Richmond September 6 2018- After coming off as winners in their season opener, the Ice Hawks came away with a point in their second game, albeit one rather than two.,Up against their fierce cross-town rivals the Richmond Sockeyes, Delta drew 2-2 after a hard fought tightly contested affair. The Sockeyes were opening their season in font of a raucous home crowd that took in the action at the Minoru arena. Just as the Ice Hawks did in their home opener, the Sockeyes began their season with a banner raising ceremony, this one for the 2018 provincial championship. In net Engelson again got the start for the Ice Hawks, while 19 year-old Jeremey Kellaway was between the pipes for the Sockeyes.
The matchup started off slowly, but the Tunnel Series rivals soon began to get under each others skin. Both teams drew penalties within minutes of each other. Delta’s powerplay unit was up first and were unable to build on their 50% success rate from the first game. The Sockeye’s penalty kill looked well trained and held their defensive box extremely tight, not allowing the Hawks to have any shots with the man advantage. Following ther PK, the Sockeyes would get a power-play of their own as Max Daerndinger was called for a cross checking penalty against the Ice Hawks. On their first powerplay of the year, the Sockeyes opened the scoring with Marcus Pantzatis’s first goal for the team. The goal came as a result of a quick entry into the offensive zone, followed by a tape to tape pass from the stick of Craig Schuten to Panzatis who fired a quick shot over the pad of Jordan Engelson. The opening goal was only the first in Panzatis’s stellar power-play performance. On Richmond’s second powerplay, they would again find the back of the net. This time with the goal coming from the blueline off the stick of Panzatis for his second goal of the night with 2:17 remaining. The Ice Hawks weathered a storm of late opportunities but entered the first intermission down a pair of goals
Throughout the frame the Ice Hawks problems with finishing chances continued. They put up 12 shots and failed to score, very reminiscent of their 37 shot effort just days ago at the Ladner Leisure Centre.
The second period brought a bit of relief to a struggling Delta team as they got a goal to bring them within one just 3:28 into play. Mark Epshtein put the Hawks on the scoreboard after the team had held pressure in the offensive zone for a while. After the quick goal the period became much closer and more hard hitting, the polar opposite of the shooting fest the Ice Hawks have seen this year. Other than the There were nearly no shots between the two teams in the first half of the frame and that continued for most of the period. In the final quarter of the period both teams would get chances on the power-play. After failing to kill either of their first period penalties, the Ice Hawks would come away clean on their third PK of the night. Despite not conceding again, the PK unit continued to look shaky and likely came out lucky by not allowing another goal. The Delta Power Play on the other hand returned to form in the closing minutes,as captain Jordan Deyrmenjian scored his second goal of the season to tie the game at two heading into the third.
Penalties galore! That pretty much sums up the final frame. There was nearly no 5 on 5 hockey in the period, as both teams got three penalties in the third. One would think that after three powerplay goals, the two teams would have an abundance of scoring opportunities playing a man up; this was not the case. While Richmond’s power play continued to play well, the Delta PK had improved significantly, and with the help of Engelson held Richmond scoreless on three power plays, including one five on three. Although the PK was much improved, the power play was not so much as the Ice Hawks also failed to score on any of their three power play opportunities. The shots were nearly tied at 29-27 at the end regulation, but not as close as the score as the two teams were forced to go to overtime deadlocked at two.
It took two overtime periods, but neither team was able to come away with the victory as the first game of the tunnel series ended in a 2-2 draw. Both teams will have some rest before hitting the ice again, with the Ice Hawks next matchup being next Tuesday against the Abbotsford Pilots.