The second season is underway in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League.
The Comox Valley Glacier Kings open their first round, best-of-seven series with the Oceanside Generals Tuesday night in Courtenay, with faceoff 7 p.m. at Sports Centre Arena #1.
Game two goes Wednesday in Parksville with game three Feb. 23 in Courtenay, game four Feb. 24 in Parksville, game five Feb. 26 in Courtenay and game six Feb. 27 in Parksville. Game seven is TBA.
The series should prove interesting. The Glacier Kings (22-22-3) finished second in the North Division while the Generals (20-25-2) were five points back in third. The Icemen won the regular season series 5-3 – intriguingly their last two RS meetings resulted in a 4-0 Comox Valley home ice win followed by a 5-0 Oceanside home ice win. The teams have been involved in three high-scoring affairs, with the Yetis winning two (8-5 and 8-2) and the Gens one (7-4) The G-Kings also beat the Generals 4-3 in a shootout.
Both teams enter the playoffs on losing streaks. The Glacier Kings fell 6-5 in overtime to Campbell River Storm on Feb. 15 and dropped a 4-3 decision to Nanaimo Buccaneers on Nov. 16.
There were more goals than penalties in Campbell River on Feb. 15, much different than when the teams met a week earlier in Courtenay when the Storm won 7-4 in a game marred by a line brawl.
The league handed out two-game suspensions to nine players and both head coaches were suspended for one game. Sasha Hahn, Wade Bartlett, Brandon Halls and Calvin Hadley were the G-King players.
Comox Valley head coach Bill Rotheisler said, “We fully agree and comply with the ruling handed down by the league. Our focus is now on the playoffs.”
On Feb. 15 in C.R., the Yetis led 3-2 after one period and trailed 5-4 after two. Tyson Rennie pulled the visitors even in the third, but Josiah Friesen’s third of the game 47 seconds into OT gave the Storm the win.
Rylan Ball, Garrett Halls, Brook Trainor and Nicholas Tupper also tallied for the Icemen. Comox Valley enjoyed a 43-29 shots-on-goal advantage but did not enjoy the hot goaltending of Nicholas Clark. Bryce DiRocco took the loss.
The Yetis closed out the regular season Feb. 16 at home against North Division leaders Nanaimo and, with eight regulars out of the lineup, came up short in a 4-3 loss.
After a scoreless first period, the Bucs grabbed a 2-1 lead in the second and the teams exchanged two goals each in the third.
Ball earned first-star honours for his three-goal performance. The G-Kings outshot Nanaimo 25-22 with second star Michael Hails taking the loss in his return to the lineup. Back from a leave of absence, third star Michael Pond contributed two assists.
ICE CHIPS B.C.’s top Jr. B teams will be in Courtenay from April 11-14 when the Glacier Kings host the Cyclone Taylor Cup provincial championships; tickets are available now by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org … keep up to date on VIJHL playoff results at www.vijhl.com … the Victoria Royals called up goaltender Michael Herringer for their Feb. 16 WHL game against the Calgary Hitmen … the 17-year-old Comox native (who backed up Coleman Vollrath) posted a 16-1-0-0 record, a 2.23 GAA and a .899 save percentage for the VIJHL Victoria Cougars this season … Herringer was selected by Victoria in the ninth round of 2011 WHL Bantam Draft …