 in Campbell River, Gloss again came up big between the pipes as the Storm out-shot the Icemen 39-22 and went 2-for-4 on the PP to the Yetis' 0-for-4 in the 4-3 win. The Storm led 2-1 after one and it was 3-3 after two, with first star Braeden Cyra's second PP goal of the game early in the third period proving the difference.
Justin Mirabllie, Nijhoff and Wade tallied for the visitors.
ICE CHIPS Another newcomer to the Yetis, forward Nick Novin from Scottsdale, Arizona and most recently with the KIJHL Nelson Leafs, impressed with his grit and speed … this year's VIJHL All Star Classic goes Jan. 17 at the Q Centre in Victoria, with rosters to be announced soon …