The Pembina Valley Hawks were in action over the weekend as the boys picked up a couple of points in the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League (MMHL) while the girls were in the United States for the Junior Women’s Hockey League’s Challenge Cup January 18-20.
The Pembina Valley Hawks continue to hold onto their seventh-place spot in the MMHL and increased their lead over the eighth-place Bruins with Sunday’s bounce-back win over the Interlake Lightning after Saturday’s 5-2 loss to the Thrashers.
The Hawks found themselves down 2-1 after the first period Sunday. Justin Hobbs was able to find the back of the net just 17 seconds after the Lightning opened the scoring 1:49 into the game. Pembina Valley couldn’t get anything going with the extra attacker despite 6 minutes of powerplay time in the opening frame.
The second period looked a lot like the first as Interlake again outscored the Hawks 2-1 to take a 4-2 lead heading into the third period. The Hawks again had 6 minutes of power play time in the second period but it was a shorthanded goal that kept the boys within two of the Lightning. Roux Bazin lit the lamp while on the penalty kill.
The Hawks power play clicked in the third, combining for two goals to even the game at 5-5 with 3:30 left on the clock. Derek Wiebe got things going for the Hawks right off the opening face off in the third, scoring just 12 seconds into the final 20 minutes. Trent Penner scored Pembina Valley’s first power play marker of the night, Michale Hlady’s goal at 16:27 was the team’s second goal with the extra man.
The game-winner came from AP player Braden Hildebrand of Altona, who notched his first AAA Midget Hockey League game with the Hawks against the Lightning. He worked the puck over the goal line with just 23 seconds left on the clock to lock up the two points for Pembina Valley.
The two Hawks goaltenders split the game between the pipes with Dylan Meilun picking up the win. Brock Moroz made 19 saves on 23 shots through 32 minutes of play. Meilun allowed just one goal on the 11 shots he faced through 28 minutes in the blue paint.
The Hawks are in seventh with 39 points, five points ahead of the Winnipeg Bruins, who sit in eighth with 34 points. The Hawks are nine points back of sixth place Southwest and 10 back of the Eastman Selects.
The Hawks are back on the ice Wednesday night when the Central Plains Capitals make the trip to Morden. The Hawks and Caps have traded wins this season and it should be a great match. The Hawks then welcome the Parkland Rangers to Morden Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s game goes at 5:15 p.m. while Sunday’s starts at 11:30 a.m.
Ladies down south
It was a tough weekend against some very tough competition for the Pembina Valley Hawks as the female midget team made the trip to Arlington, Virginia, for the 12thhh annual Challenge Cup.
The girls opened the tournament with two losses Friday. Hawks Cambree Martens scored in the team’s 7-1 loss to Ridley College of St. Catherines, Ont. Hawks’ goaltenders Goalies Regan Duran and Kadynce Romijn split the game. Duran allowed 6 goals against while Romijn allowed 1. Abbi Conrad and Cora Fijala scored in their 4-2 loss to the Boston Shamrocks later in the day. The game was tied 1-1 after two periods. Romijn made 31 saves in the loss.
The Hawks were back on the ice Saturday when the girls fell 3-1 to the Washington Pride. Pembina Valley forward Maiya Aschberg scored in the loss while Romijn made 27 saves in net. The Hawks peppered the Washington netminder with 30 shots but couldn’t manage to tie the game.
Sunday saw the girls put together a defence show and it paid off with the Hawks’ only win of the tournament when the girls beat Banff Academy 2-0. Hawks players Jolyne LeClair and Aschberg scored in the first period and the Hawks held on for the victory. Regan Durand stopped all 13 shots she faced.
The final game of the weekend was against the Ottawa Lady 67’s where the girls fell 3-1. Kaila Powell scored the only goal in the loss. It was another tough game where the girls had steady offence but couldn’t find the back of the net.
The girls are back in MFMJL action in Portage la Prairie Friday night at 8 p.m. when the Hawks take on the Central Plains Capitals at Stride Place. The girls also go Saturday against the Ice in Winnipeg and Sunday against Eastman in Morden. Sunday’s game goes at 2:30 p.m.