White Rock Whalers to play home games in Richmond

Junior ‘B’ hockey team, city, could not come to agreement around dressing-room usage

Whalers logo

The White Rock Whalers are moving their home games to Richmond – for a little while, at least.

After being unable to come to terms on a workable solution with the City of White Rock regarding the full use of dressing rooms at Centennial Arena – which are currently off-limits due to COVID-19 health-and-safety protocols – the Pacific Junior Hockey League team will play its home games this season at Richmond Arena.

While the Whalers have been practising at Centennial Arena for weeks, the players have been getting changed at home and in the parking lot, before coming inside to the ice sheet, as the dressing rooms are not considered to be in the field of play until return-to-play guidelines.

Whalers president Ronnie Paterson told Peace Arch News last week that while the arrangement had been working fine for practice, the PJHL requires proper dressing rooms for games.

On Monday morning, Paterson informed PAN that the team will be shifting its home games to Richmond “in the interim” until social-distancing protocols and other COVID-19 regulations change, at which time the team would return to Centennial Arena.

Paterson had originally said he was confident the two sides would be able to come to an agreement; he said the team had offered to thoroughly sanitize both dressing rooms after its Saturday night games, or pay for a company to do it.

“We’ll do anything,” he said last week. “We’ll work with the city and with minor hockey, and hopefully in a few weeks time we’ll have the ability to go into the dressing room… We’re getting close. Just a couple small hurdles left to overcome, but I’m confident we can do that.”

Recent discussions saw some concessions made, Paterson said, but not enough for the PJHL to approve game-play. The dressing rooms at Centennial Arena are quite small, and Paterson said based on their size, the city would only allow three players in the room at once, “which makes it problematic to change at the arena.”

However, he said the team looked at other areas of the arena where they could possibly set up makeshift dressing rooms – an idea “strongly considered and supported by the city,” he said – but those plans did not meet the league standard.

Officials at the City of White Rock did not respond to a request for comment.

The Whalers have already played two PJHL regular-season games – winning on Oct. 22 and losing Sunday – and their home opener is set for Saturday, Nov. 7 against the Aldergrove Kodiaks.

White Rock also has a road game scheduled for Thursday against the Kodiaks.

The Whalers are not the only PJHL team playing home games outside of their city this season. The Ridge Meadows Flames – who are in the same cohort division as White Rock, along with Aldergrove and the Surrey Knights – have started the season playing home games out of Abbotsford, as their usual facility will not be available to them until the new year.



sports@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Junior B Hockey

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

Just Posted

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. (File photo)
Surrey mayor taking it on the chin during budget public hearing

So far, he’s cut five callers off during Monday’s virtual meeting

A criminal trial for Robert Boule (inset), the owner of the Smuggler’s Inn, is to begin in August 2021, following a failed application to strike down immigration-act provisions that he is charged under. (Photo courtesy of The Northern Light newspaper)
Blaine inn owner’s challenge of immigration act fails

Robert Boule’s trial on human-smuggling charges set to begin August 2021

Surrey Little Theatre is located on 184th Street at Fraser Highway. (File photo: Tom Zillich)
Surrey Little Theatre, Langley Players look to merge as single company at 200th Street theatre

A ‘really exciting’ development for the volunteer-run theatre companies

The entrance at Fleetwood Villa in Surrey. (Photo: dignified.ca)
Fleetwood Villa resident tests positive for COVID-19, leading to ‘outbreak’ at facility

Fraser Health says it’s ‘critically important’ for people in the region to use COVID-19 assessment tool

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

Ash and Lisa Van carry a freshly cut Christmas tree while wearing personal protective masks at a Christmas Tree Farm in Egbert, Ontario, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston
‘Everyone wants a tree and they want it now’: Christmas tree sales on pace for record

Anticipated demand for Christmas trees has sparked a rush by some to purchase more trees wholesale

Business groups have been advocating for years that local approvals for construction in B.C. are too long and restricted, and that B.C.’s outdates sales tax deter business investment. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents worried about COVID-19 deficit, business survey finds

Respondents support faster local approvals, value added tax

The first of two earthquakes near Alaska on the morning of Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, is shown in blue. (USGS)
No tsunami risk after two earthquakes near Alaska

Both earthquakes hit near the U.S. state on Dec. 1

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

Paramedics register patients at a drive through, pop-up COVID-19 test centre outside the Canadian Tire Centre, home of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators, in Ottawa, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians aren’t currently worried that people in other countries might get a COVID-19 vaccine first. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Canadians not worried other countries will get COVID-19 vaccine first: poll

Forty-one per cent of respondents say they want the vaccine to be mandatory for all Canadians

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
32 family members respond to Abbotsford care home’s plea for staffing help during COVID-19 outbreak

Menno Home asks for relief workers for food service, laundry and housekeeping

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (PIxabay.com)
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Most Read