Whaler veteran Cole Svendson's nickname should be upgraded to "Big Goals" as he scored three times Feb. 27. "Got the pucks in the net and buried our opportunities," he said. | Photo courtesy of David Stevens Photgraphy.
‘Big Goal Cole’ Svendson scores historic hat trick
CENTENNIAL ARENA – The man they call “Big Goal” was not happy. At all.
In the span of five minutes, Cole Svendson and the Whalers had gained – and blown – a two-goal lead during Game 4 of the Shaw Conference semi-finals on Feb. 27.
But instead of frustration, “Big Goal” Cole took his teammates on his back and made history as he scored the Pod’s first-ever postseason hat trick in a 6-4 victory over the Richmond Sockeyes.
The six-foot-four winger went into beast mode. He crashed the net for rebounds; two of his goals came on the powerplay, and he added an assist when he set up linemate Chris Fortems’s second of the playoffs.
Defenceman Caleb Cruz notched his first of the postseason. "I definitely have improved my game play," he commented. | Photo courtesy of Alistair Burns.
Will Svendson stay ‘hot’?
Svendson said that the Whalers were angered by the evaporation of the 2-0 lead. “We just came back. Got the pucks in the net and buried our opportunities,” he commented.
White Rock head coach Jason Rogers called Svendson a “streaky guy” with a total of five goals in Games 3 and 4. “We’re hoping that he stays hot!” Rogers exclaimed.
However, even after the Pod had a three-goal lead in the third period, Sockeye Callum Lind beat Whaler netminder Mark Paton to make the score 6-4.
Nervy Richmond 5-on-3 for 90 seconds
Then Svendson and defenceman Cam Newson were sent off for a two-man Richmond advantage.
The Pod’s defensive corps stayed in shooting lanes as Cole Dennis-Sharma and alternate captain Bryce Margetson blocked consecutive shot attempts from the point.
Paton cooly took care of the rest. He faced 35 shots in Game 4 and picked up his third postseason victory with a goals-against-average of 2.25.
With this win, the Whalers have a 3-1 series lead and a chance to close out the best-of-seven match-up on the road on Thursday, Mar. 2 in Minoru Arena.
“Doesn’t get easier to win the fourth [game]. It’s actually the hardest,” Rogers pointed out. “Let’s rest up, get focused for Thursday and do the best to close.”
Svendson was in a happier mood during his post-game interview. “We’re going to win. I have no doubts,” he declared.
POST GAME AUDIO with Coach Rogers & Caleb Cruz
The Whalers understood that they "had to work a little bit harder and then the big line took over," White Rock head coach Jason Rogers said about Game 4 Feb. 27.
Live Audio with Coach Rogers
"Definitely going to be a hard battle for the boys. But, we're going to push through and we're going to win," Whaler blueliner Caleb Cruz predicted of the upcoming Game 5 on Mar. 2.
Live Audio with Caleb Cruz
"My linemates are amazing. They always seem to find me when I'm open," rookie Kieran D'Souza acknowledged after his first postseason goal.