The Comox Valley Glacier Kings snapped a six-game losing streak by defeating the Nanaimo Buccaneers 5-4 in Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League action Dec. 15 in Courtenay.
Special teams played a key part in the battle of North Division rivals as the first-place Bucs went 3-for-6 with the man advantage, and while the third-place Yetis were just 2-for-9, those two goals proved the difference.
Nanaimo had taken a 4-3 lead at 13:20 of the second stanza on a power-play goal by Jordan Levesque (second star). Cody Eliason (third star) pulled the Icemen even with his PP tally at 16:49, then Nicholas Tupper netted the eventual winner at 17:58 with the Glacier Kings enjoying a man advantage.
Michael Hails, in his second game back from the injury list, picked up the win while Riley Medves took the loss. Comox Valley outshot Nanaimo 25-22.
Eliason finished with one goal and one assist while newcomer Andrew White (first star) delivered two goals and one assist. Jack Kennelly added two helpers. Nicholas Tupper and Liam Shaw scored the other Glacier Kings goals.
Glacier Kings’ assistant coach Cameron Knox commended White’s play: “The team played a strong game on the back of solid games from White, Mazur and Rylan Ball. We are looking at this game as a spring board to another strong game against Oceanside on Tuesday.”
On Dec. 14 the Yetis were in Saanich where they dropped a 3-2 decision to the Braves.
A wide-open first period saw the Glacier Kings outshoot the Braves 15-13, with both Hails and Tanner McGaw (first star) blocking everything that came their way.
The visitors were outshot 19-11 by Saanich in the second stanza and were victimized by a couple of breakaway goals by Sam Johnson at 2:37 and Shawn McBride (second star) at 14:02.
Just 29 seconds later Justin Polischuk tipped in a cross-ice pass from Max Mois (third star) to give the Braves a 3-0 lead.
Play tightened up in the third, with Comox Valley outshooting Saanich 11-10. Tyson Rennie put the Icemen on the board at 5:17 with an assist from White, who was playing his first game against his former team.
Kennelly made things interesting with 20 seconds left when he scored with Hails on the bench in favour of the extra attacker, but that was as close as the Yetis would get.
The Glacier Kings hosted the Oceanside Generals last night, with result unavailable at press time. The Icemen have a home-and-away with the Campbell River Storm this week, with the Yetis hitting the road Dec. 21 and home on Dec. 22 for a 7:30 p.m. start at Comox Valley Sports Centre Arena No. 1. Saturday’s game will include the Yetis’ annual Teddy Bear Toss.
The Glacier Kings (12-15-2) are two points back of Oceanside (13-15-2) and eight up on the fourth-place Storm (8-21-2).
ICE CHIPS Mitch Ball leads the Glacier King scoring with 39 points (19g, 20a) which has him ninth in league scoring … the VIJHL 2013 All Star Classic goes Jan. 13 in Parksville, with details available at www.vijhl.com …