White Rock captain Chris Fortems hit the post against the Langley Trappers Sept. 24. Photo: Alistair Burns/ White Rock Whalers. |
Pod scores once in back-to-back losses
CENTENNIAL ARENA – The Whalers recorded their best-ever result last season – Tom Shaw Conference champions. However, no one said it would be a cakewalk the next year.
Three weeks into that ‘next year’ – the Whalers are searching high and wide for goals after a 4-1 loss to the Richmond Sockeyes Sept. 22 and a 5-0 thrashing by the Langley Trappers Sept. 24.
At press time, the Whalers had a record of one win and three losses.
Sept. 24: Whalers v. Trappers
The Langley contest was the touted rematch of the Pacific Junior ‘B’ championship last season, when the Trappers ousted the Whalers for the Ray Stonehouse Cup.
Unfortunately, White Rock hit three posts and Trapper Brock Mierzejewski beat Whaler goalie Adam Winters early in the first period for the game-winner. Winters faced a total of 38 shots while his teammates fired 26 at Langley’s Dylan Black, who recorded a shutout between the pipes.
Penalties have become a concern for the Whalers – White Rock took 52; Langley 44. Feisty Whaler defenceman Bryce Margetson was assessed a game misconduct for a check from behind.
Young defensive corps earns ‘experience’
Margetson, in his final year, has embraced being an alternate captain and his expanded role for longer minutes. Ultimately, the defensive corps is where the Whalers will hopefully steady the ship.
Since no man can play junior hockey older than 20, White Rock lost veteran defencemen “Butch” La Roue and former captain Tyler Price in the off-season. Their absence – and steady breakout passes – were noticeable against the Trappers.
Meanwhile, younger defenders – second-year Whalers Caleb Cruz, an explosive skater, and steady passer Cooper De Waal – have improved in their on-ice performance.
“They’re a young group. Got to get their legs under them and get some experience,” said White Rock head coach Jason Rogers.
White Rock captain Chris Fortems said that his teammates were “working hard. Everyone’s trying to impress each other.”
Fortems added that he wasn’t “too worried” about the Langley setback. “We’re going to be coming back even stronger.”
POST GAME AUDIO with Coach Rogers & Chris Fortems
Live Audio with Coach Rogers
"I just try to stop the puck, to get in the way of it," Whalers goalie Ty Angus said.
Live Audio with Chris Fortems
First: White Rock # 62 Cole Svendson
Second: Delta # 14 Alec Scouras
Third: Delta # 18 Dalton MacGillivray