In the four years since they joined the Pacific Junior Hockey League, the White Rock Whalers have had plenty of success on the ice, but never been able to reel off a winning streak longer than three games.
The junior ‘B’ Whalers are currently on a five-game run of victories, with the most recent coming on the road Tuesday night – a 7-3 win over the Port Moody Panthers. On the weekend, White Rock won twice more – 4-3 over the Chilliwack Jets on Sunday, and 4-1 against the Richmond Sockeyes Friday at White Rock’s Centennial Arena.
In November, the team started the streak with victories over the Surrey Knights (4-2 on Nov. 27) and the North Vancouver Wolf Pack (4-3 on Nov. 14). The last White Rock loss came nearly a month ago – a 5-4 defeat at the hands of the Delta Ice Hawks on Nov. 13.
“Everybody has been lights out through this stretch,” said Whalers captain Tyler Price in a news release this week.
“We believe we’ve really turned a corner.”
The Whalers had been hovering at or near the .500 mark for much of the season, but their recent success has launched them past the Sockeyes for third-place in the PJHL’s Tom Shaw Conference standings. They currently had a record of 15-10-1 (win-loss-overtime loss), which is good for 31 points. They are seven points shy of the Ice Hawks for second place.
North Vancouver is in first place, eight points up on the Ice Hawks, though they’ve also played four more games than their Delta counterparts and three more than the Whalers.
Against the Panthers Tuesday, rookie Ewan Rennie and Cole Svendson each had two goals and one assist to lead the offensive charge.
In Sunday’s game against Chilliwack – which set the team record for wins in a row – goaltender Kyle Spak made 32 saves to pick up his fourth win of the season, while goals were scored by Svendson, Rennie, Chris Fortems and Matthew Burry.
The Whalers will look to extend their win streak Saturday when they host the Panthers at Centennial Arena. On Sunday, White Rock travels to Burnaby to take on the Grandview Steelers.
Food bank fundraising
Throughout the rest of December, the Whalers organization is asking fans to bring non-perishable food items to home games.
Volunteers will collect the items and they’ll be donated to Sources food bank right before Christmas.
In addition to this weekend’s game against Port Moody, the team’s remaining home dates are Dec. 18 and 19 – both against North Vancouver.
“It’s important to work together… so that everyone can feel included in the holidays,” said Price.