Trojans drop season opener to GVC
A one-goal lead in the third period wasn't enough for the PCI Trojans to secure their first win of the Zone 4 Hockey season at Stride Place Thursday. (Aaron Wilgosh/Graphic)
Not the start they'd hoped for.
The Portage Collegiate Institute (PCI) Trojans varsity boy's hockey team stumbled out of the gates in their Zone 4 Hockey League season opener, falling 4-3 to the Garden Valley Zodiacs (GVC) Thursday night at Stride Place.
“We actually played some really good hockey in the first and second periods,” says Brendan Schaan, Trojans' head coach. “We outshot them something like 15-2 in the second, then they came back and outshot us 17-4 in the third. A tough outcome for sure."
GVC came out hard right off the opening faceoff and seemed to catch the home club off guard, netting their first goal of the game just 31 seconds in. Portage settled down after that and managed to tie the game 1-1 before the halfway point of the period. Steven Vey buried his first of the year with Mason Wieringa notching the only assist on the play.
The Trojans took over in the second, scoring two goals to take a 3-1. Vey found the back of the net for his second of the night while also assisting on Brandon Rouire's goal around the mid-point of the frame. Things got physical toward the end of the second and both teams found themselves with some players in the penalty box. This proved beneficial for the Zodiacs as they seemed to be more structured four-on-four and capitalized to make it 3-2 after two.
Again, PCI looked like the stronger club for a good portion of the third period, but a short lapse toward the end sealed it for the Zodiacs. GVC tied the game with 4:10 to go, then took the lead with 1:30 remaining.
“Our goalie Darren Blanchard played fantastic,” says Schaan. “As a goalie, you want to hold your team in it as much as possible and he did just that. The team was sort of sitting back for that third period and (Blanchard) played incredible.”
Blanchard made 22 saves in the loss.
PCI was down three players up front for the game, two of which are top-six forwards. The Trojans are back on the ice at Stride Place Thursday when they host the W.C. Miller Aces. Puck drop set for 7:30 p.m.