There are few things in sport as unnerving as having a healthy lead dwindle as your competition picks up steam.
That’s what bantam hockey’s Takhini Transport had to deal with in their season opener against EBA Engineering, Sunday at Canada Games Centre.
Up 3-1 at the start of the second, Takhini suddenly found itself in a tie-game as EBA’s Tyler Wiens let go a wrist-shot from the right face-off circle to tie it, 3:15 into the third. However, a pair of goals in the third sealed the deal, giving Takhini a 5-3 win to start off the season.
“I was kind of nervous a bit,” said Takhini’s net minder, Riley Hildebrand, describing his feelings when EBA tied it.
“But we managed to get a few goals to go back in the lead.”
Wien’s goal, his second of the game, was proceeded by a goal by EBA’s Spencer Jamieson midway through the second.
“(They) just sustained pressure and were hard on the puck,” said Takhini coach Brian Banks, speaking of the EBA team’s second period play. “The was good puck movement down low in their end.”
Perhaps what was a little unsettling for Hildebrand was that he felt he was capable of stopping the shots.
“The first one wasn’t too bad, the last two were gravy-goals,” said Hildebrand. “One was in the five hole, I probably should have had. The other one was a bit of a sloppy play.”
Rowan Huggard started the season with a bang, scoring Takhini’s third goal and assisting two goals by Austin Smith and one by Eric Justason. Rory Gibson scored Takhini’s first goal 11:44 into the game.
Although a win is always a good sign, Takhini Transport is still experimenting with positioning — even between forward and defence positions.
“Basically, we’re forming as a team right now,” said Banks. “The kids are just getting to know each other, and getting to know where they’re going to play. A lot of them haven’t played certain positions and they’re trying new positions out.
“I’ll leave that choice to the kids, where they want to play,” adds Banks. “I’ll encourage and support them wherever they want to play.”
“It’s pretty good this year, lots better than last year,” said Hildebrand, of his team.
“We’re passing a lot better and working better as a team.”
Other rec results
Boston Pizza/Matco 7, Mustangs 5;
Elk Puckers 6, Summit Savages 2;
Sports North 5, Narrow Gauge 5;
Yukon Appliance 3, ORC Tree Services 1
Sunday’s Oldtimer results
Kilrich 5, Yukon Inn 4;
Edgewater Hotel 2, Medicine Chest 2