Thunderbirds face tough test to open 2014

The Major Midget Hockey League Fraser Valley Thunderbirds face the Vancouver NW Giants in their first games of the new year.

The Fraser Valley Thunderbirds get 2014 started with a tough home-and-home versus the Vancouver NW Giants.

The BC Major Midget Hockey League teams meet Saturday night in Burnaby and Sunday morning (10 a.m.) at Chilliwack’s Prospera Centre.

The Thunderbirds, with Chilliwack natives Hayden Guilderson, Dryden Downing and Josh Matzek on the roster, role into the new year with a record of 9-14-3. That leaves them eight in the 11 team circuit.

The Giants are second at 19-4-1.

Guilderson is having a fine season, with seven goals and 14 points through 26 games. Downing has six goals and 10 points.

Matzek, the goaltender, is 7-7-1 with a 4.79 goals-against average.

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— The MMHL released its all-star rosters this week, with two Thunderbirds getting spots.

Mission native Andrew Strelezki sits 11th in league scoring with 20 goals and 32 points through 26 games. He’ll skate for Team Red.

Abbotsford native Nicholas Ponak has 14 goals and 31 points to rank 19th in league scoring. He’ll skate for Team Blue. The All Star Game will be held Jan. 17 at 6 p.m. at the George Preston Centre in Langley.

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