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PJHL Ray Stonehouse Cup | Game 4: ‘Burr’ Ensures Pod Stays Alive

Whaler alternate captain Matt Burry fist-pumps after his game-winner Mar. 26. "Job’s not done. We have a lot of work to do," Burry said. Overall, White Rock now trails Langley 3-1 in the best-of-seven Stonehouse Cup final. | Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of David Stevens Photography.

Whaler Matt Burry scores game-winner

SOUTH SURREY ARENA – Absolute chaos. The entire White Rock season came down to 100 seconds of heart-stopping play in Game 4 of the Ray Stonehouse Cup final Mar 26.

With a 2-1 lead, Whaler captain Tyler Price fell on his side and tried to smother the puck outside of the crease.

All the men on the ice – Langley Trappers and Whalers alike – converged on Price and fought for possession. After 20 seconds of stick work, the Trappers controlled play and then put a shot past Whaler goalie Keegan Maddocks.

The Trappers celebrated – they had scored to tie. Or had they?

Whaler Ryden Mathieson scored the first Pod goal in Game 4 and forced the Trappers to deal with his "big man hockey," according to head coach Jason Rogers. | Photo courtesy of Alistair Burns, White Rock Whalers.

‘All men on deck’

Confusion reigned on the ice as one referee signalled a goal while the other – seconds before – had called a penalty before the puck crossed the goal line.

Ultimately, the Langley goal was waved off and Whaler veteran Matt Burry went to the box for roughing with 16 seconds left.

Amidst the cheers of the Pod’s faithful and boos from Langley fans, the Whalers survived the near-death experience to finally record a victory. While the Pod has a heartbeat, Langley still leads the series three games to one.

“Just glad the ref blew the whistle there [for] a much-needed break,” Burry said. Earlier in the third period, the alternate captain had slotted a rebound past Langley goalie Taje Gill for the game-winner on the powerplay.

“Job’s not done. We have a lot of work to do,” Burry pointed out. Captain Tyler Price agreed he termed the 100 seconds as an “all men on deck” moment.

Whaler goalie Keegan Maddocks stretches as Trapper netminder Taje Gill (background, far left) looks on. Maddocks outperformed Gill in a 2-1 White Rock victory Mar. 26. | Photo courtesy of Alistair Burns, White Rock Whalers.

Maddocks faced 18 shots and picked up his eighth postseason victory while Gill was tagged with his first loss.

'Big Man' Mathieson

After a scoreless first period, White Rock captain Tyler Price broke up a Langley breakaway attempt but took a four-minute double minor for spearing.

While shorthanded, teammate Ryden Mathieson collected a loose puck and streaked ahead for a breakaway of his own. But his expert backhand deke was barely kept out by Gill’s glove.

After the Price penalty expired, Mathieson lit the lamp when he put home a cross-crease pass from Cole Svendson to put the Pod ahead 1-0.

A few months ago, Mathieson’s grit and determination impressed the Western Hockey League’s Prince George Cougars in training camp. Now, Mathieson, along with Svendson and linemate Jacob Dorohoy, have been diligent in the corners to grind down the opposition.

Whaler Zac Sherwin (16) cuts in front of teammate Sam Dowell during warm-up Mar. 27. Sherwin leads the PJHL in playoff points with 22. | Photo courtesy of Alistair Burns, White Rock Whalers.

White Rock head coach Jason Rogers appreciated their effort to play “big man hockey.”

New Whaler Gavin Giesbrecht – an affiliated player – had a glorious opportunity when he collected a pass from Zac Sherwin. Again, Gill correctly read the deke and stretched out for a masterful save on the goal line with his paddle.

After Burry’s game-winner, Trapper Jamie Hylands put Langley on the board with a powerplay marker with four minutes left.

Price summed up the entire affair: “We’re not out of this.”

Game 5 of the Ray Stonehouse Cup will be in the George Preston Recreation Centre on Wednesday, March 30th at 7:00 p.m.