The Delta Ice Hawks are headed to the PJHL championships after defeating the White Rock Whalers 4-2 March 16.
With Thursday’s win, the Ice Hawks claimed the “Battle of Boundary Bay” series 4-1, one year less a day after the Whalers beat Delta in six games to take the Tom Shaw Conference finals.
White Rock opened the scoring 4:26 in to the first period with a power play goal from Jacob Dorohoy — his first of the playoffs. Dorohoy’s goal came just nine seconds before a double-minor to Ice Hawks defenceman Henry Smith for slew footing-tripping was set to expire.
Colin Jang tied it up for Delta less than a minute later, batting his own rebound out of the air and over the glove of Whalers goalie Mark Paton.
The Ice Hawks’ power play dominated the second period, scoring three times in six minutes.
In the first half of a double-minor to Whalers forward Brayden Clark for cross checking and roughing, Carson Merriman buried one over Paton’s left shoulder to give Delta its first lead just shy of the 12-minute mark.
A minute and a half later, Carson Hemenway one-timed a pass from Ryan Bal in the left face-off circle, making it 3-1.
With just over two minutes left in the period and the Ice Hawks again with the man-advantage, Brayden Sinclair picked up the puck in the neutral zone, blew past Whalers d-man Bryce Margetson and went five-hole on Paton, giving Delta a three-point lead to close the period.
Five minutes into the third, with the Whalers on the power play, captain Zachary Sherwin put one past Hawks goalie Zach Shaughnessy for the final tally of the game.
Delta registered 58 shots on goal, going 3-for-11 on the power play, while White Rock tallied 23 and went 2-for-7.
Ice Hawks forwards Brayden Sinclair and Austin Kofler were named the game’s first and second stars, respectively, while Whalers goalie Mark Paton was named the third.
The Ice Hawks will now play for the Stonehouse Cup against the Ridge Meadows Flames, who downed the Chilliwack Jets 10-5 in Sardis on Tuesday night (March 21) to sweep that series 4-0.
Delta will have home ice advantage in that best-of-seven series, with the first two games scheduled to place at the Ladner Leisure Centre this Thursday (March 23) and Saturday (March 25). Games three and four will be played at Cam Neely Arena Planet Ice in Maple Ridge on March 27 and 29.
If necessary, game five will be played in Ladner on March 30 and game six in maple Ridge April 1.
The PJHL and the Ice Hawks are currently working to find a rink that can host a potential game seven on April 3 as the Ladner Leisure Centre is unavailable after March 31.
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.
— with files from Tom Zillich
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