Whaler netminder Keegan Maddocks recorded his first shut-out for the Pod in a 2-0 win over Grandview Feb. 6. | Photo courtesy of Alistair Burns, White Rock Whalers.
26 Victories Equal Playoff Spot
BURNABY WINTER CLUB – A cagey playoff-like atmosphere loomed in Burnaby as a goal for the Whalers was waved off. Same for the Grandview Steelers.
As the last minute of play neared, Whaler Cole Svendson had a crucial shift to prove that he deserved his lofty nickname.
“Big Goal” Cole did exactly that. He jammed in his own rebound past fallen Steeler goalie Ronin Geraghty for the 1-0 lead – and game-winner – Feb 6.
“I thought my line was great the whole game,” Svendson said. He now leads the Pod in goals with 20 this season.
Svendson appreciated that his coaches had faith in him to be on the ice with little time left. A few seconds later, teammate Jacob Dorohoy sunk the Steelers with an empty-netter.
Sluggish first period
The Whalers did not record a shot on goal until the six-minute mark. Coach Jason Rogers switched up his defensive pairings. Veteran Bryce Margetson skated with rookie Mat Morison.
Margetson went down heavily to the ice with six seconds left in the opening frame. However, he returned in the second period. The defenceman clarified that his shoulder was acting up. “Probably a pinched nerve,” he said.
Maddocks makes Statue of Liberty play
In the third period, Whalers captain Tyler Price dove and broke up a breakaway with an expert stick check; teammate Sam Dowell rubbed out Steeler captain Jarod Yau on a huge shoulder-to-shoulder hit.
The Steelers celebrated when they thought a loose puck had trickled across the goal line. But Whaler goalie Keegan Maddocks held the vulcanized rubber aloft in his glove to make it clear that there was no goal scored.
Maddocks faced 25 shots and picked up his first shut-out for the Pod in his fourth win between the pipes.
The Whalers made history and set a new standard for most wins during the regular season with 26 victories, 15 losses and an overtime loss for 53 points. White Rock’s previous best was a total of 24 wins two seasons ago.
At press time, the Pod was one point behind the Delta Ice Hawks for third in the Shaw Conference.
Nate Leslie (second from left), the director of the West Coast Hockey Prep Camp and his son Tyler conduct a ceremonial face-off between Whalers captain Tyler Price (left) and Panthers captain Daniel Dallapace on Saturday, Feb. 5. The West Coast Hockey Prep Camp is a renowned hockey development camp located in Port Alberni, BC.
CENTENNIAL ARENA – The Whalers began the penultimate weekend of the regular season with a convincing 7-3 win over the Port Moody Panthers.
The Panthers – the worst team in the league with only three wins all year – started on their heels when Whaler defenceman “Butch” La Roue scored his third of the year from the point.
“Lucky enough for [me] to find the back of the net,” he said. “It’s a game we should be winning so we’re glad to get the two points.” Later, he added two assists.
When Port Moody’s Kamren Kooner tied the contest at 1-1, White Rock got down to business. The Whalers notched six more goals, including the final one by Jacob Dorohoy.
Halfway through the third period, La Roue fired a crisp pass to Dorohoy. The centreman ably deked around two Panther defenders and tucked the puck in.
“Once Port Moody got that one back [we] responded quickly,” Dorohoy concluded.