The White Rock Whalers have their first victory in the Pacific Junior Hockey League.
Just a few days after a 6-1 loss to the Langley Trappers – which knocked their win-loss record to 0-3 – the expansion junior ‘B’ squad got into the win column Saturday night at Centennial Arena, with a convincing 7-0 shutout over the Surrey Knights. The previous week, White Rock lost a pair of one-goal games to the Richmond Sockeyes and Grandview Steelers.
The win leaves the Knights as the PJHL’s only winless team thus far.
“It’s a positive for the program and a step in the right direction,” Whalers coach Jason Rogers said of the win.
“I thought we competed hard for long periods of time in the three previous games… I thought we might’ve deserved a better fate in those first two.”
— WhiteRockWhalers (@WRWhalersHockey) September 16, 2018
Against the Knights, the Whalers were led by Logan Webber, who had two goals and an assist, while a slew of others had two-point nights. including goal scorers Cameron Newson, Saul Khalifa, Hayden Dance and Tyler Rogers, each of whom also picked up one assist each. Calder Newson rounded out the scoring.
Praveen Dhaliwal, a 19-year-old forward, picked up a pair of assists.
Through four games, Webber leads the team in scoring with six points.
Between the pipes, White Rock goalie Zach Everett earned the shutout, though he wasn’t tested often by Knights’ shooters – he faced only 13 total shots, including just two in the final period.
“We’re happy for Zach, to get the shutout. I know he probably wasn’t thrilled with the Wednesday (results), but I thought he bounced back well and played really well,” Rogers said.
The Whalers, meanwhile, peppered Surrey goalie Naveen Kainth with 43 shots on goal.
Against Langley on Sept. 12, Adrian Schaefer scored the Whalers’ lone goal in the loss. The game was a busy one for both netminders, and each team fired more than 40 shots at the opposing net.
Rogers chalked up the loss as “just one of those games that can happen to anybody.”
“And it’s even more likely (to happen) to a team that’s an expansion club playing it’s third game in five nights,” he continued. “Basically, Langley was good and we weren’t.”
The Whalers are back in action this weekend, and on Friday they take on the Ridge Meadows Flames in Maple Ridge, before returning to White Rock Saturday evening for a home tilt against the Trappers.
Rogers hoped last weekend’s win could serve as a momentum-building for his squad.
“I think we’ve identified some changes in the lineup in regards to line combinations – some things we think are going to work moving forward… some guys seemed to have a little chemistry together, so we’re excited about that,” he said.