The White Rock Whalers are in the playoffs, just like their head coach predicted – or at least hoped – they would be.
The second-year junior ‘B’ team qualified for the Pacific Junior Hockey League playoffs on Tuesday, after an 8-2 road win over the Port Moody Panthers. The victory – which came one day after a shutout loss to the first-place North Vancouver Wolfpack, who’ve lost just a single game all season – cemented the Whalers’ position in the Tom Shaw Conference.
White Rock currently sits fourth with a record of 23-16-0-2 (win-loss-tie-overtime loss); they’re two points shy of the third-place Grandview Steelers with three regular-season contests left to play.
At the end of last season, White Rock head coach Jason Rogers told Peace Arch News that, after getting Year 1 under their collective belts, a playoff spot in their second season was the organizations’ No. 1 goal. In fact, he went as fas as saying he would “take personal ownership” of a performance that resulted in anything less.
Turns out, he needn’t have worried, as the team has been firmly in the playoff race nearly the entire season.
Against Port Moody Tuesday, the Whalers were led by Cole Svendson and Bryce Margetson, both of whom had two goals, while single markers were added by Connor Beemish, Ryan Doray, Michael Penman and Matthew Burry.
Butch La Roue also had three assists, while captain Calder Newson had two.
Goaltender Jonathan Holloway earned the win in net for White Rock, making 24 saves.
After two weekday games this week, the Whalers play just once this weekend, hosting the Richmond Sockeyes Saturday at Centennial Arena. They travel to Delta to play the Ice Hawks on Tuesday (Feb. 4) and then wrap up the regular season in White Rock Saturday, Feb. 8 against the Ridge Meadows Flames.