Aldergrove Kodiaks claw back win

Whatever way the Pacific Junior Hockey League championship series shakes down, one thing’s for certain: there will be no repeat of last year.

In the 2013 junior B playoff finale, the Richmond Sockeyes swept the Aldergrove Kodiaks in four games.

The two PJHL powerhouses are facing off again for the post-season title this season, and the Kodiaks have ensured they won’t be swept this time around.

In fact, if the Kodiaks win tomorrow night (Wednesday, March 26) at Aldergrove Arena, the series will be up for grabs.

A 3-2 win Sunday at Richmond Arena brought the Kodiaks back into the fray.

Going into the game, the Sockeyes held a two-games-to-none lead in the best-of-seven series after beating the Kodiaks 7-1 in the opener March 19 at Aldergrove Arena and 6-4 on March 20 in Richmond.

The Kodiaks showed some moxie in game three by taking a 2-0 first period lead on goals from Spencer Unger 6:46 after the opening puck drop, and Spencer McHaffie with 7:02 remaining in the frame.

The Sockeyes narrowed their deficit to a goal after Richmond’s Daniel Oakley scored at the 1:36 mark of the second period.

But the Kodiaks restored their two-goal lead when Spencer McHaffie tallied his second of the night, assisted by his brother Scott, with 4:34 to go in the middle frame.

The third period saw the Sockeyes’ Jacob Wozney cash in on a power play at the 4:55 mark, but the Richmond hosts were unable to net the equalizer.

Kodiaks goaltender Jordan Liem had a strong game, stopping 33 of 35 shots directed his way.

At the other end, Sockeyes puckstopper Kootenay Alder also played solidly, stopping 35 Kodiaks shots.

Wednesday’s game at Aldergrove Arena gets underway at 7:15 p.m.

The teams meet in game five Thursday at Richmond Arena, with a 7 p.m. start time.

If the series stretches beyond five games, a sixth contest will be played this Saturday (March 29) at Aldergrove Arena. Game time is yet to be determined.

If the series goes the distance, a seventh and deciding game is scheduled for Monday, March 31 at Richmond Arena with a 7 p.m. start time.

ICE CHIPS: The series matches the top two teams from the PJHL’s regular season, with the Tom Shaw Conference champion Sockeyes topping the league with a 34-5-3-2 record. To get to the championship series, the Sockeyes posted back-to-back four-game sweeps, over the Delta Ice Hawks and North Vancouver Wolf Pack in their first two best-of-seven series thus far in  the post-season.

The Kodiaks finished second overall in the PJHL while leading the Harold Brittain Conference with a 34-6-2-2 mark.  In the playoffs,  Aldergrove swept the Mission City Outlaws in four games and downed the Abbotsford Pilots in five games in their respective best-of-seven series.

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