The host Abbotsford Hawks finished fourth at Tier 1 midget boys hockey provincials last week.

The host Abbotsford Hawks finished fourth at Tier 1 midget boys hockey provincials last week.

Host Hawks fourth at midget Tier 1 hockey provincials

The Abbotsford Hawks weren't anywhere close to full strength when they hit the ice last week for the provincial championships at MSA Arena.

The Abbotsford Hawks midget Tier 1 boys hockey team wasn’t anywhere close to full strength when they hit the ice last week for the provincial championship tourney at MSA Arena.

The host club was missing two key players due to injury, and three more due to rugby commitments. That hampered their pursuit of a title, but they turned in a gritty performance nevertheless en route to a fourth-place finish.

“There was absolutely no questioning our work ethic through the whole thing,” head coach Andy Neilsen said. “Our group really came together and battled hard.

“And our three affiliate players came in and did a great job on short notice.”

The Hawks went 1-3-1 during the round robin portion of the tourney, posting a 6-5 victory over Cloverdale and rallying from a two-goal deficit to earn a 3-3 draw with Comox Valley in their finale.

Kelowna claimed the title, edging Langley 2-1 in a double-overtime thriller in the final.

“That was a great game,” Neilsen noted. “Kelowna is a really strong hockey team.”

The event generated a lot of positive feedback, and Neilsen lauded the job done by the host committee.

“There is a ton of work that goes on behind the scenes, and our parent group did a great job,” he said. “And as far as community supporting us with sponsorships and donations, it was outstanding. It was a great representation of Abbotsford, for sure.”