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VIJHL: Port Alberni Bombers pick up pair of weekend wins

Bombers now in fourth place in North Division
Port Alberni Bomber Robbie Steel beats Oceanside Generals’ Ethan Hawes to the puck at the beginning of the third period in the Generals’ 5-2 win at Weyerhaeuser Arena in Port Alberni on Feb. 8, 2023. Hawes scored twice in the Gens’

The Port Alberni Bombers picked up a pair of Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL) wins last week after falling victim to the Oceanside Generals’ league-leading winning streak on Wednesday, Feb. 8. The Bombers bounced back with a 3-2 road win over Westshore Wolves on Friday, Feb. 10 and a 6-2 victory back home over Saanich Predators on Saturday, Feb. 11.

On Wednesday the Generals took a 2-0 lead out of the first period on goals from Ben Groome and Aidan Mailhot. Bombers’ Jackson Payeur cut the difference in half with a goal at 2:25 of the second period, but the Gens’ Dante Paziuk and Ethan Hawes with his first of two goals put the visitors up 4-1 after two periods.

Hawes with his second of the night gave the Generals a 5-1 lead just 1:27 into the third period. Payeur scored his second of the night for the Bombers at 6:50 but it wasn’t enough to light the offensive fire for the hosts and the game ended a 5–2 win for the Generals. The team from Parksville continues to break franchise records for consecutive and overall wins in a season, and shattered a VIJHL league record with their 19th consecutive win on Saturday, Feb. 11.

The Generals’ Ethan Hawes scored his first—and second—Junior B hockey goals against the Bombers and earned first star selection at the end of the game. “It only took me 20-something games,” he said in a post-game video posted to the Generals’ Twitter account. “That felt good.”

On Friday, Owen Ditzel (Beau Helmeczi, Justin Osborne) and Carson Steel (Finlay Klippenstein) gave the Bombers a 2-0 lead after a scoreless first period. Angus Alichin put the Wolves on the board at 3:51 of the third period, but Aidan See notched the winner on the power play at 5:37 with assists going to Solstice Tennant and Chase Pacheco.

See earned second star honours for boosting the Bombers with a three-point night in their 6-2 win over Saanich on Feb. 11. See opened scoring for the Bombers at 17:18 of the first period. The Preds went up 2-0 in the second period with goals by Kyle Erickson and Hunter Jensen, but See tied it up at 11:36 of the second, converting a play from Chase Pacheco and Sam Davidson.

Pacheco scored the winner three minutes later from Blake Power and See. The Bombers added three unanswered goals in the third period from Grayson Erickson (Brett MacLean, Rocky Nordvie), Beau Helmeczi (Zeyd Boltakke) and a shorthanded effort from Carson Steel (Jackson Payeur) at 19:00.

ICE CHIPS…The weekend wins elevated the Bombers to fourth place in the VIJHL North Division standings with 35 points, one more than the Lake Cowichan Kraken… The Nanaimo Buccaneers are last in the division with 12 points.

Susie Quinn

About the Author: Susie Quinn

A journalist since 1987, I proudly serve as the Alberni Valley News editor.
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