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Pack Outlast Pod, 3-1

Dave Sexsmith of Hilltop Plumbing (middle) conducts a ceremonial opening face-off between Whalers captain Tyler Price (left) and Wolf Pack captain Alex Binette Jan. 22. Hilltop Plumbing was the game-day sponsor.

Pod’s Chris Fortems records 100th point Jan. 21 in Maple Ridge

CENTENNIAL ARENA – With 93 seconds left, the Whalers were a goal mooring away from pushing the league’s best team, the North Vancouver Wolf Pack, into overtime.

Unfortunately for the Centennial faithful, the tying goal was waved off on Jan. 22. The Wolf Pack’s net was dislodged in a frantic scramble before the puck crossed the goal line.

North Vancouver’s David Coyle sealed the away win with an empty-netter and a 3-1 final.

“Not every call's going to go your way,” said Whaler “Butch” La Roue. The veteran defenceman logged long minutes in the defensive zone against the Wolf Pack.

“Back-to-backs can be tough from an energy standpoint,” La Roue added. The Whalers had played a day earlier on the road against the Ridge Meadows Flames.

Dave Sexsmith, the chief administrative officer of Hilltop Plumbing (right) with his mascot Ducky Jan. 22. This is Hilltop's 50th year in business in White Rock.

In the opening period, the Whalers only tested Wolf Pack goalie Damian Perovic four times.

“I thought we were awful at the start of the game,” acknowledged White Rock head coach Jason Rogers. “Once we got over that hump, I thought we were really good.”

Beauregard scoring again

The Pod upped their forechecking in the middle frame; Jayson Beauregard fired home a slick cross-crease feed from Zach Sherwin halfway through the second for a 1-0 lead.

“Jayson’s got two [goals] in two games, starting to come on a little bit,” Rogers said.

By the third, the Whalers “ran into penalty trouble,” pointed out alternate captain Matt Burry.

Overall, the Whalers were shorthanded six times, including Burry being penalized for a rare unsportsmanlike conduct minor. The Pod had four powerplay chances and didn’t connect on any.

Shorthanded trouble

The Wolf Pack capitalized on special teams at both ends of the rink. While shorthanded, North Van’s David Coyle struck a hard one-timer past Whaler goalie Keegan Maddocks.

Four minutes later, teammate Gaetano Camaratta added his first of the year on the man advantage and the 2-1 lead. Maddocks faced 29 shots and picked up his second loss for the Pod.

‘More consistency’ needed: Dorohoy

“We had lots of momentum near the end,” lamented centreman Jacob Dorohoy. “As play-offs are coming closer, we need to see more consistency and everyone needs to pitch in to give 100 percent.”

The Whalers and Wolf Pack have now played six times and split the season series with three wins each. At press time, White Rock – 23 wins, 14 losses and one overtime loss for 47 points – stayed in third place in the Shaw Conference.

Jan. 21: Whalers at Ridge Meadows Flames

The Pod began the weekend on a high note away from Centennial. They roared out to a 3-0 lead and went on to douse the Flames 5-2.

Fortems notches 100th point

Whalers Chris Fortems, Ewan Rennie and Matt Burry put the game away with goals in the game’s first 15 minutes.

On Rennie’s scoring play, Fortems reached a personal milestone: his 100th point clad in the green-and-white.

A seasoned scorer, he added another assist later to break the century mark.

Veteran Whaler Zach Sherwin returned to the Pod from 15 games in Jr. 'A' with the Langley Rivermen.| Photo courtesy of Alistair Burns, White Rock Whalers.

Veteran Whaler Zach Sherwin returned to the Pod from 15 games in Jr. 'A' with the Langley Rivermen.| Photo courtesy of Alistair Burns, White Rock Whalers.