Photo courtesy of Jody Harris Photography, PJHL.
‘Big Goal’ Cole Svendson scores late for dramatic comeback
CENTENNIAL ARENA – After a White Rock defenceman covered the puck in the crease, goalie Mason Upton faced a daunting task: a penalty shot by Langley captain Brendan O’Grady.
Upton coolly came out of his net and forced O’Grady’s attempt wide in the second period. The Whalers went on to beat the Trappers 3-2, Oct. 2.
“Mason didn’t give (O’Grady) enough to shoot. He did a great job,” said White Rock head coach Jason Rogers.
At press time, the Whalers, with a record of six wins and two losses, leapfrogged the Richmond Sockeyes for top spot in the Tom Shaw Conference. The Trappers, who play in the other conference, suffered their first defeat this season.
Parade to penalty box
The Whalers lit the lamp early when alternate captain Butch La Roue set up Hezzy Mbaja for a shorthanded goal two-and-a-half minutes in.
Langley sniper O’Grady replied with his own shorthanded effort halfway through the first.
After a parade to the penalty box from both teams, the Whalers looked flustered in their own end. However, Upton’s heroic effort on the O’Grady penalty shot steadied the home side.
Amidst the numerous man advantages, the Pod took advantage on a powerplay when Chris Fortems scored off a rebound for the 2-1 lead.
After Langley tied the game with 10 minutes left, a veteran Whaler – “Big Goal” Cole Svendson – slipped into a familiar role and lived up to his nickname.
Svendson: Seasoned scorer
With two minutes to play, a wild scramble ensued in front of Trapper goalie Caedon Bellmann. Svendson got his stick into the fray and potted the game-winning goal. His teammates swarmed him in a joyous embrace.
“It’s huge for us because (Cole’s) a meat-and-potatoes, hard-working guy. He likes to get his nose dirty and get to the net. Ironically, that’s how he scored tonight,” Rogers pointed out.
Svendson earned the “Big Goal” nickname a few seasons ago during his White Rock career. In the off-season, he moved up to the Junior ‘A’ level. Recently, he had been sent back down to the Jr. ‘B’ Whalers.
“Cole’s been clenching the stick a little bit since he’s been back,” Rogers commented. “I expect him to go on a bit of a tear!”
Now, the Whalers have a week between games until lacing up against the Aldergrove Kodiaks in Centennial Arena Oct. 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Post-Game with Coach Rogers
Third: Langley # 2 Brendan O’Grady
Second: White Rock # 19 Chris Fortems
First: White Rock # 73 Tyler Price