The Pacific Junior Hockey League’s championship series schedule has been announced, and the showdown between the White Rock Whalers and Langley Trappers begins tonight (Friday).
Game 1 is scheduled for Friday at Langley’s George Preston Recreation Centre, with puck drop at 7 p.m. The two squads – winners of their respective PJHL conferences – will suit up for Game 2 Sunday afternoon, also in Langley, before Games 3 and 4 shift to the Semiahmoo Peninsula, on Tuesday, March 22 and Saturday, March 26, respectively.
In a strange twist, the Whalers home games in the series won’t be played in their traditional home rink at Centennial Arena in White Rock, but rather up the road – and across city boundaries – at South Surrey Arena, because the ice is to be removed from Centennial this week, as the city ramps up its non ice-hockey events, such as ball hockey and lacrosse.
As opposed to the smaller confines – and regulation ice sheet – at Centennial, South Surrey Arena’s ice is Olympic sized, and considerably larger than what the Whalers and Trappers will be used to skating on. Seating capacity at the South Surrey rink is also considerably greater than in White Rock, so more fans can have the opportunity to watch their hometown team vie for the league crown.
Game 5, should it be required, will be played March 30 in Langley; Game 6 is April 1 back at South Surrey Arena. A series-deciding Game 7, if necessary, would be played in Langley April 3 at 2:30 p.m.
The Whalers advanced to the finals after a six-game series win over the Delta Ice Hawks, while the Trappers swept their Ridge Meadows Flames in their series.