In three weeks, Pod notches 10 points
CENTENNIAL ARENA – After four years, the reborn Whalers franchise had never achieved a four-game winning streak. Now, White Rock has won five in a row.
In the latest triumph, the Whalers defeated the Port Moody Panthers 7-3 Dec. 7. Pod rookie Ewan Rennie and veteran “Big Goal” Cole Svendson led the way. Both players recorded two goals and an assist.
Historic victory over Jets
“A few of the boys brought (the winning streak) up after, so that was really nice,” said Whalers head coach Jason Rogers after the fourth win, a 4-3 victory in Chilliwack against the Jets Dec. 5.
Late in the third period, third-year Whaler Chris Fortems put home his ninth of the season to ground the Jets.
Goalie Kyle Spak faced 32 shots and picked up his fourth win for White Rock. He appreciated that his teammates were disciplined and blocked plenty of shots.
Spak added that the winning streak showed the team is “hungry to play.”
It was the first time the Whalers and the Jets had ever played each other. The Jets were an expansion franchise that came into the Pacific Junior Hockey League last year – a truncated season that ended in November due to the pandemic.
Four goals a day keeps the losses away
After flirting with a .500 record in October, White Rock has had a two-pronged plan of attack during the past three weeks: outskate and outscore the opposition. The Pod has burned out goal lights as they’ve scored at least four goals a game in each win since Nov. 14.
“Everybody has been lights out through this stretch,” said captain Tyler Price. “We believe we’ve really turned a corner.”
The streak also means White Rock has gained ground in the Tom Shaw Conference standings.
At press time, the Whalers – with a record of 15 wins, 10 losses, and a single overtime loss for a total of 31 points – have jumped over the Richmond Sockeyes for third place in the conference.
Last home game: Whalers vs Sockeyes, Dec. 4
The Whalers used a red-hot powerplay to rout the Richmond Sockeyes 4-1. In the first period, White Rock’s leading scorer, Matt Burry, picked off an errant pass and danced around a defender to snap the puck past Sockeye back-up goalie Jovan Kheleh.
Both teams took turns at dictating the pace in a very fast-skating game. “We were excellent in the first period – really good – one of our best periods of the year,” Rogers commented.
Tale of two periods
Richmond tied the game early in the second when Ben Ruthven went low and scored through the five-hole on Pod goalie Daniel Zuvic.
Later, Zuvic made his teammates on the bench jump up in appreciation. The netminder stretched out his right pad and robbed Sockeye Dakoda Miller on a shorthanded breakaway.
That save gave the Whalers confidence. On an ensuing powerplay, defenceman Cam Newson unleashed a laser beam to the top corner that knocked Kheleh’s water bottle off the net.
Then, Whaler defender Bryce Margetson struck twice on the powerplay with hard one-timers.
“I’m starting to get into the groove,” he said. “It also helps immensely when I have Rennie, Fortems and Price giving me beautiful passes right on my tape!”
Dec. 4 Post-Game with Coach Rogers
First: White Rock # 62 Cole Svendson
Second: Delta # 14 Alec Scouras
Third: Delta # 18 Dalton MacGillivray