After falling below the .500 mark after a three-game schedule last week, the White Rock Whalers have come up for air after a strong weekend showing.
The second-year Pacific Junior Hockey League team got back to even with a 4-1 victory over the Surrey Knights Thursday night at the North Surrey Sport and Ice Complex and a 4-3 overtime win over the Aldergrove Kodiaks Saturday night at Centennial Arena in White Rock.
White Rock sits with a 3-3 win-loss record, and is back on the ice tonight (Friday) in Abbotsford against the Pilots. They return to White Rock Saturday for a game against Mission.
Against the Knights, the Whalers jumped out to an early lead, scoring twice in the game’s first six minutes – with Chris Fortems and Tyler Rogers lighting the lamp – before the Knights cut the lead in half late in the period thanks to a Drew Williams power-play goal.
White Rock stretched its lead to 3-1 in the second on a goal by Zach Mahaffy, and Fortems – with his second of the game – rounded out the scoring five minutes into the third.
White Rock captain Calder Newson added two assists in the win.
Chris Ackerman earned the win between the pipes for the Whalers, stopping 31 shots in the process.
Back home two nights later, the Whalers and Kodiaks traded goals all night, with Aldergrove twice having the lead – 1-0 and 3-2 – and the home team leading once, 2-1 near the end of the second.
Tied 3-3 after regulation time, White Rock’s Saul Khalifa scored on the power-play just 18 seconds into overtime.
Khalifa also had an assist in the game, and defenceman Ryan Doray also had two assists.
A key member of the Whalers’ blue line has left the team, after earning a job with the BC Junior Hockey League’s Alberni Valley Bulldogs.
Semiahmoo Minor Hockey Association alum Cam Newson moved up to the junior ‘A’ squad last week. He’s played one game with the Bulldogs so far.
The 17-year-old defenceman was a surprise addition to the Whalers roster to start the season. After he finished last season with the BCHL’s Powell River Kings, he was expected to spend this season either at the junior ‘A’ or major-junior level.
After being a late cut of the Western Hockey League’s Spokane Chiefs, he rejoined the Whalers in time for the current season.
“Quite honestly, I didn’t expect to see him (this season),” Whalers head coach Jason Rogers told Peace Arch News earlier this month.