Whaler "Big Goal" Cole Svendson scored on the man advantage Dec. 10. At press time, he still leads the PJHL with 26 goals.
Whaler goalie stops shorthanded breakaway
CENTENNIAL ARENA – The Whalers only dressed 18 skaters with three of their top six defenceman – Caleb Cruz, Dylan Travis and Charlie Derrheim – all sidelined. And yet, new goalie Mark Paton steered the Pod to victory.
What was his game plan when he faced 32 shots during a 4-2 win over the Mission City Outlaws on Dec. 12? Cover the puck for a stoppage as often as he could.
“Everyone’s a little bit tired. We’ve had a lot of games recently, so short shifts, a lot of whistles,” the three-year Jr. ‘B’ veteran from Surrey explained. He now has a record of four wins and two losses for the Whalers.
New Whaler goalie Mark Paton came to the Pod in a trade two weeks ago and had a stellar outing between the pipes on December 10.
His most memorable save came on a shorthanded breakaway from Mission’s Owen Elson. Paton outwaited the Outlaw and smothered the shot.
Paton joined the Pod in a trade from the Aldergrove Kodiaks two weeks ago and has proven to be a wise acquisition.
“I was excited! I mean, I’m a local guy so it’s pretty cool that I get to play here. I have some friends on the team so that’s pretty awesome,” Paton said.
Up front, the Whalers clicked on the man advantage. “Big Goal” Cole Svendson, Jacob Dorohoy, and Kieran D’Souza notched powerplay markers. D’Souza picked up a rebound from a Sam Cordina shot and snapped the puck to the top corner past Mission goalie Brian Dale.
D’Souza: ‘Really tough’ with 18 players dressed
D’Souza, a six foot one forward, mentioned the “really tough” reality of skating with only 18 players dressed – two less than the limit of 20. While it was “really nice to pull through and get a win today,” he thought the Whalers need to improve defensively in their march towards a playoff spot.
White Rock head coach Jason Rogers was impressed by his team’s resilience. “You’ve got to take advantage of these opportunities, and I thought we did that exactly tonight.”
Whaler Jacob Dorohoy also notched a powerplay goal.
Swiss Army Knives come out
The Whalers certainly were creative in stretching the roster. Travis Smythe skated both upfront and on defence; captain Chris Fortems played the point on the powerplay; took face-offs as a centreman and on the wing. He also had two assists.
At press time, Dec. 12, Fortems still led the league with 56 points; Svendson topped the goal-scoring race with 26.
Meanwhile, the Whalers have a record of 15 wins, 12 losses and a lone overtime loss for a total of 31 points – fourth place in the six-team Tom Shaw Conference – and one point behind the third-place Grandview Steelers.
Dec. 10: Whalers v. Langley Trappers
CENTENNIAL ARENA – In a hyped rematch of last season’s Pacific Junior championship final, the Langley Trappers effectively used their powerplay time for a 5-1 road victory.
The Trappers were an outstanding 3-for-4 on the man advantage as Liam Bressette, Tyler Shaughnessy, and Anthony Bosnjak – forever remembered as the man who broke Whaler hearts when he scored the wraparound goal to win the Stonehouse Cup for Langley – all notched markers with the extra man Dec. 10.
The bad blood between the two teams boiled over during the second period. The Centennial Arena penalty box was crowded as Whalers Kaz Yamazaki and Cole Dennis-Sharma, along with Trappers Wyatt Christiansen and Brock Mierzejewski all sat for respective minors and 10-minute misconducts.
Behind the bench
Matt Rogers, assistant coach for the Whalers and the first captain in the expansion franchise’s history, explained the mindset when chaos reigned on the ice. He told his players to “keep their composure. Do what you can.”
POST GAME AUDIO with Coach Rogers, Mark Paton & Kieran D'Souza
Captain Chris Fortems will embrace "any opportunity for his teammates...I thought Chris was fantastic," Coach Jason Rogers said.
Live Audio with Coach Rogers
"I just wanted to come out and challenge the shot," goalie Mark Paton said of his save on a Mission shorthanded breakaway.
Live Audio with Mark Paton
"I try to bring a bit of offence...anyway anyone else can contribute, that's good for our team," rookie Kieran D'Souza said.
Live Audio with Kieran D’Souza
POST GAME AUDIO with Assistant Coach Matt Rogers