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PJHL Ray Stonehouse Cup | Game 5: Pod’s Cinderella Run Ends

With 35 seconds left in the third period, Langley Trapper Anthony Bosnjak (17) scores the Stonehouse Cup-winning goal on a wraparound past Whaler captain Tyler Price (73) and goalie Keegan Maddocks Mar. 30. | Photo courtesy of Alistair Burns, White Rock Whalers.

Trappers capture Stonehouse Cup in last minute

GEORGE PRESTON RECREATION CENTRE – The clock struck midnight for the White Rock Whalers and stoic Jayson Beauregard on March 30.

The 20-year-old took off his helmet and sunk down on one knee in the Whaler crease after he had shaken the hands of the victorious Langley Trappers – the new Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL) champions.

Whaler Jayson Beauregard (left) is comforted by back-up netminder Adam Winters after the Langley Trappers won the Ray Stonehouse Cup Mar. 30. It was Beauregard's last chance for a junior championship. "Good memories and friendships" flashed through his mind. | Photo courtesy of Alistair Burns, White Rock Whalers.

The Ray Stonehouse Cup was set on a small table at centre ice; Queen’s We Are The Champions blared over the crowd. The lone Whaler – still in full gear, curly hair matted with sweat – watched from afar.

White Rock netminders Keegan Maddocks and Adam Winters noticed their teammate and skated over to comfort him. Eventually, Beauregard left the ice but didn’t shuffle into the subdued dressing room.

Instead, he peered down the hallway to centre ice and gazed at Langley captain Brendan O’Grady, who triumphantly hoisted the Stonehouse Cup.

What flashed through Beauregard’s head? Missed scoring chances? Joyful memories of overtime magic? Or the sad reality that his age meant no more opportunities to vie for a Jr. ‘B’ championship ring?

White Rock netminder Keegan Maddocks shakes the hand of Langley's Evan Clare. In the past 18 months, Maddocks played in the WHL (Regina, Victoria) and for the BCHL's Merritt Centennials. Now, he proudly calls the Whalers his "family." | Photo courtesy of Alistair Burns, White Rock Whalers.

“I had a lot going through my mind,” Beauregard said the next day. “Thinking about all the good memories and friendships I have created in hockey and how much fun I had playing.”

Remarkable turnaround

Beauregard had to climb a few mountains to make good memories in 2022. A few months ago, he was the captain of the worst PJHL team, the Port Moody Panthers.

After being traded to the Whalers, he admirably recovered from an injury, regained his confidence and stepped up to fill in for Ewan Rennie after the sniper had broken his wrist in the previous series, a six-game victory over the Delta Ice Hawks.

Beauregard did more than merely ‘fill in’ – he led the league in postseason goals with 11 markers. The skilled scorer was only one of the remarkable players that thrilled the fanbase.

 

Captain Tyler Price (73) and goalie Keegan Maddocks react to a deflected puck while teammate Bryce Margetson (7) shuts down a forechecker. | Photo courtesy of Alistair Burns, White Rock Whalers.

Other stories included Jacob Dorohoy’s true grit to block shots with a severely bruised hip and a damaged elbow; his coach Jason Rogers called him a role model.

Or goalie Keegan Maddocks and his steely resolve to will the Pod through multiple overtime victories. In the past year-and-a-half, he made stops in two Western Hockey League cities (Victoria, Regina) and then down to Merritt before he returned to White Rock.

“The boys here – they took me in right away…they’re definitely my family.”

And defenceman “Butch” La Roue’s awe-inspiring durability. The quiet mentor skated in more than 100 regular season games, a franchise first.

“This is a team I’ll remember for the rest of my life,” he said.

Or the season’s most humourous moment: defenceman Bryce Margetson’s game misconduct was rescinded. The “Batman” legend was born as he hurriedly ripped off his suit and put his wet gear back on.

All of these young men contributed to a whale of a tale that made history. They almost completed a Cinderella run; for the first time, the four-year-old franchise represented the Tom Shaw Conference in the PJHL final.

For whom the bell tolls

After a Game 4 win, the Whalers had hope. In Game 5, seasoned scorer Chris Fortems finished off a 2-on-1 rush with “Big Goal” Cole Svendson; he later fought off Langley defenders and picked the top corner past Trapper goalie Taje Gill.

But each time the Whalers took a lead, the Trappers struck back. As time wound down, Langley began to impose their will on an exhausted White Rock roster.

Though the Pod’s Sam Dowell deked to the backhand and Matt Burry snapped a one-timer – Gill shut the door.

And with 35 seconds left, Trapper Anthony Bosnjak collected a loose puck behind the net and slipped a wraparound past an outstretched Maddocks and captain Tyler Price’s skate.

“It’s been a crazy and long ride. Obviously, we wish we could have ended it differently,” Price reflected. “But I wouldn’t have wanted to do it with anybody else. I’m going to miss these guys a lot.”

Yes, the clock did strike midnight Mar. 30. What an incredible ride!

Whaler Chris Fortems (19) finished off a 2-on-1 rush to score White Rock's first goal in a 3-2 loss to the Langley Trappers. Fortems tied for first in league play-off scoring with 22 points alongside teammate Zac Sherwin. | Photo courtesy of Alistair Burns, White Rock Whalers.