Veteran Whaler Jacob Dorohoy played for the Richmond Sockeyes for parts of four seasons. Now, he hopes to have a "good round" in the best-of-seven series that starts Feb. 20. | Photo courtesy of David Stevens Photography.
‘Going to be a good ride’: Whaler Jacob Dorohoy
WHITE ROCK – The postseason. Where legends are made, heroes and villains are revealed; and the thrill of overtime magic keeps you in a permanent state of oscillation between nervousness and joy.
Are you ready for the postseason? The Whalers sure are!
Let’s delve into a playoff preview between the second seed, the Richmond Sockeyes and the third-place Whalers. Game 1 is set for Monday, Feb. 20, in Minoru Arena at 7:15 p.m.
Whaler defenceman Bryce "Batman" Margetson will use his skating super-power against the speedy Sockeyes.
Sockeyes swim upstream
It was a curious end of the season for the Sockeyes. They were handed a golden ticket to finish first in the six-team Tom Shaw Conference after their rival, the Delta Ice Hawks, were stripped of points in the standings.
However, Richmond promptly went on to lose their last six games of the season. Their record: 31 wins, 12 losses, two overtime losses and three shoot-out defeats for a total of 67 points.
Meanwhile, the Whalers finished their fourth Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL) season with 30 wins, 16 losses and two shoot-out losses for a total of 62 points.
Even during season
Overall, the clubs were evenly matched against each other as they split the season series with two wins apiece. In their most recent meeting on Feb. 8, veteran Whaler Jacob Dorohoy scored shorthanded off a feed from captain Chris Fortems to seal the 5-2 victory.
White Rock head coach Jason Rogers acknowledged that the Pod and Sockeyes had a split season series. "I think we match up well," he said.
Goalies Mark Paton (left) and Evan Paul are Pod rookies this year. During his regular season with the Whalers, Paton recorded 14 wins and four losses with a 2.04 goals-against-average. | Photo courtesy of Alistair Burns / White Rock Whalers.
“We’ve both won in each other’s rinks,” White Rock head coach Jason Rogers said. “Should be a pretty good series, I think we match up well.”
In the postseason, the speedy Sockeyes – led by veteran Richmond forward Rocco La Carra (43 points in the regular season) – will try to blow past veteran Whaler defenceman Bryce Margetson and his corps.
Duel between the pipes
Meanwhile, Sockeye starter Ben Montgomery (seven wins, five losses with a goals-against-average of 2.81) has had an uneven season since he was picked up in Nov. 2022.
For the Whalers, goalie Mark Paton has been red-hot for the Pod with a sizzling record of 14 wins and four losses with a 2.04 goals-against-average since he joined the Whalers, also in Nov. of last year.
This postseason is captain Chris Fortems's last chance for glory. The regular season scoring leader said his teammates "stack up great against any team."
| Photos courtesy of David Stevens Photography.
Sher-WIN's Periodic Table
For the Whalers, their top line of captain Chris Fortems, centerman Zach Sherwin, and "Big Goal" Cole Svendson must perform as they did during the season as one of the league's elite lines.
Since all three are in their final junior year – there is no tomorrow.
Fortems finished first in the PJHL scoring race with 94 points, and Sherwin was the runner-up with 90.
The captain acknowledged that while his stats were "pretty crazy" to look at, he wouldn't have accomplished this feat without his two friends.
Sherwin credited the long-term chemistry between the three for their outstanding point totals. "We played last year together and before" in earlier seasons.
Coach Rogers acknowledged that "it's always fun to watch them." He nicknamed the trio the "Completion" line.
Another veteran, Jacob Dorohoy, was thrilled for the postseason drama to begin, especially as an ex-Sockeye.
"Against my former team? Even better!" he exclaimed. "Should be a good
round… it's going to be a good ride."
Fortems thought the Pod would "stack up great against any team in this league." If every Whaler on the roster excels on the ice, the Pod can "dominate."
POST GAME AUDIO with Coach Rogers and Chris Fortems
"You can't say enough about Chris. He stepped up to the challenge of taking a leadership role as captain," head coach Jason Rogers said of Chris Fortems.
Live Audio with Coach Rogers
David Moody and Travis Smythe are just "huge guys on the PK that give us energy," Whalers captain Chris Fortems said of the Pod's unsung heroes.