It was a tough weekend all-around for the Lac la Hache Tomahawks who travelled hundreds of kilometres for a couple of back-to-back losses.
Saturday night (Nov. 24) saw them in Terrace for a tilt with the River Kings. Grant Johnson put the T-hawks on the scoreboard just 17 seconds into the game.
Terrace answered back with two goals, but Hawks Wade Balbirnie evened the first period score to 2-2 with just three seconds left on the clock.
Lac la Hache came out strong in the second period, with Donovan Nicholas scoring consecutive goals just a minute apart. The two-goal lead was adjusted by River Kings Tristan Murray who squeaked in a short-handed goal with one second to spare in the frame.
Terrace capitalized on a power play early in the third period and followed it up with another marker less than a minute later for the lead. Tomahawks Kevin McNabb quickly tied it up 5-5, but the visitors didn’t have enough steam left in them to keep the Kings’ Craig Vienneau off the scoresheet to secure Terrace a 6-5 victory.
Sunday afternoon had the Hawks in Kitimat for a contest with the Ice Demons, but the gas tank was dry by then.
Kitimat scored shortly after the face-off and then Donovan Nicholas and Wilfred Robbins each scored for the T-Hawks for a brief lead. It was quickly annihilated by the Demons who pounded the net to a 4-2 lead by the end of the first period.
Kitimat kept the momentum going through the second to widen the gap to 6-2.
The third period was a washout with Kitimat scoring six goals – two of which were power plays. Nicholas and Robbins each scored again for the T-Hawks to soften their loss to 12-4.
“When you travel 900 kilometres, you don’t sleep right and you don’t eat right,” says Tomahawks coach Al Navrot in defence of his squad.
“I trust my team and I know we can play with them, but we were out of steam. We battled all the way through and worked hard, and made good ground in the dressing room. The attitude was positive.”
He was especially impressed with the contributions made by forward William Louie from Sugarcane.
“He had a strong game and threw in some big hits.”
The weekend activity allowed room for Williams Lake Stampeders to climb to the top of the East Division where it now shares the lead with Lac la Hache at 13 points apiece. Quesnel trails at nine. The Hawks and Stamps also share third place in the Central Interior Hockey League overall standings. Smithers and Kitimat are tied for the lead.
In the scoring race, Robbins holds second place with 21 points – just one point behind leader Justin Fulton of the Quesnel Kangaroos.
The Tomahawks play at home in Lac la Hache on Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. against the Stampeders.