Kodiaks suffer rare loss

The North Vancouver Wolf Pack’s power play packed a lot of punch Saturday night.

On the strength of a trio of power play goals in the third period, the Wolf Pack pulled away from the visiting Aldergrove Kodiaks en route to a 5-1 victory at the Harry Jerome Rec Centre in North Vancouver.

The Wolf Pack cashed in on three of their six man advantage opportunities.

“We did a lot of good things, [but] I thought they did a pretty good job of shutting us down.” Kodiaks head coach Brad Rihela said. “We couldn’t get momentum. It was one of those nights.”

Rihela added, “They’re a good hockey team, over there. Give them credit: they played a real solid defensive game and did what you have to do to get two points.”

The Wolf Pack’s Spencer Quon tallied the only goal of the first period.

At the 2:13 mark of the second frame, the Wolf Pack’s Mitchell Crisanti scored to make it 2-0.

Stephen Ryan notched his league-leading 35th goal of the season 6:20 into the middle frame to narrow the visitors’ deficit to one goal.

The Kodiaks came unraveled when it came to penalties during the final frame, and the Wolf Pack took full advantage with power play goals from Marcus Houck, Trevor Maclean, and Otis Goldman.

The Wolf Pack outshot the Kodiaks 16-6 during the third period and 29-20 overall.

Even with the loss, the Kodiaks, at 28-6-2-1, are the top team in the Pacific Junior Hockey League.

They lead the PJHL’s Harold Brittain Conference as well as the entire league with 59 points.

The Tom Shaw Conference-leading Richmond Sockeyes are nipping at their heels, with 57 points on the strength of a 26-4-3-2 record.

With Saturday’s win, the Wolf Pack improved to 24-10-1-2 and sit second in the Tom Shaw, six points back of the Sockeyes, who are riding a 15-game win streak.

Kodiaks 8, Ridge Meadows Flames 0

Friday’s game at Planet Ice Maple Ridge featured a shutdown, meltdown, and ultimately, a beatdown.

The Kodiaks’ team defence completely shut the Flames’ offence down, limiting the hosts to a measly 11 shots on goal.

The third period saw the meltdown, with the Flames unable to keep themselves out of the penalty box and the Kodiaks seizing the opportunity by adding four power play goals to their totals.

When the final buzzer sounded, the beatdown was complete, with the Kodiaks skating to an easy 8-0 win while levying 50 shots on goal.

Ryan added to his PJHL-leading point totals with a pair of goals and two assists.

Spencer Unger and Elvis Jansons also scored twice for the Kodiaks, with Spencer McHaffie and Jonathan Philley scoring the other Aldergrove markers.

The Kodiaks led 2-0 after the first period, 4-0 after 40 minutes of play and added four more in a third period in which they outshot the Flames 20-2.

In total, the Kodiaks had 13 power play opportunities and scored on four of them.

Rihela said the shot totals were somewhat misleading, especially considering the Flames were missing a couple of key players form their lineup.

“They are a good hockey team,” he said, regarding a Ridge Meadows team that sits at .500, at 16-16-2-3. “I don’t know if the shots were a huge indicator. We had a lot of opportunities on the power play, and on the power play, our team is dangerous.”

Kodiaks 3, North Vancouver Wolf Pack 2 (double OT)

Spencer McHaffie potted the winner 33 seconds into the three-on-three double overtime period to lift the Kodiaks to victory last Wednesday (Jan. 15), capping “Harry Hunt Appreciation Night” at Aldergrove Arena.

Trailing 1-0 after the first period and 2-0 after North Vancouver’s Houck found the net 11:51 into the second period, the Kodiaks erased a two-goal deficit by scoring the final three goals of the night.

Ryan tallied Aldergrove’s first goal 13:02 into the middle frame to narrow the deficit to 2-1.

Then, at the 5:23 mark of the third period, the Kodiaks’ Philley tied the score at 2-2.

The Kodiaks controlled play, outshooting the Wolf Pack 50-26.

Rihela said the Kodiaks scratched out the win for Hunt, a well-liked photographer who was in attendance.

“Harry’s such a huge part in our community and it was amazing to see everybody coming together for him,” Rihela said. “From the coaching staff to the players, it was awesome to pull one out in overtime. The fans were unbelievable that night.”

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