It appears the Grandview Steelers have a lot to look forward to this year if the first game of their 2023-24 campaign was any indication.
Burnaby's local junior 'A' hockey club fell 5-4 in a shootout on home ice to the defending Pacific Junior Hockey League champions, the Delta Ice Hawks, but not without a fight.
In fact, 12 rounds were needed to decide the home- and season-opener on Sunday, Sept. 10, to which the black and yellow retained one point in the standings. Delta earned two points with the shootout victory.
Grandview goaltender Shayan Kermany stood tall to stop nine of 12 shooters, as well as 42 of 46 shots in regulation and overtime.
Delta scored in the first round, but Steelers alternate captain Lucas Cox kept their first-win hopes alive by tying it up in the third round and forcing extras.
Both teams scored in the seventh round to continue with the shootout. Delta's Brandon Petrie ultimately sealed the deal in the 12th round, scoring on Kermany before Kolten Eddy's attempt for the Steelers couldn't find the cage.
Aidan Teixeira, Zarek Slaferek, Cameron Northard and Kori Belanger were the Steelers' goal-scorers in first regular-season game. Cox, Teixeira and Northard each recorded two points.
The home side was 25 per cent (one for four) on the power-play while recording 29 shots on the weekend, and successfully killed four of six short-handed penalties.
"The Grandview Steelers have a lot of new faces this year as they lost a few players to aging out as well as players moving onto other leagues and post-secondary schools," a team statement reads about the contest
"In the crowd we saw many Steelers Alumni including former captain Jarod Yau, former captain Alex Pettingale, Vincent Timperio and Kaidan Johnson."
The Steelers' 2023-24 schedule also appears to be favourable with a consistent stretch of two games a week — one home every Sunday, plus a road game in between.
Grandview will face off against the Richmond Sockeyes on Thursday, Sept. 14 before coming home on Sunday, Sept. 17 to take on the PJHL's newest franchise, the Port Coquitlam Trailblazers.
Puck drop goes for 7:15 p.m. at Burnaby Winter Club.