Junior ‘B’ hockey team coming to White Rock

White Rock Whalers announced as newest team in Pacific Junior Hockey League

The White Rock Whalers will play out of Centennial Arena next season. (File photo)

The White Rock Whalers will play out of Centennial Arena next season. (File photo)

A new junior hockey team is coming to White Rock – and the name may sound familiar for longtime hockey fans in the city.

This fall – in time for the 2018/19 hockey season – the White Rock Whalers will join the junior ‘B’ Pacific Junior Hockey League, the league announced in an online post Sunday.

The team will be owned by longtime Semiahmoo Peninsula businessman Ronnie Paterson, who for the last eight years has been a co-owner of the PJHL’s Richmond Sockeyes and prior to that, owned the junior ‘A’ Surrey Eagles along with Ralph Berezan for six years.

Paterson called Peace Arch News himself Sunday evening to confirm the announcement, calling the development “very exciting.”

“I think it’s great for the community,” he said, adding that the addition of the expansion team had been in the works for “six to eight” months.

In April 2017, PJHL president Ray Stonehouse told PAN that the league was looking to expand, and was eyeing both White Rock and Cloverdale markets.

“I think it’s a great league that is going to continue to grow,” Paterson said Sunday.

The Whalers will play out of Centennial Arena. The original White Rock Whalers junior team played out of the same arena from 1985-1989 in the West Coast Junior Hockey League – the precursor to the PJHL – and won a league title in 1988.

Paterson, who also served as an assistant coach for the Sockeyes this past season, said he was motivated to bring a team back to White Rock in order to keep Semiahmoo Peninsula players playing close to home. He expected the team to have a “significant partnership” with both the Surrey Eagles and Semiahmoo Minor Hockey.

“I talked to a few people and everyone was supportive and thought it was a good idea,” said Paterson. “I talked with Chuck (Westgard, Eagles president) and Blaine (Neufeld, the Eagles’ general manager), and they’re both very supportive.

“We think this is going to be a great marriage.”

The Whalers will be the 12th team in the PJHL, which also has franchises in Surrey, Delta and Langley, in addition to Paterson’s former team, the Sockeyes. The Sockeyes are the reigning provincial junior ‘B’ champions, and last year had a roster chock full of South Surrey and White Rock players.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Junior ‘B’ hockey team coming to White Rock

Just Posted

Eagle watchers are celebrating the first egg of the season, captured on video in South Surrey. (Hancock Wildlife Foundation photo)
LIVE VIDEO: South Surrey nesting eagles welcome first egg of the season

Parents ‘Sur’ and ‘Res’ to share incubating duties

B.C. Court of Appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Court makes public ‘abbreviated’ reasons for judgment in Surrey Six slaying appeals

Six men were murdered in suite 1505 of the Balmoral Tower in Whalley on Oct. 19, 2007

A view of Surrey's new modular park washroom in a photo posted to archdaily.com.
‘Playful, durable, safe’: Surrey’s new park washroom design splashed on architecture website

Vancouver firm contracted to create prototype now installed at two parks, with two more in the works

The City of Surrey is currently working through the initial phase for a park that’ll be built at 72 Avenue and 191 Street in Clayton. (Image via City of Surrey)
City of Surrey wants Clayton residents to provide input on new park

City asking for ideas on naming the park, park amenities, and more

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A 50-year-old man was stabbed in an altercation that started with a disagreement about physical distancing. (File photo)
Argument about physical distancing escalates to stabbing in Nanaimo

Victim, struck with coffee cup and then stabbed, suffers minor injuries; suspect arrested

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

“Support your city” reads a piece of graffiti outside the Ministry of Finance office. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti ‘unacceptable’ says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

A woman boards a transit bus through rear doors, in Vancouver, on Friday, March 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
TransLink slow to reveal crucial details about ransomware attack, says union

Union says company took months to admit what info was stolen, including SIN and bank account details

Most Read