On Jan. 4, 2020, Surrey-raised Brenden Pentecost of the Vancouver Giants skates a solo lap at the beginning of warm up to commemorate his first game in the WHL against the Kelowna Rockets at Prospera Place, in Kelowna. (File photo: Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)

On Jan. 4, 2020, Surrey-raised Brenden Pentecost of the Vancouver Giants skates a solo lap at the beginning of warm up to commemorate his first game in the WHL against the Kelowna Rockets at Prospera Place, in Kelowna. (File photo: Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)

JUNIOR HOCKEY

Surrey roomies Pentecost, Sourdif prep for WHL Giants’ season start Friday in Kamloops

Cloverdale kid among eight D-men on the G-men for spring sched ahead

In “normal” times, junior hockey player Brenden Pentecost wouldn’t have to travel far to play home games with Vancouver Giants, as the rookie defenseman lives in Cloverdale, about a 10-minute drive from Langley Events Centre.

But this season is far from normal.

This week, the five B.C.-based WHL teams are more than a week into training in the hub-city “bubbles” of Kamloops and Kelowna in preparation for the long-delayed start of the 2020-21 season, which starts Friday night (March 26).

The two “Hub Centres” will be home to all B.C. Division games, with the RE/MAX Cup to be presented to the division champs at the end of an abbreviated 60-game schedule. Each team will play 24 games.

(Story continues below)

The 2003-born Pentecost will celebrate his 18th birthday on April 2, and an early gift was being named to the Giants’ 24-player roster this season, among the eight D-men currently with the G-men.

“Camp has been really good so far,” Pentecost said Monday (March 22) in a phone call from Kamloops, following a morning skate. “It’s a really good group of guys and everybody is helping me out, out there, just trying to learn my role and do what I have to do to benefit the team, not do too much out there. But I feel really good right now during the training week, which has been pretty hard. It’s just fun too.”

With the fun of games to come, Pentecost had time Monday to look back at a winter without.

The Delta Hockey Academy product skated with the PJHL’s Port Moody Panthers for a time before opting for ice time elsewhere, in Langley and Delta.

Earlier in life, Pentecost played minor hockey in Cloverdale before shifting to Burnaby Winter Club by the time he reached the Hockey 4 level. “It was a long drive,” he recalled, “and lots of nighttime practices.”

In 2018 he was drafted by the Giants in the sixth round, 126th overall.

“It was pretty cool getting drafted by them and knowing that the rink is just, like, 10 minutes from my house,” Pentecost recalled. “It was nice playing my first game there, too, with all my family and friends there to watch. I really like playing there, too, because the rink is great.”

(Story continues below)

Pentecost is listed as a six-foot-one, left-shot defenseman on both the WHL and Elite Prospect websites.

His first game in the Dub was last January in Kelowna, a couple months before the season was shut down due to COVID.

A year-plus later, Pentecost is back and ready for more on a D core that also includes 2000-born Alex Kannok Leipert, ’01-er Connor Horning, ‘02 players Tanner Brown, Jacob Gendron and Marko Stacha, fellow ‘03 Nicco Camazzola and 2005-born rookie Mazden Leslie.

“There won’t be any fans in the arena for games,”Pentecost noted, “but it’ll still be fun to play games. And I know that my friends will watch online.”

Right now, Pentecost is rooming with fellow Surrey resident Justin Sourdif, the Giants veteran who was claimed by Florida Panthers in last fall’s NHL Entry Draft, 87th overall in the third round.

“I knew him from BWC and stuff, so yeah, it’s great,” Pentecost said of Sourdif, who’s a year older.

The Giants’ forward group this season will include Sourdif along with Eric Florchuk, Tristen Nielsen, Bryce Bader, Adam Hall, Dallon Wilton, Kadyn Chabot, Kaden Kohle, Krz Plummer, Cole Shepard, Justin Lies, Zack Ostapchuk, Julian Cull and Colton Langkow, plus goaltenders Trent Miner (a Colorado Avalanche prospect) and Drew Sim.

Starting Friday against Kamloops Blazers, the Giants will play the other B.C. Division teams six times each. Vancouver’s next opponent will be Kelowna Rockets on Sunday, with a 6 p.m. puck drop. All opening weekend games will be available for “freeview” on WHL Live on CHL TV, online at watch.CHL.ca.

The WHL’s B.C. Division is the last to start regular-season play this season, after the Central Division got going Feb. 26, the East Division March 12 and the U.S. Division on March 18.

On Monday, the WHL announced that Brandon Wheat Kings forward Nolan Ritchie was named the league’s Player of the Week, presented by Journie Rewards, for the week ending March 21, after scoring seven points (3G-4A) in three games this past week, in the Subway Hub Centre in Regina. Meantime, Everett Silvertips goaltender Dustin Wolf was named WHL Goaltender of the Week for the week.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

hockeyWHL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fraser Health staff prepare for the reopening of Irene Thomas Hospice in Delta on April 15, 2021. (Fraser Health photo)
Delta hospice at centre of MAiD fight to reopen Thursday

Fraser Health will reopen all 10 beds at the facility on April 15

Surrey-raised Tetsuro Shigematsu wrote and stars in “1 Hour Photo,” a Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre’s production to be presented online by Surrey Civic Theatres on April 23-24. (submitted photo/Raymond Shum)
‘This Japanese kid who grew up in Whalley’ thrilled to return with acclaimed ‘1 Hour Photo’

City’s Digital Stage to show Tetsuro Shigematsu’s solo portrait of Mas Yamamoto

Commercial trucks head south towards the Pacific Highway border crossing Wednesday (April 14, 2021). The union representing Canadian border officers wants its members to be included on the frontline priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Aaron Hinks photo)
CBSA officers’ union calls for vaccine priority in B.C.

Border officers at ports including South Surrey’s Pacific Highway should ‘not be left behind’

Fish processing workers fillet farm-raised salmon in Surrey B.C. Photo courtesy BCSFA
Discovery Islands salmon farm removal impacts jobs in B.C.’s Lower Mainland: report

The City of Surrey is the hub of the salmon farming industry in Metro Vancouver

Surrey School District building. (File photo)
‘We’re in a financial lockdown’: Surrey school district working with $40M budget deficit

District, board points to lack of immigration for new student enrolment

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said, in March, the force received a stand-out number of seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.” (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Three incidents in Richmond are currently being invested as hate crimes, says RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng

A still from the video taken of a violent arrest on May 30, 2020 in downtown Kelowna. (File)
Kelowna Mountie charged with assault for caught-on-camera violent arrest

Const. Siggy Pietrzak was filmed punching a suspected impaired driver at least 10 times during an arrest

A screenshot from a Nuu-chah-nulth healing song and performance created in collaboration between Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso. (Screenshot from YouTube)
VIDEO: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation brothers produce COVID-19 healing song

Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso share dance and inspiration.

Health Canada headquarters in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Health Canada releases guidelines for reducing COVID-19 transmission at home

Improve indoor air quality by opening up your windows and doors, among the encouraged ventilation measures

Most Read