The White Rock Whalers opened the Pacific Junior Hockey League post-season with a splash Tuesday night, winning their series-opening game against the first-place North Vancouver Wolf Pack, 7-1.
The lopsided game, which was played at White Rock’s Centennial Arena, staked the Whalers to a 1-0 lead in their best-of-five quarterfinal series; Games 2 and 3 are set for this weekend in North Van.
On Tuesday, the Whalers, who finished the regular season fourth in the junior ‘B’ hockey league’s Tom Shaw Conference with a franchise-best record of 27-16-1 (win-loss-overtime loss), jumped out to a 2-0 lead early, as Zachary Johns and Ewan Rennie both scored in the first 4:22 of the game.
Whalers Take Game One!! 🚨🐳
Seven goals from seven players. Johns, Rennie, Fortems, Sherwin, Beauregard, Smythe and Mathieson. Keegan Maddocks with 28 saves for the win.
Game 2 Saturday, February 19 @ North Van – Harry Jerome Arena 7:00 pm Puck Drop#RidetheWave 🐋 pic.twitter.com/GKvK6OSHBh
— WhiteRockWhalers (@WRWhalersHockey) February 16, 2022
North Van’s Anthony Reimer cut the lead in half 12 minutes later, but Chris Fortems restored the two-goal cushion for the home team before the first-intermission buzzer. In the second period, Zach Sherwin and Jayson Beauregard scored for White Rock, and Travis Smythe and Ryden Mathieson added goals in the third to complete the onslaught.
“If you play hockey in (the Wolf Pack’s) zone, they don’t like it,” White Rock head coach Jason Rogers pointed out after the game.
The Whalers dictated the pace and eventually chased Wolf Pack goalie Damian Perovic from the crease.
Though no single player scored multiple goals, forward Jacob Dorohoy had three assists; Fortems also had two helpers to go with his goal.
“Every single player was rolling and that’s what we’re going to need every night,” said defenceman Bryce Margetson.
Goalie Keegan Maddocks got the Game 1 start between the pipes for White Rock, and stopped 28 of 29 shots en route to the victory.
Game 2 is set for Saturday, 7 p.m. at North Vancouver’s Harry Jerome Arena, and Game 3 will be held at the same rink on Sunday, but with a 6 p.m. puck drop. Game 4, if necessary, is Feb. 22, back in White Rock at 7:30 p.m.
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