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White Rock Whalers advance to 2nd round of PJHL playoffs

Pod takes on top-ranked Richmond Sockeyes starting Wednesday, Feb. 21
Defencemen Dylan Travis (12) and Terence Learmouth (9) with goalie Keegan Maddocks at the net during a recent game. The team has advanced to the second round of playoffs in this year’s Pacific Junior Hockey League Stonehouse Cup playoffs. (David Stevens Photography)

The White Rock Whalers are headed to the second round of Pacific Junior Hockey League playoffs after a triple-overtime win Monday night (Feb. 19) against the Grandview Steelers.

The junior hockey squad, also known as the Pod, finished the best-of-three series strong, despite a loss in the first game.

“Losing the first game in a tight one-nothing affair was tough, but they came out in the second game and won 4-0,” Whalers head coach Brien Gemmell said Tuesday (Feb. 20), giving credit to the team for their resiliency.

“I like our character, I like our resiliency… the goaltending overall has been tremendous. We have two of best goaltenders in the league and that’s always a good thing in the playoffs,” he said.

READ MORE: White Rock Whalers clinch spot for PJHL playoffs

The team heads into round 2 of the battle for the Stonehouse Cup right away, on Wednesday, Feb. 21 at the South Surrey Arena vs. the Richmond Sockeyes, who finished first in both the Tom Shaw conference and the PJHL, with a total of 92 points in the regular season.

Gemmell noted the Richmond team has only lost one game in regulation time the entire season.

“They’ve got a lot of 20-year-olds and they’ve obviously been building to this point. We’re going to need nothing but a huge effort, which we got all series long against Grandview,” Gemmell said.

“I know our guys are going to rise to the challenge,” he said, noting the team is fairly healthy, except forward Nathan Bran, who is out with an upper-body injury.

“I expect our guys will put forth a great effort… and let the chips fall where they may.”

Meanwhile, Surrey Knights lost two straight playoff games to Mission City Outlaws in their best-of-three Survivor series. Surrey fell 6-1 in Mission on Tuesday (Feb. 13), followed by a 3-1 loss last Thursday night (Feb. 15) at North Surrey Sport & Ice Complex, ending the Knights’ season and sending Mission to a playoff series with conference-leading Ridge Meadows Flames.

– with files from Tom Zillich

Tricia Weel

About the Author: Tricia Weel

I’m a lifelong writer, and worked as a journalist in community newspapers for more than a decade, from White Rock to Parksville and Qualicum Beach, to Abbotsford and Surrey, from 2001-2012
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