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White Rock Whalers hire Jason Rogers as first head coach

The White Rock Whalers have landed a head coach.

The newest Pacific Junior Hockey League expansion franchise – which is to begin play this fall at White Rock’s Centennial Arena – announced Wednesday that Jason Rogers would be behind the bench for the team’s inaugural season.

Rogers is a Lower Mainland resident who may be familar to Semiahmoo Peninsula junior hockey fans – he is a former assistant coach with the BC Hockey League’s Surrey Eagles. Rogers worked the Eagles bench alongside head coach Matt Erhart – Rogers’ cousin – during Erhart’s tenure with the Birds, which lasted from 2010 until 2013.

“Jay has an accomplished coaching career and we look forward to him coming back to (the Semiahmoo Peninsula) and playing an integral role in the development of our new program,” Whalers owner Ronnie Paterson said.

This past hockey season, Rogers was the head coach of the Vancouver Thunderbirds midget A1 team, which won a provincial championship in Fort St. John in late March. The team – which was ranked No. 1 heading into the B.C. showdown – went 5-1-1 (win-loss-tie) at provincials, and defeated Prince George 4-2 in the championship game.

In a post on Twitter Wednesday, the Thunderbirds’ midget team said the Whalers “are lucky to have Jay.”

The Whalers were announced as the PJHL’s newest team in early May. A Whalers team originally also played junior ‘B’ hockey out of Centennial Arena from 1985-’89, winning a West Coast Junior Hockey League title in 1988.

Nick Greenizan

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