Carson Merriman has been the driving force behind the Hawks’ offence so far this season, scoring four points (three of those goals) in Tuesday night’s win over the Port Moody Panthers. Tav Morrison photo
The Delta Ice Hawks rebounded in their first game following their first loss of the season, taking down the Port Moody Panthers 7-2 at the Ladner Leisure Centre.
Carson Merriman had his second hat trick of the season, along with an assist, to jump into the league scoring lead with 21 points in nine games, with 11 goals and 10 assists after Tuesday’s match.
The Hawks opened the scoring within the first five minutes of the game, with Payton Hu going cross-ice to Mateo Sjoberg in the neutral zone, who carried it into the Panthers’ zone down the right wing. He cut in close to the net and passed across to a streaking Carson Merriman, who was able to score all while battling a defenceman, his ninth of the season.
Less than two minutes later, the home team’s lead doubled. Colin Jang won a puck battle on the right side, sliding the puck down to Conner Merriman. He found an open Michele Romeo in the slot for a one-time shot and he beat goalie Ty Angus for a 2-0 Hawks lead.
Port Moody was able to get one back in the first, scored by Sahib Basra, but that’s as close as the Panthers would come to the Hawks.
Carson Merriman sent a stretch pass up to Tye Hemenway, who kicked it forward with his skate to Mateo Sjoberg. Sjoberg gave it right back to Hemenway, who had the forward momentum, and he walked in and shot high-blocker side to score his second, sending the water bottle flying, for a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes.
The Hawks kept rolling in the second, with Tye Hemenway picking off a clearing attempt at the top of the Port Moody zone. He took a shot that was stopped by Angus, but Jang was on the doorstep to put the puck home for his sixth of the year.
Carson Merriman and Sjoberg struck again, as they entered the Panthers’ end together and wove their way through all five Port Moody players. Sjoberg took a shot on net, stopped by Angus, but Merriman was there to clean it up to boost his goal total into the double digits.
Not long after that, Nicholas Kolb knocked down a puck sent out to the neutral zone and picked up speed to reenter the offensive zone. He made a couple moves around defencemen and slid a pass forward for Danylo Bereza, who was able to catch up with it and find Kolb alone in the slot for an easy open-net goal and a 6-1 Hawks lead.
Nicolas Lee netted one back for the Panthers with 32 seconds left on the clock in the second, making it 6-2, the last of the scoring in the game.
The third period was full of power plays for both sides, but neither team was able to find the back of the net on the man-advantage. Lucas Poratta came into the game for Port Moody after the Hawks’ sixth goal and shut the door on the Hawks’ offence up until the last 18 seconds of the game.
The Merriman brothers put up one more on the board, with Conner passing over to Carson for Carson’s hat trick goal, his second three-goal night of the season, for a 7-2 Hawks final.