Yuji Akimoto scored twice in the Hawks’ loss on Tuesday night, his 12th and 13th points of the season in just eight games played so far this season. // Katie Lawrence-Balloch photo
The Ice Hawks debuted their new grey jerseys at home to open the new year, but unfortunately, they were unable to capture their first win on home ice in 2024, as they fell to the Grandview Steelers 5-3 Tuesday night.
In the first, Yuji Akimoto added his sixth goal in just his eighth game of the season so far to put the Hawks up 1-0 on the power play, banking the puck off the back of Ronin Geraghty from below the goal line in a sneaky play.
The Steelers hadn’t had many shots on goal in the game, but in the second period, Kassius Kler and Steven Konechny were able to each get one past Jacob Zillich to take a 2-1 lead into the second intermission.
Payton Hu was able to even the score again the third, shooting it just right so that it squeaked through Geraghty, who had had a stellar night to that point, as the Ice Hawks were heavily outshooting the Steelers the entire game.
During a Grandview power play later in the period, the Steelers put on some solid pressure and were able to re-take the lead, with a goal from Luke Cox, but that did not last long.
Less than a minute later, Akimoto went coast-to-coast, carrying the puck all the way from behind the Hawks net, weaving his way through the Grandview defence, and firing a quick wrister past the Steelers netminder to tie it up again, 3-3.
But the Steelers were able to pot two late in the game, Kler and Cox each with their second of the game, to give the Steelers a 5-3 win in Ladner in the first PJHL game in 2024.