The Comox Valley Glacier Kings put the exclamation point on their first-round Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoff series by overwhelming the Oceanside Generals 6-1 Sunday afternoon in Parksville.
It was a historic win for the Yetis as the four-game playoff sweep was the first in the franchise’s 20 years. The Yetis will face either Nanaimo Buccaneers or Kerry Park Islanders in round two. The Bucs lead that series 3-0.
On Feb. 24 in Parksville, Sasha Hahn put the visitors up 1-0 with a goal at 4:24 of the first frame. The Icemen found their skating legs in the second, outshooting the Generals 22-7 and getting goals from Hahn (deflecting a Calvin Hadley shot from the point) and Rylan Ball to stretch the lead to 3-0.
An unorthodox twist in the third period saw the game moved to the adjacent arena due to ice problems when White executed a flawless hip check that sent an Oceanside forward flying. The eerie event did not stall the Glacier Kings as they relied on strong performances from their energy lines to keep things going. Their continued strong play put the Yetis on the power play, where Michael Pond converted a Ball pass and Ball capitalized on White’s fourth helper of the game to make it 5-0.
The play continued in favour of the G-Kings, with both teams getting chances until rookie Hadley buried a beautiful shot behind Oceanside netminder Alex Mastrodonato to put Comox up 6-0. Liam Giroux came on to relieve Mastrodonato after that goal. Oceanside veteran Joe Chase ruined Michael Hails’ shutout bid with 3:40 left to play. Comox Valley outshot Oceanside 37-29.
The Glacier Kings closed out the series with an unprecedented 16-for-16 on the penalty kill, and an effective 5-for-23 (22 per cent) on the power play. The Yetis outshot their opponents in every game, totalling 165-97. Ball led all scorers with eight points (7g, 1a), White had seven assists and Pond earned six points (1g, 5a). The Glacier Kings` suffocating defence held Oceanside phenom Michael Fretz to a mere one assist.
Glacier Kings’ assistant coach Cam Knox was impressed with the team’s success. “I think this series is an example of the depth and character this team has had throughout the season. Now that injuries and illness are down to a minimum, bring on round two!”
– Comox Valley Glacier Kings