Whaler Ryden Mathieson watches as his shot forces Delta goalie Merick Erickson to make a pad save. | Photo courtesy of Alistair Burns, White Rock Whalers.
Dalton MacGillivray scores in sudden-death
LADNER LEISURE CENTRE – The Delta Ice Hawks exploded for two goals in 90 seconds to tie the fifth game of the Tom Shaw Conference final on March 13.
In double overtime, sniper Dalton MacGillivray beat Whaler goalie Keegan Maddocks from the slot to stave off elimination. White Rock still leads the series three games to two.
“I’m happy where we are structurally,” said White Rock head coach Jason Rogers. “Just have to refine a few things.”
Those ‘few things’ will have to include defensive adjustments to deal with Delta’s firepower. The Ice Hawks circled Maddocks in the first 10-minute overtime and forced him to make six sensational saves.
Regardless of the sudden-death defeat, Rogers said that Maddocks has been excellent. “Keegan’s been dynamite. He’s kept us in every game.”
The Pod goalie finished the night with 44 saves for his second postseason loss.
Whalers Jacob Dorohoy (18) and Jayson Beauregard (10) react to Zac Sherwin's (not pictured) goal from the top of the slot in the third period. | Photo courtesy of Alistair Burns, White Rock Whalers.
Hawks give icy welcome
The Ice Hawks came out determined to avenge the overtime loss to the Whalers a day earlier in game four; Delta’s Carson Merriman scored his third goal in two nights on a slick backhand deke on March 13.
Maddocks faced 15 shots in the first period and was stellar between the pipes.
White Rock responded as alternate captain Matt Burry split two Delta defencemen for a breakaway. But Burry was denied by Ice Hawk back-up goalie Merick Erickson.
Whaler Ryden Mathieson took a lone rush and rang the puck off the crossbar.
Whaler Jayson Beauregard (middle) snaps the puck past Ice Hawk goalie Merick Erickson Mar. 13. Beauregard leads the Pod with eight play-off goals. | Photo courtesy of Alistair Burns, White Rock Whalers.
Dowell provides buzz
The Whalers had an outstanding middle frame. Jayson Beauregard fed veteran Sam Dowell in the slot. Dowell used his strength to power past defenders and his laser ripped the twine behind Erickson. It was Dowell's first postseason marker as he served a three-game suspension earlier in the play-offs.
He said that it felt great to finally score. “It’s really important. Gets the boys buzzing.”
After frantic action at both ends, Beauregard turned from set-up man to scorer. On a man advantage – from 10 feet out – he turned an Ice Hawk defenceman inside out and notched his team-leading eighth playoff goal for a 2-1 lead.
White Rock went 2-for-5 on the powerplay; Delta 1-for-4.
In the third, Delta's Ryal Bal went off for slashing and White Rock winger Zac Sherwin waited for a screen to develop in front of Erickson's crease.
Sherwin's patience paid off. He snapped the puck past Erickson before the Ice Hawks came back to win.
The series now shifts back to Centennial Arena for game six Mar. 15.
Dowell said that the Pod must keep their style of play simple to counter the high-tempo Delta forecheck. “We can’t let them get in our heads.”