It isn’t too soon for the North Island Silvertips to be thinking about holiday-season hockey.
Nanaimo’s B.C. Major Midget League team (6-6) swept a home-and-home series against the South Island Thunderbirds this past weekend to boost its position in the standings.
The seventh-place ’Tips are close to the sixth-place standing they need to qualify for the Mac’s Midget Tournament in Calgary after Christmas.
Most years the Silvertips have to settle for the runner-up prize, a berth at the Richmond International Hockey Tournament.
“They know what Richmond is, but they want to go experience the best competition and that’s going to be in Calgary,” said Dan Lemmon, coach of the Silvertips.
Jordan Levesque, alternate captain on the ’Tips, said it would be “really important” to get to the Mac’s.
“Last year we didn’t make it … and it doesn’t feel good,” he said. “It was one of our goals at the beginning of the year so hopefully we can get that.”
The Silvertips are encouraged because they’ve been playing “better and better” as the season’s gone on, Levesque said. Lemmon said Saturday’s road game was better than Sunday’s home game – the Silvertips played smart and kept things simple on the road, while the matchup at the NIC they might have benefited from some lucky breaks, said the coach.
“Earlier in the season we were finding a way to lose these games, so we’re doing some of the little things right,” he said.
Chase Lang led Nanaimo with a pair of two-goal games against the T-birds and Michael Herringer played in net all weekend.
GAME ON … The Silvertips visit the Vancouver Northeast Chiefs (8-4) this Saturday (Nov. 12) and Sunday on the mainland.