It’s official! For the first time in a long time, the Comox Valley is home to a Tier 1 regular season champion.
Happy’s Source for Sports Midget Tier 1 Chiefs have won the Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association Midget Tier 1 regular season league banner. After a season which began last October and finished only a week or two ago, the Midget Chiefs have finished on top of the Tier 1 division with a record of 7-2-3.
The Chiefs earned two of their three ties in their last regular season weekend, battling back to even things up with both the Nanaimo Clippers and the Juan de Fuca Grizzlies. This left the Chiefs atop the leader board, holding tenuously to a single point lead over the rival JdF Grizzlies, who happened to have a game in hand.
But thanks to the third-place Campbell River Tyees, who handily thumped the Grizzlies in their final league game, the first-place banner has come home to Comox, ready to be raised to the rafters of Sports Centre #1.
The Chiefs were back in action this past weekend, beginning their quest to add the Tier 1 playoff banner to this year’s regular season success. Happy’s Chiefs headed to Nanaimo Saturday, Jan. 31 for their rematch with the Clippers.
The Clippers were no match for the strong forecheck of the Ty Graham-Colin Dickson-Caleb Dolman line, which created and capitalized on numerous Clippers’ turnovers. Outstanding goaltending from Matt Henwood combined with solid defence from Brayden Bennett, Bekkam Willis and Austin Heidt earned the Chiefs a solid 4-1 victory. The Chiefs have dominated their southern rivals from Nanaimo during the 2014-15 season, winning three times and playing to one draw.
On Sunday, Feb. 1, Juan de Fuca travelled up to meet the Chiefs for their second playoff game of the weekend. It was a back-and-forth, exciting 60-minute game with the Grizzlies leading 1-0 at the flood. The Chiefs came out rejuvenated led by Linden Lennox, Joe Surgenor and Dom Deitrich and despite having played the night before, took the play to JdF with two quick goals, shelling the Grizzlies’ goalie and dominating possession of the puck.
Goaltender Jared Leblanc was solid, with D-men Tyson Slater, Kolby Antonelli and Conor Luty keeping the play in the Juan de Fuca zone. Alex Wilford, Justin Mirrabelli and Brad Crisp kept the pressure on, with Lennox putting the Chiefs ahead for good 3-2.
Smart clock management, a few empty net chances and great team play helped the Chiefs sweep the weekend, securing home-ice advantage for the final round of playoffs. The Chiefs are now in the driver’s seat for the playoff banner, and are looking forward to making it a double banner season.
The Midgets’ strong play bodes well for the Chiefs as they continue to prepare for the B.C. Midget Tier 1 Provincial Championships which will be held March 15-19 at Sports Centre #1, where the best Midget teams in the province will face off for what will be guaranteed to be exciting, fast hockey!
The Chiefs really appreciate and sincerely thank their coaches Gord Lennox and Jess Sekulich, manager Jody Lennox, safety person Derek Luty and sponsor Tim Macdonald of Happy’s Source for Sports. “Without them, none of this for our kids and our community would be possible,” a team spokesperson said.
As part of their fundraising for the provincials, the Chiefs are hosting a Social Night evening Thursday, Feb. 5 starting at 6 p.m. at the Prime Chophouse and Wine Bar.
“Burger and beverage ($20) plus an auction featuring a Honda generator and Yamaha pressure washer (donated by Courtenay Motorsports), autographed NHL souvenir stick and hockey stick (donated by Happy’s), and many more great items,” the team notes on the Comox Valley Minor Hockey Association website.
– Happy’s Source for Sports Midget Tier 1 Chiefs