It’s rematch time for White Rock Whalers and Delta Ice Hawks.
Starting Tuesday night (March 7) in Ladner, the Pacific Junior Hockey League teams will battle for the Tom Shaw conference championship one year after White Rock took down Delta in six games.
The league-leading Ice Hawks seek revenge against a Whalers team that finished 14 points below them in the regular season, but battled them hard all year and blanked Delta 7-0 at Centennial Arena the last time the two teams met more than a month ago, on Jan. 28.
The Whalers finished third in the conference with 62 points, five back of Richmond Sockeyes, the team they bounced from the playoffs Thursday night (March 2) with a 3-0 win at Minoru Arena.
This season the Whalers earned a franchise-high 30 wins with a veteran group that includes eight graduating players who’ll “age out” next season (Bryce Margetson, Davey Moody, Zach Sherwin, Jacob Dorohoy, Chris Fortems, Cam Newson, Braydon Clark and Cole Svendson).
Meantime, the Ice Hawks led the league in most goals scored (256) and also fewest goals allowed (110) during the regular season, and earned a 4-1 series win over Grandview Steelers to face the Whalers in the best-of-seven conference final.
If it gets there, interesting new arenas for both teams: Game 6 on bigger ice of South Surrey Arena, Game 7 at North Delta’s Sungod. https://t.co/XZJVOBqDqv
— Tom Zillich (@TomZillich) March 7, 2023
So far this post-season, Delta’s balanced attack has been led by Alec Scouras and Carson Merriman, tied with five points each heading into Game 1 with White Rock.
For the Whalers, in five games Sherwin scored an impressive 12 points in the team’s 4-1 series win over Richmond, followed by Svendson’s nine and Fortems’ eight.
The White Rock/Delta series-winner will face the team left standing after the Chillwack Jets/Ridge Meadows Flames final in the Harold Brittain conference. That series gets going Wednesday (March 8) at Cam Neely Arena in Maple Ridge.
Look for the playoff schedule on pjhl.net, along with scores and stats.
The winner of the PJHL championship will advance to the Cyclone Taylor Cup tournament for B.C.’s Junior B teams, in Revelstoke this year starting April 13.
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