Austin Kofler had the winning goal of Game 3 for the Ice Hawks, leading his team to a 4-1 win and helping his team take a commanding lead in the Tom Shaw Conference Final.
The Delta Ice Hawks took a commanding 3-0 lead in the Tom Shaw Conference Final on Sunday night, defeating the White Rock Whalers 4-1 for the third time in the series.
On a night where Delta honoured Ukraine and raised money for the Maple Hope Foundation, native Ukrainian Danylo Bereza scored the first goal of the night less than five minutes in, sending home a pass from Payton Hu that came from out behind the net.
Hawks goalie Zach Shaughnessy faced 26 shots on the night, allowing just one goal, scored by Cole Svendson three minutes after Bereza’s to tie the game.
Austin Kofler reclaimed the lead for Delta in the latter half of the period, making a nifty move at centre ice to give himself some space. He faced some pressure lower in the Whalers’ zone, but was able to fire a shot at a sharp angle past Mark Paton for a 2-1 lead.
And from there, the Hawks did not look back. Both teams were held scoreless in the second period and through most of the third, keeping everyone on their toes until late in the third period.
In the seventeenth minute, the Hawks added two more goals to seal the game in their favour, starting with Henry Smith. Delta won a faceoff in the White Rock zone and the puck landed by Kofler. He won a battle for it, sliding it quickly over to Smith, who went far post and in.
To finish off the scoring, Brayden Sinclair stole the puck low in his own zone, brought it out, and passed up to Payton Hu. He chased the puck down and sent a long shot onto an empty Whalers net to make it a 4-1 win and a 3-0 series lead for the Ice Hawks.