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)

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.

 

Just Posted

Heritage Surrey launches time-lapse mapping tool

It matches local historical images to modern-day locations

UPDATE: Delta man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside North Delta elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Surrey RCMP asks for public’s help finding missing 52-year-old

Police say William Michaels last seen on Feb. 19

Private school for hockey players pitched for Surrey’s Excellent Ice arena

Lark Group draws up expansion plan for facility built and operated by the Surrey company since 1999

White Rock to review tower heights in town centre

City voted Thursday to include the town centre in its official community plan review

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

Two boys saved after falling through ice in Coquitlam

RCMP say a Good Samaritan pulled the kids to safety

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

Man wanted for sex trafficking, confinement may be heading to B.C.

Kevin Myrthil, 26, is also accused of assault on a 19-year-old woman at an Edmonton hotel

Most Read

l -->