Photos courtesy of Alasdair Allchin/Trail Daily Times
Eagles and Nitehawk net Hot In KI 3 Stars spotlight
Sicamous Eagles rookie Jaxon Danilec collected eight points in three games to earn the Hot in the KI first star.
The Prince George native collected the majority of his points in an 11-3 win over the Castlegar Rebels on Feb. 2. He was named the game star after scoring five goals, including a hat-trick in the first period, and finished with six points on the night.
“When I scored five goals in a game it was a bit weird because it didn’t really sink in until a couple hours after the game,” says Danilec. “I know that doesn’t happen too often, especially for a rookie. When I got the first period hat trick I just tried to keep playing my game and that led to two more goals and an assist. All the guys were very supportive and so was coach Ty. It was really good for our team to have a game like that and it was a lot of fun to play in it.”
Danilec also earned the game star with a goal and assist in a 3-0 win over the Kamloops Storm on Jan. 31. He was held off the scoresheet in Grand Forks Feb. 1. Danilec says he thought he played really well in those games.
“I have just made sure to shoot the puck whenever I can and be first to the pucks,” he says. “I have just been doing my best to play smart hockey and use my speed on the outside and try and take the defenders wide. Every chance I get, I try and make it count.”
Danilec has 25 goals and 47 points in 39 games to lead the Eagles in scoring.
Read – Hot in the KI- ending Jan.26
Beaver Valley Nitehawks forward Bradley Ross earned the second star with seven points in three games.
He enjoyed a six-point performance at home against the Spokane Braves Feb. 1 (7-2 win). He netted a hat-trick, including his 100th career KIJHL goal. Ross described reaching that milestone as a great feeling.
“The 100th goal was really special and it was nice to do it in front of the home crowd,” he says.”It was nice to get that one and hopefully there’s more to come in the playoffs.”
On Jan. 31 in Spokane, Ross opened the scoring en route to a 6-3 Nitehawks win.
“I thought the whole team played really well this weekend and my line was clicking,” says Ross. “We seemed to have the puck most of the time and just seemed to gel really well.”
It has been a career year for the 19-year-old from Trail with 33 goals and 67 points in 42 games. That tops career high numbers from last year with 27 goals and 48 points in 45 games.
Eagles affiliate player, goalie Reed McLennan of Vernon earned the third star. McLennan, 16, turned aside 53 of 56 shots against the Rebels in his first KIJHL start. McLennan had a .946 save percentage and of the 56 shots he faced, the Rebels fired 28 at him in the opening period, surrendering two goals.
“It was a great feeling and a great game,” says McLennan. “It was my first start and win in the KIJHL and I am glad that it went the way it did. It was an awesome experience!
“I was nervous going into the game, but once I made the first save I was in it and on my game,” he continued. “It was easy to stay confident because the boys kept putting goals up on the board for us. It was a great night and I won’t ever forget it.”
In five games, McLennan is 1-1 with a 2.47 goals against average and.947 save percentage.