Ice Hawks declaw the Panthers

Victory finally came for the Delta Ice Hawks, who scored five goals against the Port Moody Panthers in their 5-1 win on Tuesday night at the Ladner Leisure Centre.

Goalie Hunter Tarves took home his first PJHL win, allowing just one goal on 20 shots, and the line of Truman Chiu, Mark Epshtein, and Brad Fortin combined for seven points.

“I could see that the last couple games, Truman and Mark and Fortin as a line were finding their groove,” said Hawks head coach Steve Robinson. “I think those guys have good chemistry, so I expect their line to just continue to build.”

“It feels good to get a win for sure. I thought we had good jump and good energy,” he added.

Chiu opened the scoring with a power play goal. Leo Li kept the puck in at the Panthers’ blue line and passed down to Chiu, who moved in on open ice and scored high-blocker side on Chad Cromar.

Later in the frame, Port Moody’s Aaron Mak tied the game at one, finishing off a cross-crease pass and scoring on Hunter Tarves.

Delta would again take the lead in the second period and would not look back. Montaro Uyeyama scored the Ice Hawks’ second goal, his first of the season, tipping a point shot from Lucas Lundy as he was hit by a Panther.

Brice Kemp scored his first PJHL goal in the Ice Hawks’ win; a power play goal. Ryan Xu connected with Sam Dowell down low in the Port Moody zone, then Dowell found Kemp across the slot, who quickly slid it past Cromar.

In the third, Mark Epshtein scored his third of the season by following up on a rebound, and with just three seconds left in the game, Chiu potted his second of the night on a seeing-eye pass from Epshtein.

Happy with the result on Tuesday night, Robinson anticipates a similar effort on the road in Aldergrove on Wednesday.

“I think the guys will be freed by that win and the relief of any pressure, and I expect us to come back with an even stronger game tomorrow night.”

The Hawks are taking on the Kodiaks on September 18 at 7:15 at the Aldergrove Credit Union Community Arena.