The White Rock Whalers are moving up the standings in the Pacific Junior Hockey League’s Tom Shaw Conference, after a 2-2 start to their October schedule.
But if the second-year junior ‘B’ squad is to improve even further, they’re going to have to earn some wins on the road.
The Whalers, who sit with a 6-5-0-1 record (win-loss-tie-overtime loss), will play at home Saturday against the Ridge Meadows Flames – puck drop is 7:30 p.m. at Centennial Arena – but they’ll spend much of the rest of the month on the road.
On Monday White Rock will travel to the North Shore for a road tilt against the North Vancouver Wolfpack.
This weekend they’ll host the Langley Trappers at Centennial Arena Saturday, before wrapping up the month with an Oct. 26 road game in Mission against the Outlaws, and an Oct. 29 tilt against the Delta Ice Hawks at the Ladner Leisure Centre.
The road wasn’t particularly friendly to the Whalers last season – they finished with just seven wins in 22 road contests – but so far in 2019/20, they’ve been improved, and currently sit with a 3-4 road record, compared to a 3-1 mark at home.
The Whalers opened their October schedule by garnering a point in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Trappers on Oct. 2, and two days later, defeated Mission City 4-2.
The scoring was spread out in the win over the Outlaws, with four players finding the score sheet. Zach Mahaffy scored in the first period, tying the score after Mission’s Justin Hargrave have the home team an early 1-0 with a power-play tally.
In the second period, White Rock got goals from Kalem Burns and Gianni Lattanzi, and Matthew Burry rounded out the scoring in the third period, with less than six minutes to go.
The scoring was more concentrated in the OT defeat against the Trappers, with Cole Svendson scoring both goals in a losing effort.
On Oct. 5, the Semiahmoo Peninsula crew was held off the scoreboard entirely, losing to the Grandview Steelers 1-0, but they rebounded a few days later with a 6-3 road win against the Aldergrove Kodiaks.
Against the Steelers – the Whalers’ third game in four nights – the game was a scoreless draw until the final minute of play, when Grandview’s Jordan Myers slide a rebound past White Rock netminder Jonathan Holloway.
“We battled hard. Disappointing loss,” is how Whalers head coach Jason Rogers described the last-minute defeat, in a post on the team’s official website.