Captain Chris Fortems still leads the PJHL in points with 76 as of Jan. 19. | Photo courtesy of Alistair Burns / White Rock Whalers.
Veteran blueliner Cam Newson skates again for Pod
CENTENNIAL ARENA – In a possible play-off preview, the Richmond Sockeyes used their superior speed to consistently cause havoc for the Whalers Jan. 14.
Zac Sherwin provided a power play marker against the Sockeyes but later received a game misconduct.
Richmond – with two goals from forward Tanner Milne and two points from Gavin Bains – defeated White Rock 4-2.
The Whalers sorely missed two veteran scorers: “Big Goal” Cole Svendson – out via suspension – and Jacob Dorohoy.
Meanwhile, teammate Zac Sherwin put home a shot on the powerplay and then was ejected after a five-minute major for a cross-check. Sherwin now has 68 points this season (currently ranked second in the league at press time, January 15).
“Second period, I thought we were the better team,” said White Rock head coach Jason Rogers. “Then we took a series of questionable penalties, which seems to be a theme, which we have to eliminate…or (we’re) not winning in the playoffs.”
Whaler Cam Newson, an integral part of last season's play-off run, is back in the Pod.
He joked that his time away left him a "bit bored." | Photo courtesy of Alistair Burns / White Rock Whalers.
Newson returns, hopeful for post-season.
A blast from the past has returned to provide stability on the Pod’s blue line. Defenceman Cam Newson played for the Whalers for the previous three seasons. However, last fall, he decided to focus on his university studies.
Earlier this month, he returned to the Pod and recorded his first point of this season – an assist – on Maxwell Kovach’s goal from the top of the slot on Jan. 14.
Newson quipped that he was “getting a bit bored and wanted to come back” to “hopefully make a playoff run.”
At press time, the Sockeyes were ranked second in the six-team Tom Shaw Conference with 60 points, behind the Delta Ice Hawks, who also have 60 points – and played five fewer games.
Meanwhile, the Whalers have a record of 21 wins, 15 losses and two shoot-out losses for a total of 44 points. White Rock is also tied with the third-place Grandview Steelers in the standings, but the Steelers have a higher winning percentage.
Quinn Woroniecki, an 11-year-old from the White Rock / South Surrey Skating Club, received an ovation from the Centennial faithful after she debuted a new short program. Now a club senior, Quinn has skated since she was three. | Photo courtesy of Alistair Burns / White Rock Whalers.
Crowded Shaw House
At press time, the Sockeyes were ranked second in the six-team Tom Shaw Conference with 60 points, behind the Delta Ice Hawks, who also have 60 points but played five fewer games.
Meanwhile, the Whalers have a record of 21 wins, 15 losses and two shoot-out losses for a total of 44 points. White Rock is also tied with the third-place Grandview Steelers in the standings; however, the Steelers have a higher winning percentage.
2023 Play-offs update
In previous years, the top four teams in the Shaw or Brittain Conference would advance to the playoffs.
This season, there will be a major change to that format: only the top three teams will automatically move forward to the post-season.
Meanwhile, the fourth and fifth seeds will face an additional play-off round – a best-of-three ‘survivor’ series to determine which franchise will lace up against the top team in each conference.
Therefore, this ‘survivor’ series only applies if the Whalers finish fourth or fifth in the Shaw Conference standings at the end of the season in mid-February.
POST GAME AUDIO with Coach Rogers, Cam Newson and Maxwell Kovach
"Usually good things happen when the puck's on his stick," said White Rock head coach Jason Rogers of Maxwell Kovach.
Live Audio with Coach Rogers
Whaler Maxwell Kovach received a confidence boost since he joined the Pod and focuses on his "100 per cent [effort] every game."
Live Audio with Maxwell Kovach
The Whalers are a "great group of guys...why not come back and enjoy the last half of the year," veteran defenceman Cam Newson said about his recent return.
Live Audio with Cam Newson
NEXT UP | January
Friday, Jan.18th | 7:30 p.m.
Whalers travel to the Valley to face-off against the Abbotsford Pilots.
NEXT UP | February
Sunday, Feb. 5th | 5:00 p.m.
Whalers travel to the WACK to take on the Chilliwack Jets.
Sardis Sports Complex