The Delta Ice Hawks came up with an important win on Tuesday night, defeating the Langley Trappers 3-1 at home.
Following three tough losses in the last three games, head coach Steve Robinson was happy to see “some good spark” from his young team.
“It feels good to get back in the win column, for sure. Two big points that we really need, and I thought we had some good moments, good energy, and a solid game from Tarves again,” he said.
Hawks captain Mark Epshtein opened the scoring, taking a pass from Brad Fortin and going on a breakaway. He deked on Cooper Giesbrecht, then went five-hole to give Delta a 1-0 lead.
Later in the frame, defenseman Luka Zilic took a heavy shot from the point and Giesbrecht gave up a big rebound. Stephen Chen was in the perfect spot to jump on it and added to the Hawks’ lead.
In the second, Ryan Xu took a shot from the top of the left circle and Ji-Hwan Kim slid a rebound just under Giesbrecht’s pad to make it 3-0.
Langley came on strong in the third period, with Nicholas Cormack scoring a minute and a half into the frame. But Hunter Tarves made 16 saves in the period, 29 in the game, to lead the Hawks to a win.
“Last time, we played these guys on the road on a back-to-back night; [Tarves] came in and won a 2-1 game. For me, every time we’ve given him a challenge, he’s stood up and embraced it and had his game rise to the occasion,” said Robinson.
Now with just 2 games over the next two weeks, the head coach added that the Ice Hawks have “a chance for some guys to get rested up from a few nicks, work on our practice, and have a few extra days off we normally wouldn’t have.”
“In the throes of late November, I’d prefer to have more game action, but you’ve got to take the benefits of what the schedule brings you…When we get past the second week [of just one game] after the Teddy Bear Toss night, we’re into quite a heavy schedule again. It’s really two weeks and we’re busy as heck again.”
The Ice Hawks’ next game Tuesday, November 26 at the Ladner Leisure Centre against the Ridge Meadows Flames, followed by Teddy Bear Toss night on December 3.