Thunderbirds forward Brendan Williamson crashes the net during BCMML playoff action at MSA Arena on Friday. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)

Thunderbirds forward Brendan Williamson crashes the net during BCMML playoff action at MSA Arena on Friday. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)

Fraser Valley Thunderbirds advance to BCMML semi-finals

T-birds sweep Valley West to move on, minor T-birds finish second

Zackary Funk’s late game heroics on Saturday night helped send the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds to the British Columbia Major Midget League semi-finals.

Funk put the Thunderbirds up 5-4 with just 29 seconds left in the third period, and that goal clinched a 2-0 series win for the club over the Valley West Giants.

Fraser Valley started off game two hot, with Jude Wessel and Brendan Williamson scoring twice to give the team a 3-0 lead mid-way through the first period. The Giants made it a 3-1 game with a late goal in the first, and then scored two more goals in the second to make it a 3-3 game after 40 minutes.

Gerrit Lindhout put the Thunderbirds up 4-3 in the third, but the Giants tied the game at four with just 1:19 left. Funk’s goal 50 seconds later ended the Giants title dreams.

Abbotsford’s MSA Arena proved to be a friendly place in game one for the Thunderbirds, as they took over the game in the second period and cruised to a 4-1 win. Fraser Valley got goals from Luca Venier, Williamson, Wessel and Funk.

The series win advances the Thunderbirds to the BCMML semi-final, and they now take on the Okanagan Rockets. The Rockets finished fourth overall in the regular season, while Fraser Valley finished atop the standings. Game one is scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m., while game two goes down on Saturday at 4 p.m. Both games occurs at MSA Arena. Game three, if necessary, is still to be determined.

Slideshow by: John Morrow/Abbotsford News

The other semi-final series sees the Cariboo Cougars host the Vancouver North East Chiefs.

Meanwhile in Kelowna, the Thunderbirds minor midget team fell 5-4 to the Rockets to finish with a silver medal.

Game one on Saturday saw Fraser Valley get goals from Aidan Roy and Liam Burns, but fall 3-2 to Okanagan. Game two on Sunday was another competitive game, but the Rockets edged the Thunderbirds 5-4 to win the league championship.

Burns, Zach Urquhart and Roy (two) all tallied for Fraser Valley.

It caps off a great inaugural season for the minor squad, who also finished second overall in the regular season.