Steelers start season on sharp run

It’s been a rosy start to the season for the Grandview Steelers.

The Pacific Junior B Hockey League club posted a pair of wins last week to launch the 2019/20 season, edging archrival Delta Icehawks 2-0 on Tuesday, then lambasting the Surrey Knights 10-1 in Sunday’s home opener.

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With a roster well-mixed with scrub-faced rookies – eight, including six who were in uniform in both games – as well as a core of 19 and 20 year olds, led by fourth-year starting netminder Cale Dolan – it’s all about building chemistry and finding out who fits where for head coach Stevan Matic.

So far, the pieces look very compatible.

Veteran defender Jameson Crawford supplied the offence in Delta, putting Grandview up 1-0 with a powerplay tally early in the second period. With the Icehawks pressing for the equalizer, Crawford capped the win by scoring into an empty net with eight seconds left in the third.

Dolan, meanwhile, looked in mid-season form with 21 saves and a shutout.

On Sunday, the Steelers shot out to a 3-0 lead and were up 8-0 after 40 minutes, with an offence that saw eight players get in on the scoring.

Derek Chin and Jack Hamilton counted a pair of goals each, while Michael Martino, Quinn Myles, Jordan Myers, Ethan Reilly and Jonathan Schlender tallied a goal and an assist apiece.

The defence held the visiting Knights to just 13 shots.

Making a solid impression in his first two junior B hockey games was 15-year-old Myles, a six-foot-two North Van native who is part of a revamped blueline. The teen is one of four new faces who were in uniform for one or both games.

Up front, the lineup has returning veterans like Martino, who tallied 14 times in 42 games last year, and Anthony Benevoli, who enters his fourth season looking to improve on last season’s 11 goals and 11 assists. Both are Burnaby natives.

Grandview ventures east to play 0-2 Mission on Saturday, then returns home to host the 2019 league champion North Van Wolf Pack, 7:15 p.m. on Sunday at the Burnaby Winter Club.

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