The White Rock Whalers are in uncharted waters, after stretching their franchise-best win streak to seven games.
The junior ‘B’ squad – which had previously never won more than four games in a row since joining the Pacific Junior Hockey League in 2018 – won twice more last weekend to hit the seven-game mark, and will have the opportunity to extend the run to nine games before the league breaks for the holidays.
The Whalers’ final two games of December – Dec. 18 and 19, both against the North Vancouver Wolf Pack – will likely be the toughest challenge yet for the red-hot Whalers; North Vancouver sits in first place in the PJHL’s Tom Shaw Conference, and has lost just five games in regulation time all season.
One of those five losses, however, came to the Whalers – a 4-3 White Rock victory on Nov. 14 that started the Semiahmoo Peninsula team’s current streak.
More recently, the Whalers earned two wins last week – a 6-5 win over the Port Moody Panthers Dec. 11 at Centennial Arena, and a Dec. 12 5-2 victory on the road against the Grandview Steelers.
Against the Panthers, White Rock didn’t get off to the best of starts, and trailed 3-1 after the opening period – Samuel Dowell scored the team’s lone goal – and the Port Moody lead stretched to 4-1 after a goal just 1:26 into the second frame. But from there, the Whalers regrouped and scored four unanswered markers – two from Cole Svendson, plus single tallies from Jacob Dorohoy and Caleb Cruz, with the latter’s goal coming midway through the third period.
The 5-4 lead was short-lived, however, as Panthers’ Kayden Edwards scored to tie the game with just over seven minutes left in regulation time, but Dowell broke the deadlock with 1:07 left to play to give his squad the win.
Against the Steelers, White Rock also fell behind early – 1-0 this time – before reeling off five straight goals en route to the victory. Svendson scored his 13th goal of the season in the first period to tie the game 1-1, and in the second, Jayson Beauregard, Matthew Burry and Butch La Roue scored.
La Roue’s goal, which put the game out of reach, was a strange one – he bounced a puck into the net from centre ice.
“Feels great to be on a roll,” La Roue said. “All our hard work is paying off… just got to keep it going in preparation for the playoffs.”
The Whalers sit third in the Shaw Conference with a record of 17-10-1 (win-loss-overtime loss).